Etch to Lenny

If you have done a few Etch to Lenny in place upgrades then you will know this isnt entirely straight forward. My most recent upgrade was a production VPS, and i jot a few notes below...


Do the usual things, full backup, change your apt sources.list then

aptitude update


At this point new apt source integrity checksum issues surface. Errors like:

W: GPG error: lenny Release: The following signatures couldn`t be verified ... etc


The way i resolved this was to manually update the keys using

apt-key update


Then its recomended to first upgrade apt, although ive havent always done this:

aptitude install apt dpkg aptitude


Finally, lenny has changed the upgrade syntax from   dist-upgrade to full-upgrade:

aptitude full-upgrade


For me the upgrade went OK except:

  • sarge-etch used to tell you to reboot to bring the new kernal in. Etch to lenny doesnt, it just stops. But a reboot, then another full-upgrade does download and install more stuff. I think i did three reboots altogether, before it looked finished.
  • in my case three packages gave `what-to-do-about` type dialogs. ttysecure, dovecot and apache. All three revolved around updated config file syntax. This is a quandary, because on a production box, you need your old config customisations, but you also probably need the new config for the new package. One of the options it gives you is D to view the differences. In two of the cases the differences were significant. I accepted the new config for dovecot and ttysecure, but chose to keep my apache config. See more below. You made a full backup before the upgrade right? So manually edit dovecot to add back in your tweaks to   the new file.


Viirtual hosts issues*

However with apache a few changes in the way things are done in lenny prevented apache starting.

1. latest apache has a default VirtualHost entry in


    So if you have an existing /etc/apache2/conf.d/virtual.conf delete it.

    Presence of the duplicate results in virtual host errors.

2. VirtualHost directives now must have a port number


    NameVirtualHost *:80

    <virtualhost *:80>


In frustration i decided to start again with apache:

apt-get --purge remove apache2 apache2-common

mv /etc/apache2 /etc/apache2-etch

aptitude install apache2 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mysql php5-gd


Then copied over my old virtual host config, then fixed the virtual host issues, a2ensite`d all the hosts, and it was then good to go. Note that youll have to go back and copy any apache conf tweaks you had like keepalivetimeout, max-keepaliverequest and timeout.

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