[SOLVED]Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

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[SOLVED]Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby geoffkaniuk » 2020-08-16 13:36

During my upgrade to buster, I encounter a huge number of packages held back. The following is a summary of progress so far:
sources.list: (/etc/apt/sources.list. d is empty)
Code: Select all
# UPGRADE FROM stretch TO buster
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main contrib
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main contrib
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ buster-updates main contrib
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ buster-updates main contrib
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ buster main contrib
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ buster main contrib

update and upgrade
Code: Select all
# apt update
  1449 packages can be upgraded
# apt-get upgrade
  752 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 697 not upgraded

I aborted the upgrade. In order to investigate, I simulated upgrade of one of the 697 held-back packages:
Code: Select all
# apt-get --simulate upgrade apache2
...
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.

The following information may help to resolve the situation:
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 feh : Depends: libcurl3 (>= 7.16.2) but it is not going to be installed
E: Broken packages

I do have scripts of all the output, if that is needed to resolve this. Hopefully I will not need to look at each held-back package!

What should I do to proceed?

EDIT
See follow-up in my reply to @CwF
Last edited by geoffkaniuk on 2020-08-18 11:31, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-08-16 13:40

It's always better to follow the official guide rather than just guess:

https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/ ... ng.en.html
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby cuckooflew » 2020-08-16 13:58

Your /etc/apt/sources.list might be relevant , and I guess that is what you show?
sources.list: (/etc/apt/sources.list. d is empty)

You say sources.list. d is empty, so that is fine, BUT, was it empty before you decided to upgrade ?, Do you have packages from other repositories or sources installed ?
And then as H_O_A_S say's
follow the official guide rather than just guess:

Also, don't leave us "just guessing", tell us what you things you did before upgrading, or trying to upgrade.EG: I see you changed the sources.list file, to buster,...but what did it have before you changed it ?
========================
Hopefully I will not need to look at each held-back package!

The following information may help to resolve the situation:
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
feh : Depends: libcurl3 (>= 7.16.2) but it is not going to be installed

Well, maybe you don't need to look at them all, but obviously you should look at the one that is suggested. "feh", and the dependencies
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby geoffkaniuk » 2020-08-16 17:20

Many thanks for your speedy response. This is much appreciated!
I have been meticulously following the official guide ! To answer the questions:

preparation:
  • Saved output from dpkg --get-selections.
  • Cleared /var/cache/apt with apt-get clean - now partial and lock are empty.
  • Purged wine as I was not fully happy with my original install.
  • Purged geany as the Debian version does not provide geany-plugin-debugger.
  • Created a bootable buster live image - just in case.
  • Switched off my processing of apticron updates so as not to interfere with upgrades.

sources
  • sources.list.d was empty before I started the upgrade.
  • new sources.list = old sources.list with 'stretch' replaced by 'buster'.
The only off-site installation were driver packages for My Brother printer:
Code: Select all
dcp1610wcupswrapper-3.0.1-1.i386.deb
dcp1610wlpr-3.0.1-1.i386.deb

This installed quite a number of libraries from the Debian repository.

examine feh mentioned in upgrade
Code: Select all
Package:          feh   dep: [i]libcurl4[/i] (>= 7.16.2)
get-selections:  [i]libcurl3: amd64 install[/i]

In my get-selections list I do not have libcurl4

I do have libc6 installed, and it depends only on libgcc1. So I thought it worthwhile to simulate its upgrade. In this case the upgrade would go through, but again with the same long list of held-back packages. The big difference was that the list of packages no longer required was larger(22) than in the minimal upgrade (17). I assume the details here are not relevant. Comparing output from minimal upgrade with simulated libc6 upgrade we get:

examine libc6
Code: Select all
#apt-get upgrade
  The following packages have been kept back:
  libc6 libc6:i386 libc6-dbg libc6-dev libc6-i386

# apt-get --simulate upgrade libc6
  The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libidn2-0:i386 libunistring2 libunistring2:i386

The following packages will be upgraded:
  libc6 libc6:i386 libc6-dbg libc6-dev libc6-i386

So does this mean that all the held-back packages will be resolved during apt full-upgrade?
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby cuckooflew » 2020-08-16 18:05

