Upgrading your VPS from Debian 5 to Debian 6

Recently there’s been released an upgraded version of the popular Debian GNU/Linux distribution, from Debian version 5 to version 6, otherwise known of Debian “Lenny” to “Squeeze”.

The following is a step-by-step guide for Network Presence customers on upgrading their Debian 5 aka “Lenny” VPS to Debian 6 (Squeeze). Please contact us if you have any problems performing this upgrade or if you’d like us to do it for you, which we’re most happy to do.

Step 1: Backup your VPS. Ask us to do so for you if you’d like.

Step 2: Update your /etc/apt/sources.list file and change any word “lenny” to “squeeze”.
After that, your sources.list file may look something like:
deb http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian squeeze main non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main non-free

If anything lists “stable”, that’s ok, as the Debian ‘stable’ repo is now Squeeze/Deb 6 anyway.

Step 3: Run apt-get update after the above sources.list change.

Step 4: Run apt-get install apt dpkg as this gets the Squeeze versions of the Packaging s/ware installed, which we use next.

Step 5: Run apt-get install grub-legacy

Step 6: Run “rm -f /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub” as that file is no longer req’d in this VPS context.

Step 7: Run apt-get dist-upgrade – this performs the upgrade of all currently install Debian packages and can take some time to complete, with various prompts, one of which is noted below.

Note: During the install of the “grub-pc” package, do not select/check the box which selects your VPS’ disk drive (/dev/sda1 at a “GRUB install devices”) and allow install/upgrades to continue without installing GRUB.

Note: The grub-pc install may error, which is fine & you can select to continue the upgrade process within installing grub-pc.

Note: Do allow the dist-upgrade process to update your /etc/fstab file.

Step 8: Re-run apt-get install grub-legacy

Step 9: Check that your /boot/grub/menu.lst file does refer to the new kernel version. ie: Kernel 2.6.32-5-xen is Squeeze’ kernel.


title Debian Squeeze, kernel 2.6.32-5-xen
root (hd0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-xen console=hvc0 root=/dev/xvda1 ro
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-xen

title OLD Debian Lenny, kernel 2.6.26-2-xen
root (hd0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-xen console=hvc0 root=/dev/sda1 ro
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.26-2-xen

Step 10: Contact us, as we need to change a setting for your VPS startup procedure to reflect the change in Debian’s ‘virtual disk’ names from Debian 5 to 6.

Step 11: Reboot to run up the Squeeze kernel. Please contact us if you have any problems, as we’re most happy to help.


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