Etch from scratch – upgrade

How much notification do you need before you upgrade your Debian system? Or, more specifically, certain packages on your Debian Etch system?

I subscribe to a number of newsletters and email announcement lists, and regularly read that various packages have new versions, or a security patch may have been made available. But what happens is that I make a mental note to upgrade my system, and it does not happen straight away or on any regular basis.

H has installed the Update Notifier, so he is reminded every time he logs on. If I am in the room, I get reminded too 🙂

I feel that I do need to take more care and act when I receive notification. But if everything is working, I am reluctant to twiddle with the computer system even though my past experience in upgrading packages has been positive. I keep a log of any changes made to my system, so it is not as if as I am relying on external sources to keep track. And H knows, that if he needs resources on my machine he can as long as he also records any changes in this log.

It really is easy to become root, and type:

apt-get update

followed by:

apt-get upgrade

So, I’m not sure why I can’t and don’t do it more regularly.

Since I installed Etch, any instance of apt-get upgrade has held back what appears to be mostly packages. For example, today thirteen packages were held back:

linux-image-2.6-486 python-uno

The list was never as long as this – it has grown. Instead of running apt-get update and apt-get upgrade periodically hoping that it will resolve itself, I’m wondering whether I should do something else?

I recognise that all the above packages are related to except for linux-image-2.6-486.

Instructions at Debian Managing Packages are relatively straight forward, but they do not allow (and cannot allow) for all the different versions of packages and security updates. I may just have to follow the recipe for investigating why packages are held back.

The good news is, the packages that were upgraded today have fixed the graphical system crashing when the login screen is displayed and I wiggle my mouse. I had forgotten about this problem as I have been avoiding visiting the graphical login screen and using poweroff. But it’s nice for it to be fixed so that I can exit elegantly from Xfce.


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