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Re: Upgrading from very-old Debian

On Tue 28 Nov 2017 at 10:28:57 (-0500), The Wanderer wrote:
> I've run across someone who says her machine is running Debian
> oldoldoldstable or maybe even oldoldoldoldstable, and who consequently
> can't upgrade to newer Debian.
> I seem to recall that there *is* a way to do step-wise upgrades of such
> old systems, i.e. upgrading from oldoldoldoldstable to oldoldoldstable,
> then to oldoldstable, then to oldstable, then to stable. However, I'm
> stumped as to how to actually get started on doing that.
> The last few steps of this are straightforward; oldoldstable is still
> available in the repos, as far as I'm aware. The first ones are more of
> a problem; if I understand matters correctly, anything prior to
> oldoldstable is removed from the live repos, although its .deb files are
> still maintained on e.g. snapshot.debian.org. (Which doesn't really
> suffice for the equivalent of a dist-upgrade, because you'd have to
> manually download all the correct .debs by hand and then install them
> with dpkg.)
> Is there in fact a way to manage the first steps of this stepwise
> upgrade, from one aged-out-of-the-repos release to another?
> If so, any pointers to information on how to go about it?

If and when you upgrade oldoldoldoldstable (lenny) to oldoldoldstable
(squeeze), upgrade the kernel and check the firmware is all there
before you upgrade udev. That's the only tricky one, AFAIK.