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#1 2020-04-24 08:12:51

Registered: 2020-04-22
Posts: 89  

Preliminary notes on migration from Ubuntu 18.04 to Beowulf

I've just recently migrated a machine from Ubuntu Mate 18.04 to Devuan Beowulf Xfce. It was quite a challange but very rewarding indeed. I now have a fully functional Devuan Beowulf Xfce install running with threaded network, Samba and more.

I'd like to put together a small guide for this, since there hopefully are more Ubuntu users that might want to do this. (I have no previous experience with Debian at all, but with Ubuntu since 2007. And Arch for a while)

But initially I have some thoughts about the information I gathered.
I mainly tried to follow two sources, here: … e-to-ascii
and here:

Both those two sources start from a Debian install, not Ubuntu, which is of course as it should be. But it might give some problems along the way. On the one hand, as an Ubuntu user, you're used to the structure of repos and sources.list, and apt/aptitude/synaptic. On the other hand, Debian differs on some points like; it seems that apt can do different things on Debian vs Ubuntu, and definitely that the Debian repos you might have from the start differs from the Ubuntu repos you have (it's a given of course).

Thoughts about the guide Migrate to ASCII (link above):
If you are an Ubuntu 18.04 user, which should be fairly common since it's LTS, there are big differences compared to a Debian Jessie or Stretch install. The init system for one, and the contents of the repos for another. So some commands are not possible like update-rc.d and I don't think you can install sysvinit-core from the Ubuntu repos anymore. I got stuck on installing the keyring, which was a bummer.  It was this command:

"apt-get install devuan-keyring --allow-unauthenticated"

that just didn't work. As I remember the Ubuntu version of apt didn't recognize "--allow-unauthenticated".

So then I found the second thread  here on this forum (link above) and could download the keyring deb-file and install it. That was the key smile and I could continue as outlaid in the thread. Pretty much anyway.

At the start I made sure I had Xfce installed and running. I also made sure I had the package ifupdown installed. I kept lightdm, since it has a good history with Xfce. Then I edited sources.list and entered the Beowulf repo "main" only. And the process started. There were several "aptitude -f install" quite a few in fact. Very fun and challenging actually! smile

Based on my experience migrating from 18.04 to Beowulf I've started to form a small newbie guide in theory, as a work in progress. It would start something like this (just an outline/synopsis):

* Backup all your data
* Uninstall ALL unnecessary apps and librarys. And then some. You can reinstall them later.
* Install Wicd and ifupdown. (possibly resolvconf?)
* Edit sources.list
* update
* upgrade - aptitude safe-upgrade is a good start.
* Read the screen messages and be prepared with coffee or beer

Any thoughts or comments?  Please fell free to add or subtract.

I'm concerned about the release of Ubuntu 20.04. There's only talk about icons, themes and wallpapers. No debate about the underlying structure of systemd. During the years I've seen systemd encompassing more and more of the system and I don't like it at all.

How do you think a nice migration guide from Ubuntu to Devuan should be?


#2 2023-02-28 06:22:22

Registered: 2020-04-22
Posts: 89  

Re: Preliminary notes on migration from Ubuntu 18.04 to Beowulf

My big migration from soon outdated Ubuntu 18.04 to Devuan Chimaera is coming up. I've been planning this for years, since it is on my main, daily used 24//7, machine.

Somehow I couldn't edit the first post here, but one thing is out and that is Wicd. It isn't supported anymore (outdated Python deps, I understand)

Work in progress...

Last edited by swanson (2023-02-28 06:23:00)


#3 2023-03-06 23:45:35

Registered: 2022-12-03
Posts: 53  

Re: Preliminary notes on migration from Ubuntu 18.04 to Beowulf

A very important thing to make sure of is that anything related to network-manager is downloaded after the devuan sources are added, but BEFORE the first reboot after switching to sysvinit or whichever init you want

That's all, folks.


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