Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

And back to Sarge again

After two days of attempting to solve the problems with Debian Sid I decided to delete the whole installation and revert back to Sarge again. The problem with the USB drive could be traced back to udev and the fact that a newer kernel needed to be installed. That’s what I did and upgraded the kernel from 2.6.8 to 2.6.18. With that came a full upgrade of Sarge to Sid again and when that was finished I had an inaccesible system again. Just like with Ubuntu. Why? Because Sid comes with a change in the xserver from xfree86 to xorg as well.

I did my Googling and asking around, but there doesn’t seem a clear solution to the issue. The boards are full of attempts, but nothing final. There were some posts that said that when it worked, it worked erratic. I don’t like erratic. I like stable.

For now I have to conclude that either the kernel or the xserver changes don’t go well with the iMac and that there is no easy solution in sight. So, while I am typing this the third network install of Debian Sarge is under way. That will leave me with quite a few dated packages, but I will give it a try to upgrade those on an application basis. As long as Synaptic doesn ‘t tell me it will uninstall gnome-development or do something with x there is little to worry about.

Am I disappointed? Yes and no. I did learn a lot again, but I there were other things I could have done with the time. The issue isn’t a new issue. It has been around for almost a year, but apparently it is not considered urgent enough (or not big enough in terms of userbase) to fix it. One thing is good though. When Debian tells you it is stable, it is stable. When it is unstable…. no warranty included. There is something to say for stability after all.

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