Dapper to Hardy in 23 painful hours

I I finally set about upgrading my home server1 from Dapper to Hardy yesterday. I had been hoping for a less traumatic experience then upgrading my desktop computer from Dapper to Gusty2. Unfortunately I once again ran into problems. First off, it’s been nearly a week since Hardy was officially released but when I tried to run the official upgrade tools they all initially told me I was running the latest version. According to the documentation, I should have been able to run either sudo do-release-upgrade or sudo update-manager but neither worked. I was only able to start the upgrade process by running sudo update-manager -d and my understanding is that “-d” tells the program to grab the latest development version. Weird, but oh well. Then the process just dragged on and on and on and on and on…. I eventually went to bed leaving it running. The only reason I stayed up as late as I did with it was the excellent book I was reading.

When I got up this morning, it was still running but was hung up on a question I needed to answer. I clicked through the question and a few more before heading off to work. When I got home, again the upgrade was hung up on a question. I worked my way through answering all the questions and let the upgrader do its job. Unfortunately the upgrader eventually failed on these packages: gnome-applets-data, gnome-applets, ubuntu-desktop and update-manager. I clicked through the errors and then the upgrader said:

Could not install the upgrades
The upgrade aborts now. Your system could be in an unusable state. A recovery will run now (dpkg –configure -a).

I clicked ok to the error, something flashed up and then the upgrader died/vanished/went away. I tried running:

  • sudo aptitude update but it sat there for far too long for my sleep deprived and impatient self.
  • sudo aptitude upgrade, only it said there wasn’t anything to upgrade.
  • sudo aptitude autoclean, *shrug* it's part of my standard script for updating my systems.
  • sudo aptitude dist-upgrade, only it said there wasn’t anything to upgrade.
  • sudo dpkg --configure -a, it said there were unconfigured packages but it couldn’t fix them automagically. It mostly complained about gnome-applets-data.

I ended up running sudo aptitude install gnome-applets-data gnome-applets ubuntu-desktop update-manager and that fixed up those errors no problem. For giggles of insanity I tried running sudo aptitude -s -f install to see what else might be left to update3. It found another 111 packages it wanted to remove but some of them I want to keep, so I’ll have to look into that more closely. Most likely all these errors were caused by my own foolishness, as at one point I was testing some stuff out on the machine and enabled some 3rd party repositories to install unsupported apps. *blech* I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. I was able to reboot the machine and connect to it via SSH and SMB, but HTTP seems to be broken at the moment. *bugger* Apache is one of the packages sudo aptitude -s -f install wanted to remove. I guess looking into that just got bumped up my priority list.

1 An old Dell Dimension desktop with a PII-400 CPU and 256 MB of RAM.
2 Never fear, Fritz (my desktop PC) is next on my list of machines to upgrade.
3 More accurately, I found some instructions when upgrading my desktop from Dapper to Gusty that recommended doing that to ensure all apps got updated.

3 Comments

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Sometimes you have to ride the waves where they take you. Keep a list of what major apps you had running (like apache), and if it uninstalls them during the upgrade, reinstall them after. As long as you don’t –purge remove any apps, you should be in fairly good shape.

Even linux systems get crufty. Sometimes you just have to back up and start fresh. I certainly did on our server, when I moved from Debian Sid to Ubuntu Gutsy.

Yup defintely looks like apache is going to need a reinstall. I wrote up this post in part as I was so dang grumpy about the upgrade and in part for me to keep track for when I upgrade this machine again after the next LTS release comes out. I’ll be posting follow-ups to what I had to do to get everything working properly in the comments here if you’re interested.

Ended up reinstalling Apache, PHP & MySQL in order to get things working correctly again. Of course, this was after running the force install which actually removed somewhere around 111 packages rather than installing anything. *sigh* But at least now everything seems to be working as it should be on that machine.

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