I have Squeeze 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:
A little research (aptitude why fuse-utils) showed that the package was
installed automatically as a dependency for ntfsprogs, which was only a
recommendation for another package. So I decided to be easy on myself
and purge both packages using dpkg. Except ntfsprogs uninstalled and
fuse-utils did not. At this point, I decided to risk a reboot, which
was successful. After that, I was able to purge fuse-utils using dpkg.
About this time I noticed that my network-manager applet had disappeared
and I had no connection. But I still had the network-manager-gnome.deb
file to reinstall. Except that after all of these updates, there were
two new files to download and I had no connection. This must be why I
just leave a cat5 cable plugged into my router! With a cabled
connection I was able to reinstall network-manager-gnome. After another
reboot I had my connection back.
I'm not entirely sure of the order of things, but another aptitude
update and aptitude upgrade found 65 packages that had been downloaded,
but not upgraded, and 3 that had been downloaded, but not installed.
That actually went fine, this time around. I also decided to uninstall
lilo, since the system was booting from grub. But lilo would not
uninstall because it could bot find the memtest86+ file. Huh?!?
Apparently, memtest86+ was only partially installed, so after
reinstalling it, I was finally able to uninstall lilo.
After all that I was able to install virtualbox-ose, which would not
install before the massive upgrade and was what reminded me that the
upgrade needed to be done.
The moral of the story: Don't let a testing system get that far out of
date. Too many packages all attempting to upgrade at once seems to be a
recipe for trouble.
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