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Upgrade Ubuntu 10.04[.x] LTS to 16.04[.x] LTS?

So, some semi-random bits from today's BerkeleyLUG meeting.

Question/issue about upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04[.x] LTS to
16.04[.x] LTS on some type of Pentium-class hardware (3 GiB RAM,
I don't recall other hardware details - at least if I'm also
remembering those bits correctly).

So, I think first thing that was mentioned - "can't" upgrade due to
older stuff not being on the Ubuntu repositories anymore - notably the
stuff that's no longer supported goes away not all that horribly long
after support is dropped.  Well ... let me get back to that a bit
further below - may not be quite the dead end that most immediately

In general, in theory, if one wanted to go the upgrade
route from 10.04[.x] LTS to 16.04[.x] LTS, that would be:
10.04[.x] --> 12.04[.x] --> 14.04[.x] --> 16.04[.x]
But ... if that older stuff isn't in the repositories ... or
is that exactly and fully 100% the case?  Well ... not
necessarily.  Yes, *is* the case for the *main* repository
location(s).  But, Ubuntu - somewhat similar to Debian, also
has *archives* of older stuff ... different locations and such,
but much of the older stuff *is* available on-line ... if one knows
where that is or manages to locate it.  And ... what and where?

From my note bits on Ubuntu ... these may or may not necessarily be
usable as direct repository - some might be mostly or just for
CD/DVD ISO images, but in any case, I have noted, and some of these
*may* work perfectly fine in /etc/apt/sources.list ...
also not sure how Ubuntu is with preserving archives of "Universe" and
"Multiverse" as I seem to recall they name them with their different
"levels" of software repos.  Anyway, these may be rather to possibly
highly useful, (straight out of the comments in one of my files):
#archive of specific .deb binaries, e.g.:

So ... there *may* be some various ways one could actually do *upgrade*
from 10.04[.x] LTS to 16.04[.x] LTS.  "Of course" one could also go the
route of backup, do fresh install, merge in relevant backed up data.

And Pentium class hardware - quite assuredly 32-bit, not 64.
With Ubuntu (and relatively similar for Debian), that'd be
the "i386" architecture ... but along the way, minimum goes
to i486 hardware, then more recently i686 (which I believe starts
around later Pentium series, and I think excludes Pentium M[obile]).
Not sure if Ubuntu LTS (16.04[.x]) has or hasn't pushed the minimum
CPU up from i486 to i686 yet (but that is the case going from the
current Debian oldstable up to the current Debian stable).  With Ubuntu,
also, should always be able to try the "live" version first - to see
whether or not there are issues with the CPU minimum requirements for
that version (and/or maybe Ubuntu documentation makes that sufficiently
clear?  But in more recent years, Ubuntu hasn't been as clear as to what
their *minimum* hardware requirements are).

ISOs I have ... lots 'o info here of what I have:

For meetings I bring my personal laptop to (e.g. generally BerkeleyLUG,
also Cabal & SF-LUG on the relatively rare occasions I make it to
those), I have all those ISOs with me on laptop, and can generally burn
on demand ... though often/better to know in advance what's desired, so
I can have it burned before I show up to meeting (often doing fair bit
of multi-tasking with folks questions and/or other stuff at meetings -
so sometimes that quite slows or thwarts my managing to burn ISO
image(s) to optical).  For other meetings I typically bring the
(non-ancient) burnt opticals I have ... but often don't schlep the
personal laptop with me - thus can't do burn-on-demand for many of the
other meetings I attend.

Also, keeping most all the above in mind ...
# apt-get ... -y --print-uris [dist-]upgrade
*might* be quite useful.  Bit 'o scripting and one can take output of
above, and turn it into a list of (needed) files, or URLs to fetch those
files.  One can then pre-seed /var/cache/apt/archives with the
downloaded/obtained files once one has those files.

Also, not sure how the Release* files are in the Ubuntu archives or if
there's enough of what's easily needed there ... but there are also the
older ISOs ... which *may* contain much of that ... I'm thinking,
though, not the "live" versions of the standard Ubuntu, but either the
"alternate" (or whatever Ubuntu calls them) installer version (which is
basically Debian installer with Ubuntu color theme tossed atop it),
or, likewise the Ubuntu-Server ISOs.  Notably either of those has lots
of the individual .deb files and is structured so they can be used as
repository or apt CD-ROM(/DVD) source.  Whereas the "live" versions
mostly have one huge squashfs filesystem image, and not the individual
.deb files to install from - so not suitable as an apt repository or
apt CD-ROM(/DVD) source.

Two other possible sources for the older Ubuntu content.
There's archive.org ... though coverage might be spotty (and/or Ubuntu
robots.txt might exclude repository contents or much thereof).

Also ... wish I had the details, but I recall from a BALUG.org
meeting some years back - a presentation by SuSE ...
2013-09-17 Peter Linnell of SUSE on Open Build Service (OBS)
... or peeking around a bit, that might now (mostly?) be here?:
In any case, I seem to recall that infrastuture also include quite the
historical repositories of *many* Linux distributions, such that one
could build packages for any of the supported distributions going *way*
back - near to their beginnings, or at least as far back as SuSE had
archived their content.  So, that may be another potential source of
old - potentially *very* old - packages, for many (or at least several
major) distributions.

So, anyway, it *may* in fact be fully feasible to do an Ubuntu
10.04[.x] --> 12.04[.x] --> 14.04[.x] --> 16.04[.x]
notably by suitably configuring /etc/apt/sources.list to use
appropriate Ubuntu archive location(s) and/or possibly using
some older ISO images or other means to obtain the (much) older files.
Once one has made it to an LTS version that is still supported by the
main repositories, one can simply use those per-usual from that point
onward in the upgrade process.  One may also want to refer to the
relevant old upgrade documentation and release notes or such, as
relevant for each specific individual operating system version upgrade.

P.S. ... I was a bit curious, and peeked ...
so most current 12.04[.x] is still (apparently?) on main repositories
(that surprised me a bit - my info shows it as EOL - but maybe that's
changed, or maybe it's not yet been migrated from main to archive) ...
but regardless, if that had already been migrated from main
to archives, or one needed go further back ... so, peeking at 10.04[.x]
Now, ... Jigdo format files are (optionally compressed) files with a
certain structure ... the bulk of which gives hash of files and a path
portion of location.
$ wget -N 'http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/10.04.4/ubuntu-10.04.4-alternate-i386.jigdo'
note also I do the alternate (or likewise could do server) - as noted
earlier those have the individual .deb files - the "live" versions
wouldn't be suitable for this bit of exercise.
... so ... peeking into that and semi-randomly selecting a file out of
there ...
... and, poking around a bit in Ubuntu archives, can we find that file? ...
... yes:
So, ... one should be able to suitably reconfigure /etc/apt/sources.list
to get to some quite old Ubuntu repository stuff.
I also notice:
And taking a semi-random peek in there, looks like that is probably also
well archived back in time.

Somewhat different, but also likewise, Debian has archives (essentially
3 different sites, depending what one's looking for and how) that go
back almost all the way to Debian 3.0r0 (2002-07-19).  They have source
all the way back before that, but their binaries (at least generally)
don't go back earlier than that.

P.P.S. Outdated unsupported operating systems - generally quite insecure
(numerous known exploits that aren't fixed).  Use due caution, e.g.
avoid exposing such to The Internet or untrusted networks, avoid using
browsers from such, etc.

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