[kwlug-disc] why would you do "apt-get dist-upgrade" regularly?

Eric Gerlach eric+kwlug at gerlach.ca
Sat Aug 15 08:33:07 EDT 2009

dist-upgrade, it's not just for upgrading distributions anymore!

dist-upgrade is a misnomer.  The term is being deprecated from aptitude.
They're moving to:

upgrade -> safe-upgrade
dist-upgrade -> full-upgrade

It's a bad name.  dist-upgrade means "upgrade everything" (to put it
*very* simply).



On Sat, Aug 15, 2009 at 05:21:14AM -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   this weekend's project is to pore over the debian package management
> docs to the point where i stop asking dumb questions, but here's
> something i ran across i'd like to clarify.
>   a web page i tripped over (can't lay hands on it right now) claimed
> that you should run "apt-get dist-upgrade" on a regular basis -- once
> a month, don't let it go more than two months.  but why?  i can
> certainly appreciate running "apt-get upgrade" regularly but, as i
> read it, the whole point of "dist-upgrade" is to move you to the next
> official major release.
>   so what effect would that have once you've done it *once*?  once
> you've dist-upgraded, why would running it again have any effect,
> unless you've changed your /etc/apt/sources.list to refer to the
> *next* release?  (something that web page never mentioned.)
>   in my situation, on a sarge (3.1) system, i edited
> /etc/apt/sources.list, changed it to refer to etch (4.0), and did a
> dry-run test:
>   # apt-get --dry-run dist-upgrade
> so i could see what would happen -- about 200 packages would be
> upgraded.  so now i know.  but once i do that dist-upgrade, if i don't
> change /etc/apt/sources.list any further, would running that command
> again make any difference?  i don't understand how, unless it
> incorporates a *regular* upgrade, but then i'd just recommend to do a
> *regular* upgrade periodically.
>   thoughts?
> rday
> --
> ========================================================================
> Robert P. J. Day                               Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA
>         Linux Consulting, Training and Annoying Kernel Pedantry.
> Web page:                                          http://crashcourse.ca
> Twitter:                                       http://twitter.com/rpjday
> ========================================================================
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