sean finney on 16 Oct 2011 12:48:24 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Problem w/upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04 -> 11.10

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 11:05:08AM -0400, Soumyashant Nayak wrote:
> I am not sure if what I am going to say is correct. (Experts, please correct
> me if I am wrong)
> You are still downloading the upgrade. The installation process hasn't
> started yet. So I think you may safely reboot your computer without
> affecting your present system.

this is *probably* correct, depending on what is hung.  if it's
apt/aptitude, then yeah, control-c is totally safe, as apt downloads
all the packages before it starts to unpack/replace/configure them.

however, a lot of non-free software (flashplayer, etc) complicate this
by not actually shipping the software, and instead downloading it when
the package is being configured.  In that case it's not entirely safe
to do so, as a bunch of packages will be left in a "half-configured"
state.  But even then, as long as you're careful (and best, working
locally on the machine, and don't reboot or log out), it's not the end
of the world and can be fixed without too much trouble.  It is definitely
*not* like the shitty rpm databases in redhat/fedora where ctrl-c risks
hosing your entire package management database[1].

a basic rule is if apt/dpkg has started producing output along the lines of
"unpacking foo"/"configuring foo"/"setting up foo", you've crossed the
threshold to where it's "not safe" and you will probably need to clean up
after yourself.  but before that, if it's just fetching .deb files you're
totally fine with killing it.

If you *do* interrupt the system later on, you can usually fix it with a
few repetitions of "dpkg --configure -a" and "apt-get -f install".  Just
pay close attention to what it wants to do, and if it wants to do something
too drastic (like remove half your desktop packages), then look a little
closer to see *why* it wants to do that.  usually it's just one or a few
packages with dependencies that can no longer be met (most often in ubuntu
land it's stuff you installed from ppa's that gets you in trouble).  remove
them, finish the upgrade, and then install the new equivalent if you still
need it.


[1] I do not know if this is still the case, but was the case for a very, very,
    long time anyway.
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