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#1 2018-08-12 13:07:21

fred43
Member
Registered: 2018-08-03
Posts: 7  

Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

The DE is:

lightdm with libpam-elogind, a partial xfce4-desktop  and the exim4-light-daemon


Warning:

If you are in a hurry - don't do it! Read any output from 'aptitude' very carefully when it presents you with alternatives to work around dependency problems.

IMPORTANT: You have to be familiar with a testing-branch but a degree in rocket science is not required.


My Motivation for doing it:

Using Debian-testing for *many* years I suddenly had that "bee in the bonnet" to move a Devuan-stable to the testing branch. My present Debian-testing (with sysv-init) is actually my main OS but I started feeling a bit uncomfortable since consolkit-1 got dropped by the Debian-Team and with no elogind and friends in sight to replace it.


Preamble:

This is not a HowTo Document rather a collection of comments and tips to get the job done in one way or another (makeshift aproach). Moving a DE from stable (ascii) to testing (beowulf) is presently a *fairly* clumsy business. The emphasis is on *moving* a DE.

Now lets get this out of our way. Right now, merged/beowulf and merged/ceres is not functioning the same way as the Debian buster and sid branches. It seems that Devuan specific packages are not trickling down fast enough from experimental to unstable to testing. I can well imagine that the Devuan-Project just simply does not have the resources and manpower to do it any faster.

For that very reason one can't just do an apt-get dist-upgrade! For a DE you need devuan-branded 'policykit-1' and 'consolekit and friends' or 'libpam-elogind and friends'. These packages are presently simply *not* available in beowulf or ceres.


Now let's start.

The tools I used are aptitude (ncurses bases package manager which in IMHO is a bit cleverer in working out dependeny-problems as apt-get) and orphaner (an alternative for finding unused packages) from the deborphan package.

I reduced the DE (in my case, xfce4) but left lightdm and the mailserver (apt-listchanges) installed.

I recommend to make a backup of the root-partition.

Changed in the /etc/apt/sources.list the word 'ascii' to 'beowulf' and created a file /etc/apt/preferences.d/avoid_some_beo with the following content:

  Package: policykit-1
  Pin: release a=beowulf
  Pin-Priority: -1

  Package: libpolkit-agent-1-0
  Pin: release a=beowulf
  Pin-Priority: -1 

  Package: libpolkit-backend-1-0
  Pin: release a=beowulf
  Pin-Priority: -1

  Package: libpolkit-gobject-1-0
  Pin: release a=beowulf
  Pin-Priority: -1

and then I issued the command: apt-get update


Remember "apt-get dist-upgrade" does give you a hosed system. If you don't believe me try it with the -s switch and then you will notice that the new debian-branded policykit-1 will be installed which in turn uninstalls the devuan-branded vital stuff (ie libpolkit-backend-elogind-1-0).

Now I started from the terminal (as root) the application aptitude and then I pressed: U for Upgrade.

aptitude then told me that it has got a dependency problem. In response to it, press: e and cycle through the 2 or 3 different solutions to the dependency-problem.

Accept the one where policykit-1 will not be upgraded and libpolkit-backend-elogind-1-0 and friends will be left in place (not wiped out).

Press: g and inspect the displayed list for correctness and confirm the correctness by pressing g again otherwise cancel pending action.

After completion of the upgrade under the heading "Obsolete and Locally Created Packages", I did find libpam-elogind and friends. This confirms that apparently all went well, in other words the vital ascii based devuan-branded packages did make the migration.

Then I closed aptitude and used orphaner to tell me which packages orphaner thinks are obsolete and I recorded the name of these packages on a piece of paper.

After closing orphaner and starting aptitude again I then carefully removed the *truly* obsolete packages and landed with the following list in aptitude:

elogind, eudev, libpam-elogind, clearlook-phenix-darkpurpy-themes, gnome-icon-theme-extras,
linux-image-4.9.0.7-amd64, libelogind0, libeudev1, libpolkit-backend-elogind-1-0,
libpolkit-gobject-elogind-1-0, libuper-glib1 and darkpurpy-icon-theme.

Then I closed aptitude again.

In order to reflect the fact that this is a Devuan and not a Debian-Distro make changes to the following files in the /etc directory: devuan_verson, issue, issue.net and os-release. 

I issued the command: update-grub

and then rebooted the OS - and all worked!!! Mind you, the command su behaves differently (had to read the mail which apt-listchange generated for me). BTW, gksu is gone because Debian ditched it but pkexec works

I reinstalled the print-server (no problem during the install and is fully functional) and then pulseaudio. There is however a slight initial problem with pulseaudio! I had to edit the file /etc/pulse/client.conf.d/00-disable-autospawn.conf as per instruction inside that file and pulseaudio works now perfectly.

Note: As I use eth0, I can't tell you if the wifi-packages will function properly. Personally, ignoring network-manager, I don't see a reason why they should not work.


My final ramblings:

My beowulf-system seems to run fine. I know, its early days but I must admit I expected it to be worse. My "Beowulf Desktop Environment" has 11 Devuan packages from ascii, 6 from beowulf and the rest is *pure* Debian buster.

