problems upgrading Jessie to Stretch

I upgraded Debain Jessie to Stretch, and cannot boot into the system anymore

i don't remember the exact procedure I used, but it went something like this:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

apt-list upgradeables ?

dpkg -c

change jessie to stretch in the /apt/etc/sources.list  sources

and reboot

i can get into recovery mode, but i'm not even sure where to start fixing it

any help is appreciated


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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-list upgradeables ?
dpkg -c
change jessie to stretch in the /apt/etc/sources.list  sources
and reboot

If this is what happened, then it is not surprising that the system won't boot.  The procedure described won't upgrade the Debian kernel across a release.  What it would do is:

  • Update the apt package list
  • Upgrade any installed packages with upgrades available
  • Corrupt the apt sources by pointing at the wrong release

Depending on at what point sources.list was changed, the resulting corruption might be relatively minor, or unrepairably major.  But even if this had worked, it still would not have upgraded the kernel.

In this situation I would restore the system from the last full backup.  Download the next release onto a USB flash drive, detach the old system drive and attach a new drive to receive the new operating system.  Install onto the new drive.  Configure grub to boot only from the new drive by UUID, do update-grub, then reboot.  Attach the old drive to a secondary controller port and reboot to confirm that the system boots only from the new drive.  Then make changes in the new system as required to bring it into line with the old system, bringing over any configuration files from the old drive.

This is not as convenient as doing an in-place upgrade across releases, but every time I've tried an in-place upgrade of Debian something has gone wrong.  imo it is less trouble to install the new release clean so that everything starts working, then make incremental changes to bring it into line with the previous system.  When something fails you know it's the last thing you changed.

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