Appendix A. Managing your wheezy system before the upgrade

Table of Contents

A.1. Upgrading your wheezy system
A.2. Checking your sources list
A.3. Removing obsolete configuration files
A.4. Upgrade legacy locales to UTF-8

This appendix contains information on how to make sure you can install or upgrade wheezy packages before you upgrade to jessie. This should only be necessary in specific situations.

A.1. Upgrading your wheezy system

Basically this is no different from any other upgrade of wheezy you've been doing. The only difference is that you first need to make sure your package list still contains references to wheezy as explained in Section A.2, “Checking your sources list”.

If you upgrade your system using a Debian mirror, it will automatically be upgraded to the latest wheezy point release.

A.2. Checking your sources list

If any of the lines in your /etc/apt/sources.list refer to 'stable', you are effectively already using jessie. This might not be what you want if you are not ready yet for the upgrade. If you have already run apt-get update, you can still get back without problems by following the procedure below.

If you have also already installed packages from jessie, there probably is not much point in installing packages from wheezy anymore. In that case you will have to decide for yourself whether you want to continue or not. It is possible to downgrade packages, but that is not covered here.

Open the file /etc/apt/sources.list with your favorite editor (as root) and check all lines beginning with deb http: or deb ftp: for a reference to stable. If you find any, change stable to wheezy.

If you have any lines starting with deb file:, you will have to check for yourself if the location they refer to contains an wheezy or a jessie archive.


Do not change any lines that begin with deb cdrom:. Doing so would invalidate the line and you would have to run apt-cdrom again. Do not be alarmed if a 'cdrom' source line refers to unstable. Although confusing, this is normal.

If you've made any changes, save the file and execute

# apt-get update

to refresh the package list.

A.3. Removing obsolete configuration files

Before upgrading your system to jessie, it is recommended to remove old configuration files (such as *.dpkg-{new,old} files under /etc) from the system.

A.4. Upgrade legacy locales to UTF-8

If your system is localized and is using a locale that is not based on UTF-8 you should strongly consider switching your system over to using UTF-8 locales. In the past, there have been bugs[6] identified that manifest themselves only when using a non-UTF-8 locale. On the desktop, such legacy locales are supported through ugly hacks in the library internals, and we cannot decently provide support for users who still use them.

To configure your system's locale you can run dpkg-reconfigure locales. Ensure you select a UTF-8 locale when you are presented with the question asking which locale to use as a default in the system. In addition, you should review the locale settings of your users and ensure that they do not have legacy locale definitions in their configuration environment.

[6] In the GNOME screensaver, using passwords with non-ASCII characters, pam_ldap support, or even the ability to unlock the screen may be unreliable when not using UTF-8. The GNOME screenreader is affected by bug #599197. The Nautilus file manager (and all glib-based programs, and likely all Qt-based programs too) assume that filenames are in UTF-8, while the shell assumes they are in the current locale's encoding. In daily use, non-ASCII filenames are just unusable in such setups. Furthermore, the gnome-orca screen reader (which grants sight-impaired users access to the GNOME desktop environment) requires a UTF-8 locale since Squeeze; under a legacy characterset, it will be unable to read out window information for desktop elements such as Nautilus/GNOME Panel or the Alt-F1 menu.