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Old 06-08-2007, 11:48 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Distribution: ubuntu
Posts: 297

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Need a downgrade from etch/stable to sarge/stable


I successfully upgraded to etch stable a few days ago. But I didn't consider those nice proprietary apps I have installed on my server which don't run anymore (at the publishers site they state not to support debian newer than 3.1 - too late for me...)

So now, I need to downgrade again. Back to nice ol' sarge. The question is: how do I tell apt to downgrade all my packages?

I entered APT:efault-Release "sarge"; in /etc/apt/apt.conf and

Package: *
Pin: release a=sarge,o=debian
Pin-Priority: 2000 (yeah, I wanted to make sure...)

in /etc/apt/preferences

Then I did a apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade (shouldn't that called be downgrade in my case??? anyway...) The result is, well... nothing. No downgrade.

Unfortunately inserting a CD into the computer and reinstalling deb3.1 is not an option.

So I need a solution to downgrade my deb from an ssh terminal to sarge back again.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Old 06-08-2007, 08:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian Sid 2.6.32
Posts: 2,100

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You can try to do this, but it might balk. You need to change the /etc/apt/sources.list from stable to oldstable. Then undo the mess you made with the apt.conf file. Do an apt-get update, and apt-get dist-upgrade. it might work, it might not. I'm inclined to think not. I've put some of our debian machines at work on the oldstable sources, and they stayed at sarge, but I was proactive with that, not reactive. Now that you have Etch, trying to upgrade/downgrade on a working system isn't likely to go well.

You said you can't reinstall, but didn't say why. If the upgrade instructions I gave you don't work, you may be stuck with a system that won't boot, or will boot but won't function.

Old 06-08-2007, 10:43 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Houston Texas
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 379

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Originally Posted by JimBass
...You need to change the /etc/apt/sources.list from stable to oldstable. Then undo the mess you made with the apt.conf file. Do an apt-get update, and apt-get dist-upgrade. it might work, it might not...
This in fact doesn't work. I tried doing this last week. All it does is say "0 new 0 upgraded 0 removed" because all the packages installed are NEWER than whats on the repo. I upgraded from Lenny to Sid, but forgot my ATI proprietary drivers do not work on the Xorg in Sid. Oops...

However, after I tried what JimBass had mentioned, I removed ALL xorg packages from my system, then reinstalled them. This forced apt to fetch new .deb files from the repo (which now points back to Lenny) so it pulled a "downgrade" on Xorg stuff. But I am stuck with a mixed system like this for a while now.

I honestly don't think it is possible to do a FULL downgrade to all packages, once they've been upgraded, but that doesn't mean its not possible.


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