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Debian Squeeze upgrade on my work Desktop
Posted by simonw on Fri 21 Jan 2011 at 12:24
Tags: none.
Decided I wanted a later OpenOffice (LibreOffice?) version and figured Squeeze was a good way to get it.

Disk space was tight, so plugged external USB for the upgrade to hold the /var/cache/apt/archives as per Release Notes. Install took a lot more disk space than anticipated by apt-get. Basically if you don't have 5GB+ or so free forget it. The release notes have lots of good tips on removing stuff and cleaning up space, ultimately to make it work I needed another disk drive.

When it finally completed I couldn't login. Got repeatedly hangs after the disk icon appears following the login on "kdm", after trying various things established that Xorg was enabling GLX for my graphics card, and this

description: VGA compatible controller
product: KM400/KN400/P4M800 [S3 UniChrome]
vendor: VIA Technologies, Inc.

Section "Module"
Disable "glx"

Okay cheap and nasty graphics card, but I took great delight in not having an xorg.conf file in Lenny.

KDE4 desktop looks very different, so my productivity is not good today and my instincts are "argh give me the old look back". The search thing I could get to like, a command line on steroids for running programs. Hopefully it will eventually learn what I run (no signs of that yet). Kmail crashes and disk space issues seem to have given me several copies of all my new email (time to move it all to the IMAP server I think).

Akonadi decided it is putting my KAb address book in MySQL (as I use Kmail at work) I assume, and ate all my remaining free disk space whilst doing it, and then stopped.

Tracking down the issue with the GLX took longer than it should have, as the errors reported were all things like "ksmserver could not start". I suspect my box is massively underpowered for KDE4 (probably need a new employer to sort that).

Rest of upgrade went fine aside from perpetually needing more disk space.


Comments on this Entry

Re: Debian Squeeze upgrade on my work Desktop
Posted by daemon (146.231.xx.xx) on Fri 21 Jan 2011 at 20:10
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I've also been playing with squeeze over the last couple of weeks. I've found server upgrades basically painless, except for a couple of upgrades that mangle things like config files (snmpd, I'm looking at you!). OK, mangle is a bit strong, but it does seem to just replace a carefully crafted snmpd.conf with a new one.

Postgresql also had it's own issues, with the migration from 8.3 to 8.4, which was compounded by UIDs and GIDs randomly changing (although that was, I think, my own fault due to a mismatch from the production machine I was using as a template, and the liveCD I used for the rsync target prior to the actual upgrade -- a few `chown` runs and I was back up and running nicely).

Desktop wise, I also had an issue with KDM, where it would return directly to the login screen after entering a username and password. I can't remember what caused that, but I do remember that it only took a couple of minutes to figure out. As I'm using an nvidia card, with two monitors, I still needed an xorg.conf, but that was as simple as keeping the old one.

To be honest, I did the desktop dist-upgrade before I read the docs (ever impatient ;) and so didn't upgraded my kernel and udev before everything else. I have the feeling that I was very lucky here, as the only issue that I saw was a half upgraded kde, and (re)installing kdebase fixed that, as far as I can tell.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with squeeze. KDE4 will take some getting used to, but I've tweaked it to be pretty damn close to my current 3.5 look and feel. The only thing that flat out doesn't work, is that if I have installed, OOo simply fails to run, leaving me with repeated "document recovery" wizards. The wizard appears to work, but then OOo flashes up for a split second, and crashes. If I uninstall, then OOo works without a hitch, it just doesn't looks fugly and doesn't fit in. But I can live with that for now, as I will probably move to LibreOffice soon anyhow. I do like the built in effects though...

So, bearing in mind that it's still a week or so away from being released, I give it 97% for desktop (but read the upgrade docs first ;) and if it wasn't for snmpd (which also recreated it's UID/GID pair which messed up some automated scripts), I'd give it 100% for servers.

I've had to provision some new hardware over the last two weeks, which couldn't wait for February, and I've been happy enough to run squeeze in production on those, and three other upgraded boxes.


[ Parent ]

Re: Debian Squeeze upgrade on my work Desktop
Posted by ajt (195.145.xx.xx) on Mon 24 Jan 2011 at 10:03
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I always run testing on my home desktop, but stable on my servers and family machines. As a result the new version isn't a surprise to me - though the KDE3 to KDE4 changes will be fore everyone else...

So far I've actually upgraded one VM machine from Lenny to Squeeze. It's a console only system, no X but I use it daily so it needs to work. I copied the VM file system so I could roll back if I needed, but the upgrade was painless and surprisingly quick. It took up a bit more space than the original but not too much - so for all new software that's pretty good going. The only issue I have to sort is one non LSB SysV init script.

"It's Not Magic, It's Work"

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