Upgrading Debian 5 to Debian 6

POSTED IN m2m Blog, News 5.12.2010

Yesterday we tested the upgrade path of a Debian 5.06 desktop to Debian 6.0. The main interest was to see how the new system would boot and what would happen to the encrypted root partition formatted with Ext4 (the desktop ran a custom 2.6.36 kernel). The whole process took about three hours, most of it was due to the download of the packages. The upgrade itself went smoothly, but took about an hour as well (because of big packages such as OpenOffice and TeXLive).

There is one issue to report. The update replaced the grub 0.97 package with the new grub 2 package. Since the root file system uses thedata=writeback option it was necessary to insert the appropriate rootflags boot parameter. Another problem was that the Ext4 driver was compiled as module and would not be loaded in time to mount the / partition. The system tried to mount it as Ext3 which failed due to specific Ext4 options present. The resulting error message was: couldn’t mount because of unsupported optional features (40) Booting a Grml live CD and recreating the init RAM disk image with mkinitramfs reenabled the / partition after boot. This is not a serious bug, and it stems from the non-standard setup of running Debian 5 with Ext4.

Apart from minor changes and some adaptions everything works fine. The system runs faster, it boots faster and awaits further tests.

Comments are closed.