[SOLVED]Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

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[SOLVED]Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby ticojohn » 2017-01-05 23:51

I've been running Testing (amd64) for several months on an Intel NUC5i5ryh, that I use as a HTPC, and am really pleased with everything. However, I keep reading where Testing might break in the very near future as developers try to get new code in to the system before the freeze. Sure don't want to be without the HTPC but I also don't like not keeping the system up to date. I rarely use the NUC for anything besides watching movies via Kodi so there should be minimal security risks (not zero however). So my question is: Should I stop doing upgrades until such time as it is released as Stretch?
Last edited by ticojohn on 2017-01-19 15:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby dasein » 2017-01-06 00:13

ticojohn wrote:Should I stop doing upgrades until such time as it is released as Stretch?

No. (And purely pedantically, you mean released as Stable. It's already Stretch.)

Speaking as a very likely source of the statement that Testing is buggiest just before the freeze, I'll encourage you to read what else I said: once the freeze takes place, Testing only gets better (mostly). The RC-bugs/KLOC ratio only goes down. So if things are running as swimmingly as you say they are for you, there is no point at all in waiting until release.

That said, if you actually care, maybe stop updating until Stretch is completely frozen (which isn't all that long anyway). Then restart with regular updates.

Or, as I'm now officially tired of repeating, back up your system regularly so that you don't actually have to care if something breaks. (Bonus: a regular and reliable backup regimen will save you from having to post a new thread every time you're worried that something might break, plus it protects against known and entirely predictable threats such as HDD failures, lightning strikes, etc.)

[/thread]
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby ticojohn » 2017-01-06 13:42

dasein wrote:
Or, as I'm now officially tired of repeating, back up your system regularly so that you don't actually have to care if something breaks. (Bonus: a regular and reliable backup regimen will save you from having to post a new thread every time you're worried that something might break, plus it protects against known and entirely predictable threats such as HDD failures, lightning strikes, etc.)

[/thread]

I DO perform regular backups of my home directory but don't have drive space to back up the entire system. Thank you very much! And you appear to have wanted me to read an attached THREAD, but it's missing.
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby dibl » 2017-01-06 15:48

As a longtime sid user, where the possibility of an update breaking the system is a daily risk, here's my daily routine.

1. In a root terminal with the GUI still running

Code: Select all
apt update


Code: Select all
apt full-upgrade -d


Now, stop and review carefully what is about to happen. First, look for removals. If anything is to be removed, that is your first and primary sign of danger. If it has been a long while (many days or weeks) since your last update, and you really want to get the system updated, then you need to research any package that is to be removed, using depends and rdepends and the information in Debian packages. Sometimes a package is obsoleted by introduction of a replacement package with a different name, so the prior package can safely be let go. But the more typical case is that a dependency will be broken by other upgraded packages, resulting in removal of something that you/your system needs, and that will break it. So, when you see removals, especially when your system has been updated in the recent past, it's safest and easiest to abort the full-upgrade with a "n", and try again tomorrow when it's (hopefully) safe.

2. If it looks safe to proceed, answer "y" and let the packages be downloaded.

3. Ctrl-Alt-F1 to the tty1 console, and log in as root.

Code: Select all
systemctl isolate multi-user.target


Someone will soon post that this is not necessary. I'm not so sure. I'm not a software engineer and I don't wish to have any breakage in the xserver and GUI part of my systems. I have three fully updated sid systems that have been running error free since the last time some piece of hardware broke or got upgraded some years ago, so .....

4.
Code: Select all
apt full-upgrade


Code: Select all
apt clean


Code: Select all
systemctl isolate graphical.target && exit


It has happened very rarely that, even with no packages removed, a buggy new package has broken sid systems. But this situation is pretty obvious and the fixed package comes in pretty quickly, so I doubt this would even happen in testing.
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby ticojohn » 2017-01-06 16:04

dibl wrote:Now, stop and review carefully what is about to happen. First, look for removals. If anything is to be removed, that is your first and primary sign of danger.

Thanks dibi. That's useful information. I probably ought to look again at the switches available for apt. Probably can run apt-get dist-upgrade with some switch (maybe -s) that would simulate the upgrade without actually doing it. Your response was helpful.

EDIT: Just looked at the man page for apt-get and see that the -d option is to download but not unpack or install. That's cool. Thanks for that tip.
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby arochester » 2017-01-06 16:25

@ticojohn

Probably can run apt-get dist-upgrade


Things a changing from apt-get to apt. Look closer at dibl's post...
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby ticojohn » 2017-01-06 19:51

arochester wrote:@ticojohn

Probably can run apt-get dist-upgrade


Things a changing from apt-get to apt. Look closer at dibl's post...


Ahh, thank you. My ignorance showing through once again.
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby shirish » 2017-01-06 19:58

dibl wrote:
3. Ctrl-Alt-F1 to the tty1 console, and log in as root.

Code: Select all
systemctl isolate multi-user.target


.....

Code: Select all
systemctl isolate graphical.target && exit




What are you doing with those systemctl commands, can you share in detail ?

I did see https://dynacont.net/documentation/linu ... _commands/
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-01-06 20:34

shirish wrote:What are you doing with those systemctl commands, can you share in detail ?

The first command disables the graphical environment and switches to the console (TTY).

The second command reverses that.

EDIT:
dibl wrote:Someone will soon post that this is not necessary.

IMO, that is not necessary :mrgreen:
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby dibl » 2017-01-06 20:52

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:IMO, that is not necessary :mrgreen:


:lol:
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby arochester » 2017-01-06 21:41

I'm puzzled! :?

Does :lol: mean dibl thinks the systemctrl commands are necessary or unnecessary?

Elucidate please! (For the sake of us ignoramuses).
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby wizard10000 » 2017-01-06 22:40

Gonna add to dibl's thoughts just a little.

Also a longtime Sid user, apt-listbugs has saved my backside a couple of times. By default it only reports serious and higher bugs but mine is configured to list important and higher. I get a bit more information and can make informed decisions about what apt is offering to do to my system.

apt-listbugs integrates well with gooey package managers too; out of the box what it does is after download and before install, it checks for bug reports on the packages it's about to install and reports the number and short description of any bug tagged serious or higher. You can install, abort, pin an earlier version, read the entire bug report, all kindsa stuff and unless you give the okay to install, nothing installs.

but dibl is absolutely right. If it doesn't look safe don't do it - wait until it does look safe :)
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Re: Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby dibl » 2017-01-06 23:00

arochester wrote:Elucidate please! (For the sake of us ignoramuses).


Ignoramuses running Debian are few and far between, and none on this thread (so far). :D

I do not know for a fact that leaving the xserver running with a user logged in will be a cause of damage during dist-upgrade/full-upgrade. However, I've been running sid since long before systemd was introduced, and under the sysv init system it was a written caution in all the sid-based distros to log out and shut down the X server before running dist-upgrade, to avoid damaging the GUI configuration, login manager, etc. Subsequently, I keep watching for the brave soul who can assure me there is no such risk with systemd, and except for unsubstantiated bold opinions, I haven't seen it. So, preferring my OS to remain undamaged, I take the cautious approach.
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Re: [SOLVED]Updates to Debian testing (->Stretch)

Postby cds60601 » 2017-12-14 04:54

dibl -

This is an outstanding write-up. I went through this last night going from 9.3 and it was flawless (took a long time, but flawless).
Thank you!!!

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