JP Vossen on 18 Dec 2009 11:43:05 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] converting 32 -> 64 bit

 > From: Art Alexion <>
 > Subject: [PLUG] converting 32 -> 64 bit


 > As far as I know, there is no upgrade path; I would have to install a
 > clean system.

That's my understanding as well.  Bummer.

 > * Figure out some way to capture current non-default packages[*] so
 > that I can script their reinstall, if possible.
 > [*] By "non-default packages", I mean the ones that didn't come with
 > the distro, but I installed optionally.

I can think of at least two ways to do this.

First, I've never tried it, and I'm not sure how well that would work 
for 32-->64 upgrade, but:
$ man aptitude-create-state-bundle

Second, these will give you a list of (more-or-less) installed .debs.

dpkg -l | grep ^i | awk '{print $2}' | sort > deb.list.old
-- OR --
dpkg-query --show | cut -f1 | sort > deb.list.old

The first one is more reliable, as the dpkg-query might include things 
that *were* installed but have since been removed.  Man pages for both 
are mildly useful.

So you pick one, run it, install the new system, run the same command 
again, and diff the files (to get rid of the "default" debs).  You'll 
almost certainly have to sort out some package names containing '32' vs 
'64', but that should be obvious.  I also always ignore '^lib' packages 
since anything that needs a lib will usually install it automatically.

Then you tweak your /etc/apt/sources* file(s) accordingly, build the 
'aptitude install' command, and run it.

 > I'd also like a way to find out which non-repo packages I may have
 > installed with dpkg (and save the debs in case they are no longer
 > available).

The above dpkg* commands will include any/all .deb packages installed on 
the system.  Obviously non-repo .debs will have to be pulled out and 
handled separately.  I just build the 'aptitude install' command and try 
it, the cull out packages it complains about it, and re-run until it 
works, then circle back to the culls to sort them out.

Doing all of this over SSH from a stable machine with a text editor for 
a scratch-pad and copy&paste works quite well.  Kind of self-documenting 
too, if you save your steps.  You've seen examples I've posted to this 
list from my docs like that.  Easy to do when you copy&paste to/from SSH.

Good luck,
JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
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