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Old 07-17-2007, 04:28 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2007
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Question Apt-get for sarge->etch AND kernel upgrade?

I recently upgraded my sys to the latest in 'sarge.' Now I'd like to get us going with 'etch.' I've been doing some homework on various sites & forums, but still unclear as to whether doing a distribution upgrade to etch automatically upgrades the kernel.

We're currently running kernel 2.4.27-2-386. As I understand it, the latest is 2.6 & some of etch does not run correctly on earlier versions. My sources.list looks like:

deb sarge main
deb-src sarge main
deb sarge/updates main

So... if I do the following:

1. Change the distribution in my sources.list from 'sarge' to 'etch'
2. Do: apt-get update
3. Do: apt-get -u dist-upgrade

That should upgrade us to etch, then a reboot installs the 2.6 kernel -- right?

Any info or warnings re the above would be GREATLY appreciated.

Old 07-17-2007, 04:41 PM   #2
Dutch Master
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In principle you're spot on! In practice it can be a bit more work. The main problem is the XFree->Xorg conversion. You'd have to check if the proper packages have been selected and/or installed (depending on when you check ) Look for the xserver-xorg and xorg packages.
Old 07-17-2007, 05:26 PM   #3
Registered: May 2006
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Distribution: Debian
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If you're gonna do it, do it right and give the etch release notes a good once over. Pretty much everything is covered.

This is probably the part to pay attention to in your case:

4.5.5 Upgrading the kernel
The udev version in etch does not support kernel versions earlier than 2.6.15 (which includes sarge 2.6.8 kernels), and the udev version in sarge will not work properly with the latest kernels. In addition, installing the etch version of udev will force the removal of hotplug, used by Linux 2.4 kernels.
As a consequence, the previous kernel package will probably not boot properly after this upgrade. Similarly, there is a time window during the upgrade in which udev has been upgraded but the latest kernel has not been installed. If the system were to be rebooted at this point, in the middle of the upgrade, it might not be bootable because of drivers not being properly detected and loaded. (See Prepare a safe environment for the upgrade, Section 4.1.4 for recommendations on preparing for this possibility if you are upgrading remotely.)
Unless your system has the desktop task installed, or other packages that would cause an unacceptable number of package removals, it is therefore recommended that you upgrade the kernel on its own at this point.
To proceed with this kernel upgrade, run:
# aptitude install linux-image-2.6-flavor

See Installing the kernel metapackage, Section 4.6.1 for help in determining which flavor of kernel package you should install.
In the desktop case, it is unfortunately not possible to ensure the new kernel package is installed immediately after the new udev is installed, so there is a window of unknown length when your system will have no kernel installed with full hotplug support. See Upgrading your kernel and related packages, Section 4.6 for information on configuring your system to not depend on hotplug for booting.


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