Updating Ubuntu

On of my main linux machines was running Ubuntu 6.06LTS, which is a long term support release from the middle of 2006. It was getting a little long in the tooth (firefox 1.5 anyone?) and that was getting tiresome.

So yesterday, I bit the bullet and did the upgrade to the newest long term support release, from last spring. Following the directions worked well enough, except for a couple of packages in the openoffice 2.4 release that I had installed. There were a set of them with circular dependencies, so they couldn’t be removed, which in turn were blocking a newer bugfix of openoffice 2.4, in turn, that was blocking the package manager from doing anything useful like updating emacs from version 21 to 22.

Apt is a good package manager, but sometimes it gets into states that aren’t easily resolved. If you get conflicting messages about something being installed, that’s a good sign that you’re there.

The normal solutions didn’t work :

sudo apt-get -f install
sudo apt-get -f remove
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Were all hopeless.

What finally worked was downloading two upgraded packages directly (libhsqldb-java adn openoffice.org-base) and installing them manually via dpkg, and then clearing out all the circular references with:

sudo dpkg -r openoffice.org-kde-integration
sudo dpkg -r –force-all openoffice.org-core01
sudo dpkg -r –force-all openoffice.org-core02

Dpkg can force things that apt-get can’t, or won’t do. After that, sudo apt-get upgrade -f dist-upgrade was enough to make everything work properly.

Finally, there’s a package archive for the shiny new openoffice 3 packages, but it takes some digging to find the archive key and the keyserver.

##repo for open office3
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu hardy main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu hardy main

gpg –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 60D11217247D1CFF
gpg -a –export 60D11217247D1CFF | sudo apt-key add –

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