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Old 10-31-2014, 08:30 AM   #1
yaakovf
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Change from Debian derivative (Point Linux) to pure Debian without reinstalling?


After using Point Linux (based on Debian Wheezy), I installed Mate from the Debian repository to fill in some features that were not in Point. Now apt reports over 200 updates available, but won't install any - it just starts, checks, and exits. So now I want to switch to pure Debian Wheezy. Is there a way to do it without installing Debian from scratch? I want to keep my program settings for Firefox, VirtualBox, etc.
 
Old 10-31-2014, 11:58 AM   #2
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaakovf View Post
So now I want to switch to pure Debian Wheezy. I want to keep my program settings for Firefox, VirtualBox, etc.
Your program settings are kept as hidden files and/or directories in /home/user and /root. I suggest that you save these hidden directories and files somewhere. Then do a complete install of Debian wheezy. Then replace the hidden configuration directories and files installed by wheezy with the configuration directories and files that you saved. If Point Linux uses a different numbering scheme for user names than Debian does then you might have to use the chown command to change the ownership of the files and directories that you replaced.

I have done this on occasion when installing a new system. It works OK and saves me a lot of configuration time after an install.

--------------------
Steve Stites
 
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:20 PM   #3
fatmac
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Maybe just point your sources list to the Debian repos & do an upgrade.
 
Old 10-31-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
widget
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First you should take the advice from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galacy and not panic.

Second it would be nice to see the output from your attempts to update/upgrade packages in their entirety. Also the output from;
Code:
cat /etc/apt/sources.list
More information on your install would also be good, such as how many partitions it is installed on and what they are. What is your hardware?

As pointed out the saving of your user config files is simple. It is always a good idea to save them to another directory when doing a version upgrade so that any changes in how config files work or where they are in the tree (these do change occasionally) doesn't interfer with your version upgrade.

It is perfectly safe to cut/paste them to another place if you have some problem that may be caused by them. I mention this because there are a lot of instances where creating another user and logging in as that user to see if the problem is in user configuration. This is not needed. These files, if missing, are generated either at boot up or when the application is called for in the default configuration.

Those can be replaced by your old ones or the old ones used to edit the new ones selectively.

If you are using the Debian repos for your install you are actually not running a dirivative of Debian at all. You are simply running a respin with someone elses idea of what you should have installed and what the default user config should be. If that is the case the default configuration will be found in /etc/skel most likely (that is where it should be anyway and where it is easiest to make work as that is what that directory is for).
 
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:38 AM   #5
yaakovf
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Thank you for your replies. I'll check out the details later, but for now here is what I have:
HW: Intel i5-3470 (4 cores, 64 bit), 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD.
Current distro (as shown in System Monitor):
PointLinux Release 2.3.1 (taya)
Kernel Linux 3.2.0-4-amd64
MATE 1.8.1

/etc/skel is empty.
sources.list:--
deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main
# deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ taya contrib non-free main
deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
# deb-src http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
# deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ taya main
(I commented out the "taya" lines, but it didn't make a difference.)
 
Old 11-03-2014, 05:35 PM   #6
widget
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I don't know what is in the taya repos. These are repos that have packages assembled by the folks puting out this Point Linux OS.

One interesting thing for you to do would be to run;
Code:
cat /etc/debian_version
and the same for these 2 files also in /etc; issue and issue.net.

They would be interesting just to see if;
A>they are there
B>what they say

For Wheezy I get 7.7 in debian_version, Debian GNU/Linux 7 \n \l in issue and Debian GNU/Linux 7 in issue.net.

These are only really useful for entertainment in relation to your question though.

Moving on in your sources.list we see the cdn entries. I have never seen these in a Debian sources.list before. Could be I am just ignorant as I am really good at being ignorant. On the other hand going to that address is not much different than going to the other addresses I am more familiar with. This is the server at Origan State University so it is another mirror.

