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#1 2019-04-15 01:03:47

nixer
Member
From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 71  

Migration from debian buster to devuan beowulf can work

I haven't read anything on a debian buster to devuan beowulf migration anywhere.  I was wondering if it was possible.  So, not having much to do today, I thought I would give it a try.  To my surprise, it did work, utilizing a minimal install.  It was not quite as simple as a single "apt dist-upgrade" command, but I did get it to work using a trial and error "path".  I do not claim this to be clean or as simple as it could be, like a jessie to jessie migration, or even a stretch to ascii migration.  I only wanted to report that it did work, and these are the steps on how it was done.  I have all the terminal output saved if anyone is interested in seeing, improving, or simplifying this method. 

This was done in virtualbox.  I installed the debian buster "testing" iso file (with firmwares) located at:
https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unof … 64/iso-cd/
I then connected to this VM through ssh so that I could copy from and paste into a terminal window.  This was easier than using the vm window.
From this debian install, I made only the following changes:
- installed net-tools, to display ip address

apt install net-tools

- export PATH to /root/.bashrc by adding:

export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin

I then started the migration to devuan:
- changed sources.list to devuan, left only the one beowulf main entry
- installed devuan-keyring with

dpkg -i devuan-keyring_2017.10.03

- then ran these commands:

apt update
apt upgrade
apt install eudev
apt -f install
apt install sysvinit
reboot
apt dist-upgrade

-altered /etc/network/interfaces file
change these two lines from,

allow-hotplug enp0s3
iface enp0s3 inet dhcp

-to-

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

-then updated grub to change Debian to Devuan

update-grub

- purge systemd with

apt remove systemd --purge
apt remove libnss-systemd --purge

apt install libelogind0

to see that all is well.

reboot

Finally, the command

dpkg -l | grep systemd

produces no output.  No systemd here!! 

I distinctly remember reading three or four years ago that the ability to migrate from a debian to devuan install may not be possible in the future.  I don't think that day is here, yet.

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#2 2019-04-15 11:47:21

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,230  

Re: Migration from debian buster to devuan beowulf can work

It looks like you were able to do an upgrade in devuan while running systemd. Is that correct? Did apt complain? Or did you install sysvinit first?

I then connected to this VM through ssh so that I could copy from and paste into a terminal window.  This was easier than using the vm window.

1+

Thanks for testing and for the nice write-up. It looks pretty easy. I've tried a few upgrades from ascii to beowulf, and those were easy.

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#3 2019-04-15 15:49:53

nixer
Member
From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 71  

Re: Migration from debian buster to devuan beowulf can work

It looks like you were able to do an upgrade in devuan while running systemd.

Actually, you may be are correct.  I did not notice that.  I think you are referring to the first "apt upgrade", yes that was while using systemd.  I thought that would only pull in the stuff that was not requiring systemd.  In total, there were only 10 or 12 packages pulled in.  I just had to find a good step by step so that apt could do it right.

fsr > In case you are interested, I will email you the note that I made of the steps and terminal output.  I finally got it to work one time and I did it again, step by step, to make sure that the steps were correct. 

I really was not expecting it to work at all.  Before this test, I also did a stretch to ascii migration and it was much easier.

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#4 2019-04-15 18:35:26

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,230  

Re: Migration from debian buster to devuan beowulf can work

Excellent! Thanks!

What I've done in the past was to install sysvinit-core and reboot in debian before switching to devuan.

fsr (Still waiting to hear of someone migrating a devuan install to debian.)

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#5 2019-09-23 09:29:01

FlibberTGibbet
Member
Registered: 2019-09-23
Posts: 1  

Re: Migration from debian buster to devuan beowulf can work

Thanks for the clear and comprehensive write-up.

It took a very similar set of steps to migrate a WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) Debian 10 install over to Beowulf. As I recall the other necessary step was to change a link to init to point at sysv's init, rather than the 'special' version that I think came with WSL. Amazingly, more or less everything else worked right away after the upgrade.

Rehabilitating WSL is a decidedly niche interest, but it's great for those of us who like a 'proper' shell and all the Linux goodies on a work-mandated Windows machine.

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