Crash while upgrading kernel & stable releases

Vincent Untz vincent at
Mon Jun 20 09:09:30 CDT 2005

On Mon, June 20, 2005 15:21, Markus Kolb said:
> Vincent Untz wrote on Mon, Jun 20, 2005 at 11:12:49 +0200:
>> Hi,
>> I updated one of my Hoary computer yesterday and, unfortunately, it
>> crashed during the upgrade. What was really unfortunate, is that there
>> was a kernel upgrade. And what was even more unfortunate is that the
>> kernel version number was the same as the previous one. So it deleted
>> the old one...
>> As you can guess, the result was that the computer was unbootable (and
>> still is ;-)). I know the upgrade contains only security fixes, but I
>> believe the version number should have been incremented, if only to
>> prevent problems like this one. Wouldn't it make sense to adopt this
>> policy?
> The package version has to be incremented or it won't be upgraded.

I was not talking about the package version, but the kernel version :-)

> The problem exists in any Linux distribution and is based on the package
> name which doesn't change and so all files of the old package will be
> deleted before the files of the newer package will be installed.

That's the problem, indeed. The problem is: why is the new package named
linux-image-2.6.10-5-686, while it could be linux-image-2.6.10-6-686 or
linux-image-2.6.10-5-686-fix1 or...?

> RPM based distributions have a more detailed version number scheme on
> the kernel files in a package which is in Debian and Ubuntu only the
> main version.
> But because of dpkg package management there won't be any change if the
> version numbers would be more detailed.
> I think dpkg has not an interface for removing a package only in
> database without deinstalling it's files like RPM has.

And I don't think we want this. Do we?

> So at the moment you have to manage a backup copy of your kernel files
> yourself.
> And/or you do a double check of the kernel updates before you reboot.

Unfortunately, this is not acceptable for the users who don't want to
learn how this works. This is why I think a kernel upgrade in a stable
release should leave the previous kernel, at least until the new one
is completely installed. I can fix the problem, but my mother/sister/etc.
can not.

> Do you know how to reinstall the kernel package on an unbootable system
> or do you need help on this?

It's okay, I already fixed it. But thanks for your proposition :-)

> Why your machine has crashed? Do you have any detailed information about
> this?

There were several big documents opened in OOo really
doesn't like big documents and can block this computer (even with a lot
of RAM and swap). Paste some really big images in OOo documents, then
work on these documents for a few hours and maybe you'll have the chance
to see this ;-).


Les gens heureux ne sont pas pressés.

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