The curse of apt-get dist-upgrade


So a couple of days a go, I foolishly attempted a “apt-get dist-upgrade” on my 14.04.3 install. The box has seen moderate customization, custom hibernate and boot scripts, non-canonical repos overriding the official ones, and such and such. Obviously something went wrong and I saw the box in crumbled in realtime. First all icons on Nautilus went south, followed by Gnome Shell crashing. And then the mouse stopped responding. Funnily, samba and openssh worked. Then I forced a shutdown and call it a day.

When I tried to boot the box in the morning, it failed while spewing a bunch of x.org error messages. Switching to previous kernels didn’t help as bumblebee failed to load. I booted to recovery and enabled networking. Nope, bumblebee failed. I postponed the recovery since I had to go to the office. I weighed my options. I could remove bumblebee, and reboot to see whether it can go past x.org, get network connection, fix everything and reconfigure graphic acceleration, or just replace the install entirely with the recently released 15.10 and do everything from scratch. Hopefully, POL wine folders can be remounted.

Booted to recovery, remount root partition to writable. Just to make sure that “dist-upgrade” finished gracefully, I tried “dpkg-reconfigure -a”. Turns out there’s a bunch of unconfigured packages left from the the recent dist-upgrade, which itself was halted when it failed to upgrade and configure virtualbox 5.0.

After dpkg-reconfigure finished, I rebooted the box, and thankfully, it started normally 😀

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