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Upgrading to Debian Sarge

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Assuming that only Official Woody and this backport are installed, upgrading to Debian Sarge is basically the same as upgrading from just Official Woody, and should not be a problem. As with any upgrade, be sure to read the Release Notes before proceeding. Read through all of the directions on this page carefully.

1. Logout of X and stop gdm if it is running
/etc/init.d/gdm stop

2. Make sure gnome2.2 is up to date
Do not skip this step! Several gnome2.2 packages have been updated to enable a smooth upgrade.

apt-get update
apt-get -u dist-upgrade


3. Configure apt for the upgrade
Remove the gnome2.2 and woody lines from /etc/apt/sources.list and add sarge lines. For example:

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian sarge main contrib non-free

Also, some packages in the backport are newer than what is in sarge, so it would be best to downgrade them when upgrading to sarge (they wouldn't run properly anyway). Add to /etc/apt/preferences:

Package: *
Pin: release a=testing (use 'a=stable' after the official release)
Pin-Priority: 1001

Now run:

apt-get update

You don't need to modify or create /etc/apt/preferences when upgrading to unstable.

4. Upgrade 'apt'
This is required because of some bugs in 'apt' on woody. Simply run:

apt-get install apt

5. Upgrade the system

apt-get -u dist-upgrade

Accept the package maintainer's version of files if possible. Also keep in mind that upgrading like this will remove some gnome packages. These can be added later. Remove the lines in /etc/apt/preferences if desired.

6. Clean up any orphaned packages
Some libraries may be left on the system that sarge packages don't use. They won't hurt anything, but there is no point in having them installed on the system. To get rid of them:

apt-get install deborphan
deborphan | xargs dpkg --purge


You may want to run this command several times.

7. Reboot
I recommend a reboot to make sure everything starts up properly.

8. Optionally add in packages that got removed
The easiest way to do this is to run:
apt-get install gnome gnome-core gnome-core-devel gdm

9. Enjoy Sarge!


Problems
Many systems using the gnome2.2 backport have successfully upgraded to Debian Sarge without issue. However, depending on if you upgrade before Sarge's official release and the unique set of packages installed on any given system (especially if you are using other backports), there may be unforeseen problems during the upgrade. This is true even when upgrading from a previous stable version to the next stable version, with no additional software or backports installed. If the upgrade kicks out with errors, you can usually fix the problem by running:

apt-get -f install

Then continue the installation with:

apt-get -u dist-upgrade

If this does not work, or your system is in a bad state, try downgrading to Woody, and then upgrade to sarge afterwards. Please issue upgrade problem bug reports for gnome2.2 packages that are the cause of the problem at the gnome22 bug report page.

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