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Re: Upgrading from very-old Debian

On 11/28/2017 08:58 AM, The Wanderer wrote:
On 2017-11-28 at 11:53, Patrick Bartek wrote:

On Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:28:57 -0500 The Wanderer
<wanderer@xxxxxxxxxxx> 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?

Save yourself time and lots of problems, back up your data and do a
clean install of the current Debian release.

A: This isn't me, this is someone I encountered.

B: That's not always a viable option, depending on the circumstances.
It's probably the easier option when it is viable, but that doesn't mean
it should be the only option considered, for cases when something else
may be more viable.

And all the fun you could have too. is the system running? Can you currently apt-get update?

If nothing else you can always delete the system and the system files in home too saving home and do a new install with no format of root.

I would go to whezzy for the upgrade and unless you have active repos to your current install all your packages will orphaned, that don't help, but with the whezzy repos make sure you don't lose your internet connection or all will be lost and or make it harder to do the upgrade.

Upgrade linux-image, linux-headers and apt, aptitude, net-tools, firmware-linux, xorg, grub, etc. Stay away from meta-packages as much as you can and some applications you may want to start by upgrading the lib-common package first. Installing synaptic after xorg could help and from the command line using package 'upgrade-system' can help, but first thing is to get the base going. And remember to have fun!

To do what you want requires dist-upgrading each release, in order,
one-at-a-time, then troubleshooting each dist-upgrade once done with
no guarantees it will work.

Yes, of course. That's established procedure, and it's entirely
reasonable to expect people to follow it. (Is there any reason it
shouldn't work, when it worked for people at the time when those
releases were made?)

Be sure to read and explicitly follow the dist-upgrade instructions
in the Release Notes for each release. Many times there are special
things that must be done. Just dist-upgrading from your current old
install to Stretch, skipping all those inbetween is "not
recommended," meaning it won't work.

Of course. That's exactly why accessible repositories containing those
older releases are needed; my question was about how / where to manage
those, and that was answered in the first reply.

Jimmy Johnson

KDE Plasma 5.8.7 - AMD A8-7600 - EXT4 at sda2
Registered Linux User #380263