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Old 08-03-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2007
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Cool Debian Sarge -> Etch Upgrade Prep

I was about to upgrade my sys from sarge to etch but was pulled off to other duties & am now back to it. I've spent a lot of time reading the etch Release Notes, & am somewhat confused by the order of things suggested, depending on the current sys status, list of packages, etc. I rather suspect my config is simple enough (not using graphical interface, etc.) that things will go smoothly just by doing the following:

1. Change the distribution in my sources.list from 'sarge' to 'etch'
2. Do: "aptitude update"
3. Do: the recommended 2-part upgrade:
a. "aptitude upgrade"
b. "aptitude install initrd-tools"

Presumably #3 would upgrade my kernel from 2.4 to 2.6, so a reboot would result in etch running under 2.6, right?

Question #1 - Following the advice of 4.2.3 "Checking packages status" in the Release Notes, "dpkg --audit" reports the following:
The following packages are only half configured, probably due to problems configuring them the first time. The configuration should be retried using dpkg --configure <package> or the configure menu option in dselect:
kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386 Linux kernel image for version 2.4.27 on 386
Do I try to force the issue with the 2.4 kernel (do the "dpkg --configure kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386" it recommends), or since etch will install a 2.6 kernel is it even necessary?

Question #2 - Just when I thought I'd get a kernel upgrade without much stress, section 4.6.3 in the RN warns that the upgrade to the 2.6 kernel should be done BEFORE the etch package upgrade if you're using hotplug with 2.4. I am running 2.4 & "dpkg --get-selections" lists "hotplug install". Does this mean my sys "relies on hotplug," as the warning describes?

Thanks for any help.
Old 08-03-2007, 11:33 PM   #2
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First I recommend making a full backup before you do anything. Be sure to back up the MBR of the boot disk.

Then I recommend doing a fresh installation of the new version. The reason that I recommend doing a fresh installation is that I have had numerous experiences trying to upgrade various operating systems from one major version to another. You frequently have problems with the upgrade that cause mysterious problems. These problems can arise because some software on the old system does not have a counterpart on the new system so the old software remains in place, or some new version of a common software component doesn't get completely replaced because it has different configuration files, or, well, anything can happen. Trying to find all of the bugs caused by the faulty upgrade, which show up at the worst possible times, often takes much more time and effort than installing and configuring a fresh system.

Old 08-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #3
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I didn't have many problems going from sarge to etch on a server. IIRC only MRTG and SNMP needed fixing after.

Also IIRC I upgraded the kernel first, then everything else.


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