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Old 12-15-2010, 03:39 PM
Osamu Aoki
 
Default dist upgrade nightmare!

Hi,

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:32:42AM -0500, Jude DaShiell wrote:
> I tried taking a friend's machine from lenny to squeeze and it
> turned into a disaster. As a consequence of the attempt his entire
> package update and repair systems are broken.

We know apt-get dist-upgrade usually works but sometimes we need little
action in advance. that is why we have release files.

> apt-get -f install
> can't fix anything and dpkg --configure -a can't fix anything
> anymore and as a consequence of those two acts, it's impossible to
> update his system. I can't even downgrade back to lenny! What I
> would like to know is if emergency procedures exist that can clear
> the mess out that these operations created and get the system back
> to some known state. I wouldn't mind this so much if the upgrade
> had simply failed but a system breaking like this where even though
> useable with the squeeze kernel on it is there nothing can be
> installed or uninstalled with apt-get and aptitude apparently got
> turned into a zombi placed in not fully installed or uninstalled or
> deferred status. If I had done this to my own computer that would
> be one thing, but this is a computer of a friend and I don't
> appreciate these tools for having ended up leaving this kind of
> damage.

There are many recovery options... But simple ones:

1. Boot from live CD and backup all the data you created!

Now you have 2 options to choose from.

2a. Boot from live CD/installer CD and make repair using chroot mounting
broken system and fixing it from base system.
2b. Make fresh install and make data reinstalled from backup.

2a needs good understanding of shell etc.
2b is simpler.

You should read:
2.6. Recovery from a broken system
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-reference/ch02.en.html#_recovery_from_a_broken_system

Osamu


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Old 12-15-2010, 08:32 PM
Chris Jones
 
Default dist upgrade nightmare!

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:32:42AM EST, Jude DaShiell wrote:

> I tried taking a friend's machine from lenny to squeeze and it turned
> into a disaster. As a consequence of the attempt his entire package
> update and repair systems are broken. apt-get -f install can't fix
> anything and dpkg --configure -a can't fix anything anymore and as
> a consequence of those two acts, it's impossible to update his
> system. I can't even downgrade back to lenny! What I would like to
> know is if emergency procedures exist that can clear the mess out that
> these operations created and get the system back to some known state.
> I wouldn't mind this so much if the upgrade had simply failed but
> a system breaking like this where even though useable with the
> squeeze kernel on it is there nothing can be installed or uninstalled
> with apt-get and aptitude apparently got turned into a zombi placed
> in not fully installed or uninstalled or deferred status. If I had
> done this to my own computer that would be one thing, but this is
> a computer of a friend and I don't appreciate these tools for having
> ended up leaving this kind of damage.

Hey Jude,

Sorry to hear about that.

Whether upgrading your own system or your friend's, the correct upgrade
procedure is as follows:

1. Clone your existing system to a new partition¹
2. Update your booloader so you have access the clone
2. Read the release notes, etc.
3. From the clone, run the update, upgrade, dist-upgrade procedure
4. Test the resulting system for a couple of days.
5. Delete the old system if you need to reclaim the disk space

In any case, there is _always_ a quick painless way to ‘downgrade back
to lenny’.. such as restoring from the full backup you made prior to
running the dist-upgrade.

As others have said, booting off a rescue disc and backing up anything
worth saving is still an option. Reinstalling and restoring the user
data shouldn't be difficult.

Cheers,

cj


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Old 12-15-2010, 11:38 PM
Rob Owens
 
Default dist upgrade nightmare!

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:32:42AM -0500, Jude DaShiell wrote:
> I tried taking a friend's machine from lenny to squeeze and it turned
> into a disaster. As a consequence of the attempt his entire package
> update and repair systems are broken. apt-get -f install can't fix
> anything and dpkg --configure -a can't fix anything anymore and as a
> consequence of those two acts, it's impossible to update his system. I
> can't even downgrade back to lenny! What I would like to know is if
> emergency procedures exist that can clear the mess out that these
> operations created and get the system back to some known state. I
> wouldn't mind this so much if the upgrade had simply failed but a system
> breaking like this where even though useable with the squeeze kernel on
> it is there nothing can be installed or uninstalled with apt-get and
> aptitude apparently got turned into a zombi placed in not fully installed
> or uninstalled or deferred status. If I had done this to my own computer
> that would be one thing, but this is a computer of a friend and I don't
> appreciate these tools for having ended up leaving this kind of damage.
>
If you can figure out what package is preventing 'dpkg --configure -a'
from running, you can try 'dpkg -r badpackage' to get rid of it. You
might find that you also need to remove the packages that depend on
"badpackage".

You might want to 'man dpkg' and get familiar with that tool.

-Rob


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Old 12-16-2010, 12:14 AM
Slicky Johnson
 
Default dist upgrade nightmare!

On Wed, 15 Dec 2010 10:32:42 -0500 (EST)
Jude DaShiell <jdashiel@shellworld.net> wrote:

> I tried taking a friend's machine from lenny to squeeze and it turned
> into a disaster. As a consequence of the attempt his entire package
> update and repair systems are broken. apt-get -f install can't fix
> anything and dpkg --configure -a can't fix anything anymore and as a
> consequence of those two acts, it's impossible to update his system.
> I can't even downgrade back to lenny! What I would like to know is
> if emergency procedures exist that can clear the mess out that these
> operations created and get the system back to some known state. I
> wouldn't mind this so much if the upgrade had simply failed but a
> system breaking like this where even though useable with the squeeze
> kernel on it is there nothing can be installed or uninstalled with
> apt-get and aptitude apparently got turned into a zombi placed in not
> fully installed or uninstalled or deferred status. If I had done
> this to my own computer that would be one thing, but this is a
> computer of a friend and I don't appreciate these tools for having
> ended up leaving this kind of damage.
>

Any chance you filled up a partition while bringing in the new
packages?



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Old 12-16-2010, 01:23 AM
Bob Proulx
 
Default dist upgrade nightmare!

Jude DaShiell wrote:
> I tried taking a friend's machine from lenny to squeeze and it
> turned into a disaster. As a consequence of the attempt his entire
> package update and repair systems are broken. apt-get -f install
> can't fix anything and dpkg --configure -a can't fix anything

Did you upgrade the kernel and reboot before upgrading the rest of the
system? I am guessing that you tried to do a full dist-upgrade all in
one pass. That is going to see a lot of problems because it doesn't
work.

Read this reference:

http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/i386/release-notes/ch-upgrading.en.html#minimal-upgrade

But this how-to-recover reference might help you now:

http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/i386/release-notes/ch-upgrading.en.html#how-to-recover

Bob
 

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