Will I keep this installation? Most probably I will but let's wait and see if the beowulf-branch develops towards a more functional state of affairs, in other words in a less makeshift migration setup. I personally do not like the idea to have *vital* packages borrowed from the ascii-branch but with a bit of pinning etc it can be controlled. BTW, I re-activated the ascii-branch but gave it a very low preference except for the presently vital ascii-packages.

My  thanks to the Devuan devs, testers and bug-reporters for providing a good OS without the systemd octopus. I tip my hat!

Last edited by fred43 (2018-09-11 14:03:50)

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#2 2018-09-09 10:34:09

fred43
Member
Registered: 2018-08-03
Posts: 7  

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

A follow up:

A month later I can report that Beowulf is now my main OS. No deal breakers, it just runs without any nasty surprises.

The install is now a fully functional Digital Audio Workstation beside a fairly conventional Desktop Environment install. On a side-note, I personally find it easier to maintain a "testing-os" instead of a "stable-os with backports" which in turn has got its own problems when stable changes to old-stable.

The actual migration is still clumsy as the Devuan-Developers have not yet done anything to make the upgrading easier for the DE-users. No kudos for that, however the critical packages from the Ascii-branch do work in Beowulf! After a successful migration with a bit of pinning and by putting some packages on hold the Beowulf-Installation is easy to maintain.

I think the migration to Beowulf is well worth the effort.

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#3 2018-09-11 17:29:22

willbprogz227
Member
From: Beautiful Pacific Northwest US
Registered: 2018-09-06
Posts: 23  
Website

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

Great post, thank you for it! smile


Blessed and forgiven! big_smile

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#4 2018-09-12 02:57:05

willbprogz227
Member
From: Beautiful Pacific Northwest US
Registered: 2018-09-06
Posts: 23  
Website

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

Thanks to this post, I'm back on Devuan Beowulf from Linux Mint!  Hooray! big_smile


Blessed and forgiven! big_smile

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#5 2018-09-12 03:31:12

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,309  

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

Indeed.  Welcome home.

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#6 2018-09-12 13:28:10

fred43
Member
Registered: 2018-08-03
Posts: 7  

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

willbprogz227, whoow.... that I call determination. Congrats!

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#7 2018-10-24 22:44:41

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 912  

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

I just did this a few days ago. Thanks for blazing a trail. It seems to be getting easier. Here's what I did -

Installed Refracta 9 (ascii with xfce installed a la carte, lxdm, elogind)
Added beowulf main repo to sources.list. Did not disable ascii repos.
Pinned policykit-1 and its libraries to the ascii versions.
Then ran apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
Installed the 4.18 kernel, ran apt-get autoremove (only 3 or 4 packages got removed)
Rebooted.

It seems to be working. Shutdown/reboot buttons work in desktop and login screen. Mount/unmount removable drives on the desktop works. And I just got out of a video conference in chromium, so camera and mic are working, too.

Here's the pin file I used:

Package: policykit-1
Pin: version 0.105-18* 
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: libpolkit-agent-1-0
Pin: version 0.105-18*
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: libpolkit-backend-1-0
Pin: version 0.105-18*
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: libpolkit-gobject-1-0
Pin: version 0.105-18*
Pin-Priority: 1001

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#8 2018-10-25 18:42:34

willbprogz227
Member
From: Beautiful Pacific Northwest US
Registered: 2018-09-06
Posts: 23  
Website

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

fsmithred wrote:

I just did this a few days ago. Thanks for blazing a trail. It seems to be getting easier. Here's what I did -

Thank you so much for this! smile  I'm going to try this later today and see how it goes.


Blessed and forgiven! big_smile

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#9 2018-10-26 11:06:05

dxrobertson
Member
Registered: 2017-05-04
Posts: 99  

Re: Tips for successfully migrating Ascii DE to Beowulf as of 11-08-2018

Thanks to all who posted their instructions.  I have now successfully upgraded 2 PCs to Beowulf.  I started out with my own personal minimal XFCE install, but results are similar.


Added beowulf to sources.list:

deb http://us.deb.devuan.org/merged beowulf main non-free contrib

Created /etc/apt/preferences.d/beowulf with contents from fsmithred's pin:

fsmithred wrote:

Here's the pin file I used:

Package: policykit-1
Pin: version 0.105-18* 
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: libpolkit-agent-1-0
Pin: version 0.105-18*
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: libpolkit-backend-1-0
Pin: version 0.105-18*
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: libpolkit-gobject-1-0
Pin: version 0.105-18*
Pin-Priority: 1001

Then ran apt-get update
Then apt-get dist-upgrade



I had no sound on one of my machines that uses pulse.  Debain seems to have changed pulse to be inited via systemd, there is mention in the notes to change the respawn if not using systemd.  This will no doubt be a new change for Devuan to handle.  Edit /etc/pulse/client.conf.d/00-disable-autospawn.conf:

# On linux systems, disable autospawn by default
# If you are not using systemd, comment out this line
#DXRautospawn=no

Another odd problem I had is that the XFCE desktop would randomly sometimes take minutes to appear.  This delay occurs after the LightDM login.  At the LightDM login screen I changed from Default Xsession to Xfce session and ran a few tests and the delay does not "seam" to occur (still testing).  From looking at the lightdm.log and seat0-grater.log, there are differences in the processing, and the delay can be seen in the logs on the Default Xsession runs.

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