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Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
Chapter 8 - Keeping your Debian system up-to-date

A Debian goal is to provide a consistent upgrade path and a secure upgrade process. We always do our best to make upgrading to new releases a smooth procedure. In case there's some important note to add to the upgrade process, the packages will alert the user, and often provide a solution to a possible problem.

You should also read the Release Notes document that describes the details of specific upgrades. It is shipped on all Debian CDs and available on the WWW at

8.1 How can I upgrade my Debian 1.3.1 (or earlier) distribution, based on libc5, to 2.0 (or later), based on libc6?

There are several ways to upgrade:

  • Following closely the Debian libc5 to libc6 Mini-HOWTO and upgrade the most important packages by hand. is based on this Mini-HOWTO, so this method should work more or less like using
  • Using a libc5-based apt. APT stands for Advanced Package Tool, and it might replace dselect some day. Currently, it works just as a command-line interface, or as a dselect access method. You will find a libc5 version in the dists/slink/main/upgrade-older-i386 directory at the Debian archives.
  • Using just dselect, without upgrading any package by hand first. It is highly recommended that you do NOT use this method if you can avoid it, because dselect alone currently does not install packages in the optimal order. APT works much better and it is safer.

Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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