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Old 12-08-2006, 04:25 PM   #1
jlinkels
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From Sarge to Etch


I dist-upgraded from Sarge to Etch, and faced a *lot* of problems.

For one thing, the kernel is not upgraded during a dist-upgrade. Many, many problems, including a non-fucntional X-server originate from this.

After the dist-upgrade, I also upgraded the kernel to 2.6.17-2-K7. Strangely enough, although I had GRUB installed, apt installed LILO again.

After this install my mouse driver was loaded again, but my NVIDIA MX400 driver was not compatible anymore.

I installed the kernel source, make oldconfig the config of my old kernel, compiled the kernel and installed it. (If you do that as well, do not forget to update LILO!)

I downloaded and ran the NVIDIA driver (www.nvidia.com). This driver needs to be compiled with the same version of gcc as the kernel was compiled with. Therefore I had recompiled my kernel. The driver installed flawlessly. Maybe you can get away without recompiling the kernel or even installing the source tree. I Dunno.

Even OpenOffice showed decent fonts in the user interface, while previously they had been twice too large.

This dist-upgrade installed KDE 3.5 from KDE 3.3. Almost all KDE applications puke when an old config file is used. Quanta, Konqueror, KDesktop, KControl, KMail, all show odd behaviour. It is not *obvious* that the behaviour comes from an incompatible config file. OK, I swallowed and deleted all KDE settings I had, after that I have not seen any problems with KDE apps yet.

I know this is not a full-fledged how-to for doing a dist-upgrade, but these are at least some tips.

Have fun
jlinkels
 
Old 12-08-2006, 05:44 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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There will no doubt be an actual howto in the release notes when Etch becomes stable. In my limited experience, it's usually been best to dist-upgrade once the final new stable release is done. And it's always been easiest to dist-upgrade from stable to testing right after a release (you can follow the release notes to avoid most problems).

Every time you update the kernel you need to update the nVidia driver. That's why you should use module-assistant. The nVidia recompile problem could be fixed by downloading gcc-4.0 package and changing the gcc symlink in /usr/bin to point to 4.0 instead of 4.1. (As opposed to recompiling the kernel so it's compiled with 4.1 like you did.)

Many packages when updating several versions have had slight changes to the config file formats. Sometimes they will break completely, others not as much, and some you won't find out what's broken until later.
 
Old 12-09-2006, 04:19 AM   #3
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez
There will no doubt be an actual howto in the release notes when Etch becomes stable. In my limited experience, it's usually been best to dist-upgrade once the final new stable release is done. And it's always been easiest to dist-upgrade from stable to testing right after a release (you can follow the release notes to avoid most problems).
You are right. I think there are two moments in time you can best dist-upgrade. One is when you are running stable and dist-upgrade to the next version which just became stable. Or when a new testing was just derived from the latest stable. In the first case you will be running stable, and the second case you run testing.
If you stick with stable (like I did) and upgrade to testing before it is released as stable because you desperately have to because otherwise you cannot install certain packages, you face problems.
This is what I heard from others on this forum as well. I don't blame the developers, testing is testing and testing is not stable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjvaldez
Every time you update the kernel you need to update the nVidia driver. That's why you should use module-assistant. The nVidia recompile problem could be fixed by downloading gcc-4.0 package and changing the gcc symlink in /usr/bin to point to 4.0 instead of 4.1. (As opposed to recompiling the kernel so it's compiled with 4.1 like you did.)
That is also true. I did that before and it worked (duh!) I like to have my own custom kernel anyway so it was not a big deal. But you don't have to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjvaldez
Many packages when updating several versions have had slight changes to the config file formats. Sometimes they will break completely, others not as much, and some you won't find out what's broken until later.
This was the worst surprise actually. During the past few years I had attempted to upgrade from KDE 3.3 to 3.4 and 3.5 without knowing this. Maybe it is buried deep down in some readme file, but I think it deserves a big fat warning. The problem is that when the apps broke, I thought it was a bug. When I went out googling for answers, I found numerous possible causes, none of them applicable of course because these are not bugs or configuration problems (well, sort of, but different) Once I even tried to go back to KDE 3.3 by downgrading but that is a real mess and was unsuccessful.
One should realize that a package breaking because of the config file can NOT be fixed by entering the correct settings from within the application. Because the config file is incompatible (remember?).
 
  


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