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Upgrading Debian Etch to Lenny

On last Saturday Debian 5.0 “Lenny” has been released as stable. This probably means a lot of updating work for many administrators. I was updating a couple of servers during the last days. Due to Debian’s APT system it’s a pretty easy process.

Step 1: Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list. Replace every occurrence of “etch” (I assume you’re updating from Debian “Etch”) with “lenny”. Your sources.list should now be looking roughly like that:

deb stable main
deb-src stable main

deb stable/updates main contrib
deb-src stable/updates main contrib

Step 2: Simply run apt-get updateand you should probably get something like this:

srv:~# apt-get update
Get:1 stable Release.gpg [386B]
Hit stable Release                                    
Get:2 stable/updates Release.gpg [189B]
Hit stable/updates Release
Hit stable/updates/main Sources
Hit stable/updates/contrib Sources
Fetched 2B in 0s (15B/s)
Reading package lists... Done
W: There is no public key available for the following key IDs:
W: You may want to run apt-get update to correct these problems

Apparently, this means you need to get the public key for 4D270D06F42584E6. 😉 This can easily be done with the following commands.

srv:~# gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 4D270D06F42584E6
gpg: directory `/root/.gnupg' created
gpg: can't open `/gnupg/options.skel': No such file or directory
gpg: keyring `/root/.gnupg/secring.gpg' created
gpg: keyring `/root/.gnupg/pubring.gpg' created
gpg: requesting key F42584E6 from hkp server
gpg: /root/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created
gpg: key F42584E6: public key "Lenny Stable Release Key <>" imported
gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1
srv:~# apt-key add /root/.gnupg/pubring.gpg

Please note that the key ID and though the public key needed on your system can differ from this one.

Step 3 Finally, you can rerun the package-list update and run the actual upgrade.

srv:~# apt-get update
srv:~# apt-get dist-upgrade

Depending on your machine’s capacity and your internet connection speed the upgrade can take from about 15 minutes to some hours. The avarege time my updates took was 30 minutes. After that you can reboot your freshly upgraded system with the new kernel and you’re done.

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Archiving Thunderbird e-mails

Looking for a smart way to archive your e-mails from Thunderbird? There are many advices like copy your “/home/(username)/.mozilla/…” directory, which (in my opinion) are not very smart. After googling quite a while, I found a very cool TB extension called SmartSave and it lives up to its name! It needed less than ten seconds to export 1900 mails with a total size of 150 MB. I like it!

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After three months of KDE 4

I’m quite happy with the new KDE release. It’s well structured, the applications are redisigned and simplified and the unsability has done a big step up the ladder.
BUT I still miss some basic functions from the old 3.5 version, some applications crash unexpectedly and the probably most annoying thing for me: the lack real desktop icons. The “Folder View” desklet which is intended to replace teh classical desktop icons is not a really good replacement. I’m looking forward to the next major release of KDE, namely 4.2, which is announced for January 2009. I will bring a lot of new and old features back to KDE. Most notably it will bring back the good old desktop icons!

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