I think so, but maybe wait and see what others say as well, I am not a expert on this at all.
If you have made a good backup first, you can just fearlessly try doing the upgrade, and of course the backup is there if something goes wrong.
There is a lot of packages that get removed and new ones get installed, it is hard to impossible to keep track, I just click yes, when prompted, and keep going, do what it says to do if and when errors occur, and finally, when it done, great... Often a fresh install is easier, but you definitely need to make back up copies of the data you want to save, if you do a fresh install, it all gets over written. Either way, it is essential to make good backups.
Last edited by cuckooflew on 2020-08-16 21:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2020-08-16 18:52

Code: Select all
apt-get dist-upgrade
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-08-16 19:15

^ Ninja'd by d_l_n. :) What he posted but more over what Head_on said about following the docs. Its advised for someone to do a fresh install between major releases. Have long taken to doing it that way because its advice with obvious merit. Unless you have some good reason, better to take that route. You're likely to end up with a mangled install from the sounds of it. Still guess its a good learning opportunity too and harmless, esp if someone takes the precaution of making a backup beforehand.

Totally agree with the official docs on this, why risk using a subtly borked up OS? :)
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby geoffkaniuk » 2020-08-16 21:07

Thank you all for your considered comments. I have probably carried out a fresh install more often than an upgrade. Nevertheless, I have never experienced a major issue with Debian upgrade. I felt encouraged to upgrade on this occasion after reading the overview:
http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/a ... ut.en.html
3.1. Overview of the Installation Process
First, just a note about re-installations. With Debian, a circumstance that will require a complete re-installation of your system is very rare; perhaps mechanical failure of the hard disk would be the most common case.
...
Upgrades never require a wholesale installation; you can always upgrade in-place.
...
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-08-16 21:27

^ That's not in proper context. Author meant under most circumstances a user shouldn't need to re-install a Debian OS. Not speaking about upgrading between major releases. While your join date makes it clear you've been a nixer for like 10yrs, certainly shouldn't have serious issues with this whichever way you decide to go. Though not knowing the relevance of dist-upgrade vs upgrade doesnt exactly bode well... Ah either way am sure you'll work it out. Probably already have any important data backed up etc. So should be a no lose situation. :)
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Re: Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby CwF » 2020-08-16 21:48

geoffkaniuk wrote:With Debian, a circumstance that will require a complete re-installation of your system is very rare; perhaps mechanical failure of the hard disk would be the most common case.
...
Upgrades never require a wholesale installation; you can always upgrade in-place.
...

Yes, upgrade in place has worked for me every time. I think it is perfect context.
Since my last aptitude advice on buster, I've made a few bullseye's. This time I revamped some users, uniquified all uuid's, went through it with a fine pick and brush. All from my original Jessie install.
If you have the time to waste, it's easily possible. Eventually it takes a fraction of the time of a fresh install.
I do cheat using a vm of course, so infinite undo's. But basically, if it boots - no need to reinstall.
Without a capable machine to vm'ify the system in question, then advice becomes more conservative. The same upgrade could be done, but without the undo button.

Other than a hardware issue mentioned, only revamping/upgrading complex storage system require reinstall.
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Re: [SOLVED]Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby geoffkaniuk » 2020-08-18 11:34

Thanks @CwF for the confirmation! What surprised me was the kind of packages regarded as upgradable. For example, the applications gnumeric and gnuplot were listed, and the dependency tree of each of these is not small. One of the dependents listed in gnumeric was yelp, but yelp was not in the upgradeable list. It would be really nice to see a clear definition of upgradeable, and even more exciting to see a tree diagram of the Debian Package Forest!

Anyway, I checked that my stretch system was upto date, re-configured sources.list, and then went ahead with:
Code: Select all
# apt update
# apt-get upgrade
# apt full-upgrade
# apt install linux-image-amd64

Rebooted OK, and this means the in-place upgrade went through without a hitch!
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Re: [SOLVED]Many packages held back - (Upgrading to buster)

Postby CwF » 2020-08-18 12:22

geoffkaniuk wrote:and even more exciting to see a tree diagram of the Debian Package Forest!

It makes me want to restore an old 8/16 pen plotter and with some 'D' size paper make a few dependency graph plots with debtree and graphviz. Many forget those fun tools, I'll bet few have those packages installed. That would be days of fun! In the forest are a few 'aspen' groves, all one big organism - but more than one! And a few 'keystone' species!
geoffkaniuk wrote:Rebooted OK, and this means the in-place upgrade went through without a hitch!

Excellent! Have Faith! Most of the secret is simply having a clean sources.list and knowing it doesn't need to be the same static list for every step, forever.

BTW, 'bullseye' will be bigger change than 'buster' was from 'stretch'. The meta-packages in bullseye are not as complete, so rely on the keystones...
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