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One of our webservers which is running Debian Etch Squeeze (6.0.7) and which we regularly maintain with safe-upgrades (normally it's only a few safe-upgrade packages per week) now shows an abnormally high number of available safe-upgrade packages:

284 packages upgraded, 113 newly installed, 51 to remove and 421 not upgraded.

What's wrong? Is Debian probably forcing Etch users to upgrade to Lenny?

Any ideas?

Edit: Server is running Squeeze, not Etch. Looked up the wrong page in our internal wiki.

# lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Debian
Description:    Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.7 (squeeze)
Release:        6.0.7
Codename:       squeeze

Therefore, @ptman is right: /etc/apt/sources.list points to stable which from now on (May 4th 2013) is Debian Wheezy and no longer Squeeze...

To get safe-upgrades for 6.0.7 squeeze one need to edit /etc/apt/sources.list and replace stable with oldstable.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Debian wheezy 7.0 was just released. Are your sources.list files written with the codename (etch, lenny, squeeze, wheezy) or alias (oldstable, stable, testing, unstable)? Sounds like you used to point to oldstable for some packages, and oldstable just changed since a new release was made, which means a big list of dependencies for you.

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Thanks, that's it. However, the server wasn't running Etch but Squeeze (6.0.7) with stable in /etc/apt/sources.list. With the release of Wheezy it all now makes sense ;-) Changeing to oldstable fixed the issue. – ToFi May 5 '13 at 15:50
@ToFi: Well, in order to avoid this issue in the future, you should use "absolute" names, in this case "squeeze", otherwise you'll end up with the same issue once Debian 8 ("Jessie") is released - however, it's likely the support for Squeeze will end earlier and you are semi-forced to upgrade. – Sven May 5 '13 at 16:28
@SvW yep, thanks, you're totally right. I'll switch to "squeeze" instead of "oldstable". If next version Jessie is released, I'll update the server anyways... – ToFi May 5 '13 at 20:52

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