But the entries are not sensible as far as I followed them. # deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ taya contrib non-free main, for instance, if you follow it through never has a mention of taya so commenting that out is going to have no effect on your system. Having it not commented out isn't going to have much effect either.
Code:
deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
Appears to me to be the only repos you need for your sources.list.

There is one;
Code:
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main
That is actually a duplicate of the top one in your sources.list except it only lists the main repo and not the contrib and non-free repo.

The only reason I can think of to have that is unreliablility in the cdn servers for the Wheezy main repo.

You don't indicate where you are located but you might concider making up a new sources.list using a repo close to your physical location.

There is a package "apt-spy" that when run (see the man page for usage) will set up a list in your /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory based on a series of tests of Debian mirrors. You can limit the ones searched to a region or country or just let it run. Takes 15 seconds per mirror so limiting it to a region is a good idea as world wide there are a lot of mirrors.

The address in the one I left out for "us.debian" is actually kind of generic and I believe may connect to the one closest to you if you are in the US.

I use the ftp instead of html as it seems a bit faster. My Wheezy sources.list doesn't include backports but here it is;
Code:
deb ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
## deb-src http://mirror.steadfast.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
## deb-src http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free

## wheezy-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
## deb-src http://mirror.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/mirror/debian.org/debian/ squeeze-updates main
I also have the multimedia repo but you don't so I assume you don't need it.

I don't use backports because I want Wheezy to be stable. I run testing and Sid for day to day stuff anyway so I just want something I can absolutely depend on in case I break both of them through some idiotic move on my part.

My list is just a bit cleaner in that it uses one server. Yours is fine although I would get rid of all but the 4 lines I posted first. You are running Wheezy now. The only difference is the gui configuration (eye candy) and perhaps some packages added that are not installed by the default debian install media. You probably got all the non-free stuff by default which is not installed by the default debian installer but has to be added later if you need it.

I have always needed some non-free packages. I know people that don't though and you can only find out by trying it out to see.

If you want to try Debian straight up without someone elses idea of what it should look like and what should be installed on it you could try the Official Live CD from Debian;
https://www.debian.org/CD/live/

That also has no non-free packages. Debian in a free OS and so doesn't install that sort of thing by default.

The same guys that make the Official Live CD also make an unofficial one that does have non-free packages included;
http://live.debian.net/cdimage/relea...64/iso-hybrid/

That is for 64 bit.

With the confused sources.list I would bet that the results of the "cat" commands for those 3 files will show that all 3 exist and tell you it is Debian. No matter what the output says you have nothing but Debian repos that work.

If you are installed on 2 partitions (/ and /home) I would suggest wiping out all your ~/.foo files (hidden files) or at least removing them to a safe place and installing Debian from the live media or from the Standard Debian media which has no live session.

Do not use the auto magical option of install but use the "manual" partitioning option. Instruct the installer to format the / partition and to NOT format the /home partition. Make sure you use the same user name so you don't get an extra user directory.

That will install Debian as Debian sets it up and generate the default user config files for such an install (the ~/.foo files). From there you can set it up to suit yourself.

Another thing you could do is install on a new / partition and share the same /home in which case you do the same things as above except you can leave your ~/.foo files alone and you need a different user name so that the new ~/.foo files don't interfer with the old ones.

I share /home partitions. I have Wheezy and Squeeze sharing a /home. Squeeze user is tom, Wheezy user is thom.

You could also simply add a user to your current install. This should set up, with /etc/skel being empty, a fresh user directory in your current install with all the default settings from Debian. Only thing that worries me is how they set up your current install without using /etc/skel but that is not a big deal. If you get the same default set up just remove the new user and use the method above.

If you are installed on only one partition (/) then adding a new user is pretty much your only good bet for a default Debian setup.
 
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:06 AM   #7
yaakovf
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Hi widget,
Thanks for another helpful post. There's a lot in it, so I'm going through it a little at a time.

