B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

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ingo2
Posts: 81
Joined: 06 Feb 2012, 10:32

B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

Post by ingo2 » 27 Jun 2013, 14:13

I wonder if there are any plans to upgrade from Squeeze to Wheezy?

It's now quite a while since my B3 received any security updates. Now, as Debian 7.1 is released there should not be any major problems bringing the B3 up-to-date for the next 3 years. Squeeze will only be maintained for some 10 more months. Kirkwood and all hardware including Wifi-card is well supported by Wheezy out of the box (no more need for backported kernel)! This even would allow for a newer dual-band wireless cart with full support (all channels) on 5GHz band.

Kind regards,
Ingo
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are.

beaufils
Posts: 10
Joined: 22 Feb 2012, 04:24

Re: B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

Post by beaufils » 30 Aug 2013, 05:22

Did you try the dist-upgrade on your b3 ?

If yes did you encounter any trouble ?

ingo2
Posts: 81
Joined: 06 Feb 2012, 10:32

Re: B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

Post by ingo2 » 31 Aug 2013, 15:16

beaufils wrote:Did you try the dist-upgrade on your b3 ?
No, I didn't dare. There are too many Excito specific packets installed which are supposed to generate trouble if not removed prior to the upgrade. This includes a "bubba-kernel v2.6.39.
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are.

Gordon
Posts: 1324
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

Post by Gordon » 01 Sep 2013, 05:48

ingo2 wrote:
beaufils wrote:Did you try the dist-upgrade on your b3 ?
No, I didn't dare. There are too many Excito specific packets installed which are supposed to generate trouble if not removed prior to the upgrade. This includes a "bubba-kernel v2.6.39.
I don't think there is a dependency on this specific kernel version (it's actually 2.6.39.4-11, but if you grab the source and build you'll get 2.6.39.4-13). If version is important the dependency list will always state ">=" and there should be no issue with using a higher version (sometimes packages are reordered though, so this is not exact science when the major version is incremented).

There is however a dependency on a package named bubba3-kernel, so to upgrade to wheezy you should at least have a new bubba3-kernel package that supplies kernel version 3.2 or above. From a bare metal Debian wheezy this should then enable you to install all the bubba packages.

ingo2
Posts: 81
Joined: 06 Feb 2012, 10:32

Re: B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

Post by ingo2 » 01 Sep 2013, 06:53

Gordon wrote:There is however a dependency on a package named bubba3-kernel, so to upgrade to wheezy you should at least have a new bubba3-kernel package that supplies kernel version 3.2 or above. From a bare metal Debian wheezy this should then enable you to install all the bubba packages.
That's the point - the kernel is what we don't know.
Which modules (and probably matching firmware) is compiled into the kernel? I am not sure if even a stock "kirkwood-kernel" (http://packages.debian.org/wheezy/linux ... 4-kirkwood) will do the job and boot on a B3.

The "bubba3-kernel" as shipped with the B3 was a backport kernel for Squeeze some time ago. My guess is that Excito only used that kernel to support the ath9k Wifi-card (which ist not supported by the standard Squeeze kernel).
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are.

Gordon
Posts: 1324
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

Post by Gordon » 01 Sep 2013, 08:06

ingo2 wrote:That's the point - the kernel is what we don't know.
Which modules (and probably matching firmware) is compiled into the kernel? I am not sure if even a stock "kirkwood-kernel" (http://packages.debian.org/wheezy/linux ... 4-kirkwood) will do the job and boot on a B3.
You can grab the config straight from /boot, so that's definitely not an issue. It is very unlikely though that you can upgrade with all the bubba software installed, so you must first return to minimal Debian and replace bubba3-kernel by a custom kernel. Then you can upgrade to wheezy and install a new custom bubba3-kernel that you compiled yourself and contains a 3.x kernel. From there on it should then be possible to add the bubba packages again.

MouettE
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Joined: 06 Oct 2011, 19:45

Re: B3: dist-upgrade Squeeze -> Wheezy?

Post by MouettE » 02 Sep 2013, 16:41

I can share some of my experiences here ...
  • a wheezy system works fine with the kernel provided by excito (2.6.39.4-11). If you're interested I built images for the b3 with minimal wheezy and excito stock kernel (see here)
  • Making the excito apps work on this config could work, I didn't tried that. The best option would be to port the source packages one by one and test them. There is no dramatic changes in wheezy, but newer version of packages could be a problem (for sure dovecot configuration files are different)
  • Compiling kernels for ARM platforms is (for me) very hard (I'm not a C or kernel expert, just an admin who likes challenges). It's not just about using the kernel config, you need to backport the excito patches which are not trivial at all. I tried to backport them and compile newer versions, and the result was very poor : 3.2 never booted but I did manage to boot a 3.0.86 kernel (I lost wifi though). As I said however I'm not an expert and there may be working methods. But 2.6.39.4-11(or -13 if you re-compile the source package) works fine for me with wheezy system so I'm happy :-)

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