Purpose: This is quick guide to show how you can upgrade to the latest stable release of Debian – 5.0 (Lenny). You can also read more information about the release here.

Step 1: Change your sources.list file

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Change all the instances of “etch” to “lenny”. Save and quit the file. Your file should look something like this:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ lenny main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ lenny main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main contrib non-free

If you already have “stable” word in your sources.list file, you need not edit the file and you can go to Step 2. Your file may look like this:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib non-free

Note: Your sources.list file may have other lines too, but for our purpose we require that the above three lines must be there at least.

Step 2: Upgrade to Lenny

It is recommended that you stop your X server before upgrading. You can do that by doing the following:

Press Ctrl-Alt-F1.

This will take you to your first virtual console (tty1). Then you need to stop your login manager:

/etc/init.d/gdm stop
or
/etc/init.d/kdm stop
or
/etc/init.d/xdm stop

Depending on the type of graphic environment you are using.

To upgrade to latest stable release Lenny, give the following commands:

If you are using “apt-get” (I use apt-get) as your package management tool, then give following command:

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

If you are using “aptitude” (preferred tool) as your package management tool, then give following commands:

aptitude update
aptitude dist-upgrade

The entire process will take some time depending on your Internet connection speed. Debian upgrades are known to be painless, troublefree experience and 99% times you should be able to upgrade without any issues.

In case if you have trouble upgrading, please refer to the release notes.

Also don’t forget to rate this post below.

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