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I'm using Linux Mint Helena and my software sources seems outdated.
I keep getting the error:
Could not download all repository indexes
The repository may no longer be available or could not be contacted because of network problems. If available an older version of the failed index will be used. Otherwise the repository will be ignored. Check your network connection and ensure the repository address in the preferences is correct.
Failed to fetch http://packages.linuxmint.com/dists/helena/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable
Failed to fetch http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/dists/gusty/avant-window-navigator/binary-i386/Packages.gz 404 Not Found [IP: 18.104.22.168 80]
Failed to fetch http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/dists/gusty/avant-window-navigator/source/Sources.gz 404 Not Found [IP: 22.214.171.124 80]
Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.
How can I go about updating this. Infact even when I come to the update manager, it says
Your system is up-to-date.
The package information was last updated 316 days ago.
Can I link to repositories which my system is not configured to, for example, could I include all the latest Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint 10 respositories (even though Iḿ using Linux Mint 8?
Hi, I don't know, but if you have a separate partition for home, you may only reinstall the / partition without changing somthing with you personal data.
I'd recommend the documentation for Mint, they document very well.
unfortunately my home is not in a partition of it's own.
I did go to the Mint documentation and surprisingly they say that if you have a well maintained Helena system, there's no need to even upgrade
But I would still want to. The only thing is, they highly recommend that one does a full backup of the system before upgrading - where would one do that? on CD/DVD? surely not on the same hard drive (and I don't even have a spare hard drive)
I think the most important is to store your personal data anywhere outside the computer. I often (relatively ) install new systems, but I don't performe a complete backup of the old systems. It maybe helpful if you make backups of files which you have changed by your own, for example in the /etc directory everything which has to do with the network-settings.
Another important point is, take advantage of the reinstallation and create a separate partition for /home. And if you have enough space, create additional partitions which you don't change if you once reinstall your system. Maybe it is a good idea to have an extra partition for /usr/local
I'm really how do I go about doing such selected backups and then (if need be) restore them all into a working system. Isn't it easier with Windows, where we just get a new system and boot the PC with it and it upgrades. How come linux is making things so much more complex?
Isn't it easier with Windows, where we just get a new system and boot the PC with it and it upgrades.
this is not true, when you go from Windows XP to Windows 7, you'll also do a full new installation (as an example).
The problem is not that upgrading a Linux-distribution is such difficult, but that you don't have separate partitions to store your data.
You may try the following: use the gparted programm to decrease your Mint / partition. Create a new partition on the free space, format the new partition and store your personal data there. When you do the new installation, chose the new partition for /home and do NOT!!! format it again. The old / partition has to be formatted.
External USB hard drives are quite reasonably priced these days. I got one several years ago and use it for backups.
If you can manage it, you can get one, back up /home to it, then do the upgrade; when you do, create a separate partition for /home or at least for backups the next time around. Failing an external HDD, DVD's work just fine, but you may need a bunch of them, depending on how much data is /home. This might also be a good opportunity to do some housecleaning
I do not think it's necessary to back up all the hidden configuration files, except the ones that you have configured. For example, I will back up my .fluxbox directory, my .opera folder (mail store and downloaded skins), my .pan2 folder (newsgroup subscriptions and lists), and a couple of others. I also back up crucial files from /etc, such as smb.conf and rc.firewall, so I don't have to recreate them.
I don't back up configuration files that are still at their default settings, because they will be recreated at default upon reinstallation.