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Old 12-30-2010, 05:14 AM
Marc Shapiro
 
Default Trouble upgrading Squeeze

I have Sqeeze on my laptop and have not done an upgrade in quite some
time. Today there were 459MB of updates to DL. I said OK to the
upgrade and the download went just fine. Then the actual update
began. I got a message about lilo and large memory usage. The laptop
is only a couple years old, so I answered 'Yes' to let it use the
large memory option and rerun lilo. So far, so good. The update
continued and I went to do other things. This was going to take a
while. When I came back, nothing was happening on the screen. The
computer was not locked, but the update had ground to a halt with
several messages from syslogd which I should have copied down, but
didn't. My bad. I tried to Ctl-C out of aptitude. If I remember
correctly, that was successful, but when I tried to restart aptitude I
got a message that it had not finished configuring packages (what a
surprise) and I should run:

dpkg --configure -a

I did so, and it continued for a while, then hung up with the message:

Setting up fuse-utils (2.8.4-1.1) ...
creating fuse group...
udev active, skipping device node creation.

I was unable to Ctl-C out of this and closed the xterm and restarted
it. I then tried to rerun the above dpkg command, but had to remove
the lock file first. I have run the dpkg command several times, now.
Sometimes I have needed to remove the lock file, and sometimes not.
Each time it has configured a few files, then attempted to configure
fuse-utils and gotten stuck. The last time, it went straight to
setting up fuse-utils. Maybe everything else is done?

Now I am afraid to power down and reboot, since it presumable updated
lilo back at the beginning, but I notice that after that, it tried to
install grub, but perhaps did not succeed, since after finding the
kernel and initrd the next line was the single word 'Killed'.

Is it safe to reboot? If not, what should I do to get the system back
into a stable state? Since this is a netbook, I don't have a floppy,
or CD drive to boot a rescue disk from, so I really need to be
confident that it will boot up. It is running OK now, but a reboot
has me worried.

Any help?

Marc


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Old 12-30-2010, 08:09 AM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Trouble upgrading Squeeze

Marc Shapiro wrote:
> Today there were 459MB of updates to DL.

With /only/ 459MB it can't have been that long since your last
upgrade. :-)

> I was unable to Ctl-C out of this and closed the xterm and restarted it.

If you can't kill a program then simply closing the window is unlikely
to kill it either. Next time this happens to you look to see if the
process is still running with ps.

$ ps -efH | less +/dpkg

If a program is still running and you need it to stop then you can
send signals its way to kill it.

$ kill $PROCESS_ID_NUMBER

> I then tried to rerun the above dpkg command, but had to remove
> the lock file first.

And then check that it actually was killed. I think in your case it
was still running.

I am not saying it is a good idea to kill dpkg and apt processes this
way. But I think that is better than thinking they are killed by
closing a window and having them still actually running.

> I have run the dpkg command several times, now.
> Sometimes I have needed to remove the lock file, and sometimes not.

That isn't good.

I wonder why you were having such trouble. Perhaps you were running
out of virtual memory on your netbook? If so then adding a swap file
might help you in the future. Assuming that is the problem and not
something else.

How much ram do you have? How much virtual memory total (with swap)?

> If not, what should I do to get the system back into a stable state?
> Since this is a netbook, I don't have a floppy, or CD drive to boot
> a rescue disk from, so I really need to be confident that it will
> boot up. It is running OK now, but a reboot has me worried.

Can you boot from the USB? In that case as a fallback plan I would
put together a USB boot of a rescue system such as the
debian-installer. The d-i has a rescue mode available. Then in the
worst case if you can't boot you can boot to rescue mode and repair
your system. Or use a different USB boot system for rescue and repair
such as KNOPPIX or whatever.

I don't have any great references but lacking anything else you could
start looking here:

http://wiki.debian.org/BootUsb

Bob
 

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