Monday, January 09, 2006

Impressive Debian Upgrade

I've previously posted about running Debian on my October 1994-era 90 MHz Pentium Quantex QP5/90 PM-3 with 80 MB RAM. I hadn't booted the box since June 2004. Today while reading a book on Debian I decided to try upgrading to Debian stable, also known as sarge or 3.1 at the moment.

When I started the process, this was my uname output:

Linux oates 2.4.18-1-386 #1 Wed Apr 14 17:34:59 UTC 2004 i586 GNU/Linux


This is all I had to do:

cat /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian sarge main non-free contrib
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US sarge/non-US main contrib non-free

# apt-get update

# apt-get --show-upgraded upgrade
Building Dependency Tree... Done
The following packages have been kept back:
honeyd libldap2 libopencdk8 lilo mutt
The following packages will be upgraded:
adduser apt apt-utils aptitude ash base-config base-files base-passwd bash
...edited...
util-linux wget whiptail zlib1g
125 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 5 not upgraded.
Need to get 42.9MB of archives.
After unpacking 4365kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]
...

# apt-get dist-upgrade
# apt-cache search kernel-image-2.4
...edited...
kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386 - Linux kernel image for version 2.4.27 on 386
kernel-image-2.4.27-2-586tsc - Linux kernel image for version 2.4.27 on Pentium-
Classic
kernel-image-2.4.27-2-686 - Linux kernel image for version 2.4.27 on PPro/Celero
n/PII/PIII/P4
...
# apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.27-2-386

At the end of the process I added a line to /etc/kernel-img.conf to address a warning I didn't need to see in the future.

echo "do_initrd = Yes" >> /etc/kernel-img.conf

When I was done, this was my uname output:

Linux oates 2.4.27-2-386 #1 Wed Aug 17 09:33:35 UTC 2005 i586 GNU/Linux
$ cat /etc/debian_version
3.1

These steps happened without any problems. I was prompted to answer a few questions along the way, but accepting the defaults in each case was sufficient. The process only took a few hours. I am very impressed. Debian seems like an excellent choice for ancient hardware.

3 comments:

jeraklo said...

...and a very good choice for keeping uptodate hunderds of stable production servers in large environments.

John Ward said...

Debian isn't the only choice for ancient hardware, and Debian is suited for more than ancient hardware. Maybe there was a reason that Nate was such a Debian maniac all those years ago =)

Apt is an awesome package manager, which is probably why it has been ported to different distros. It gives ports a run for its money, and I actually prefer Apt over ports (and the clone of ports that Gentoo uses).

Dad of Many said...

Have been a big fan of FBSD for the longest time. But when 4 ended and 5 started, there was a big shakeup in the bowels of BSD leadership and that made me a little more open to other options.

We brought a Linux expert on board at that time and he was a big fan of Debian. Decided to try it out with him looking over my shoulder when I needed help and I must say I am pretty much converted to Debian and derivatives (Ubuntu) now. APT is amazing. And having momentum and traction is a nice change from BSD..