It turns out that I got confused between apt, synaptic, and update-manager. It was the update-manager that reported all those updates. It kept starting with the message "Upgrading may require removal or installation of new packages. Do you want to perform a safe-upgrade, which does not remove packages or install new ones?" I wanted a complete (unsafe) upgrade, so I clicked on "No", and the u-m did nothing. Yesterday I tried again and clicked on "Yes", and the u-m installed lots of packages. My OS seems OK, though I haven't examined it closely yet.

I cat'd those files in /etc and got the following:
debian_version: 7.7
issue: Point Linux 2.3.1 \n \l
issue.net: Point Linux 2.3.1

I already have /home on a separate partition, so I can try your suggestions - maybe this weekend. I'll post the results.
 
Old 11-04-2014, 04:36 PM   #8
widget
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Ah, Update Mangler.

Would highly recommend using Synaptic for this kind of thing if you need a gui. Cli with apt-get or aptitude is best.

As apt-get is the recommended tool for Debian, no I am not bashing aptitude, I will use it in these examples;
apt-get update
This command is what UM runs automagically before informing you of available package upgrades. What update does is update the list on your box of the available packages in the repos enabled in your sources.list.

apt-get upgrade
This is the command to do what UM, in common with Windows, calls updates. They are, in reality package upgrades. The updated package list is compared with what is installed on your box and any packages with newer version numbers are then upgraded assuming that only that package is effected.

If there are packages "held back" they are held because the upgrade of the package requires the removal or addition of other packages.

apt-get dist-upgrade
This is the command that the question in UM is aimed at. Many times dependencies can change or some other package has been linked in to increase functionality or a package is removed due to the functionality it provided being integrated into the base package. So you have more than one package being effected by the upgrade of a particular package.

dist-upgrade is not a version upgrade of your system. It upgrades your distribution. Like Debian 7. It is changing your install so that there are more or less packages.

A version upgrade requires you to change your sources.list to get a different version. Under Debian that would be changing all referrences to "squeeze" to "wheezy" which would do a version upgrade from Debian 6 to 7.

Do not use UM for that job. Not a good idea.

Aptitude is a great tool for doing these kind of chores too and has some very special functions to help with any dependency problems that may show up. Also has an ncurses type gui interface that I personally detest but was one of the first package managers to do so.

aptitude update, aptitude safe-upgrade and aptitude full-upgrade corrispond roughly to the apt-get commands above. See the man pages for them.
 
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:50 PM   #9
EDDY1
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I would run "apt-get" clean before running any commands so as to remove all stored packages for the taya repo's
 
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:17 PM   #10
widget
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Good thought.
 
Old 11-05-2014, 07:55 PM   #11
k3lt01
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Your sources.list is wrong but it seems to be a common problem for Point Linux. Here is what you have
Quote:
Originally Posted by yaakovf View Post
Code:
deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main
# deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ taya contrib non-free main
deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
# deb-src http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
# deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ taya main
Here is what it should, or really would be better, being (including the point linux repo.
Code:
deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
deb http://cdn.pointlinux.org/pointlinux/ taya main contrib non-free
The change from cdn.debian.net to http.debian.net makes the geolocation work more effectively
The change from cdn.debian.net taya to the proper pointlinux taya repo will help you use the correct the proper pointlinux repo (Debian never hosted pointlinux so I don't understand why Peter had that in the pointlinux sources.list).
If you don't want to use pointlinux anymore just comment it out. Once you have fixed your sources.list do the usual
Code:
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
then post back here what the results are and we can go from there.
 
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:51 PM   #12
yaakovf
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In the end I decided to leave the repos sources.list more or less the way it was, including wheezy-backports, and use Synaptic to do the actual updating whenever Update Manager announces that updates are available. It's neither pure Debian nor pure Point, but it works OK for me, so I'm marking this thread SOLVED.
 
  


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