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On an installation of Ubuntu 18.04, ubuntu-support-status --show-unsupported shows several unsupported packages. This is a known issue with Ubuntu that the LTS promise is only for packages in main, but many setups require packages from universe and multiverse. Now, the clean solution would be to use Debian instead. However, this is a VM in a computing center, and they do not offer Debian at the moment. So I'm stuck with Ubuntu.

What about replacing the unsupported packages with packages from the Debian main repository? Any experiences with that? What would be the necessary technical steps?

I'm also contemplating using do-release-upgrade in order to go to 19.04, hoping that it will support all the relevant packages.

Any other ideas how to deal with this situation?

Addendum: To some degree, a solution is to use an nspawn container. I give a basic howto on setting up such a container (does not address private user configuration, though) and some comments on how to get XFS filesystem quotas inside of the container.

Side note: The computing center in the meantime offered me to install Debian on the VM, so the problem no longer persists for me. But maybe this will be helpful to others. I also like to add that I find the current state of Ubuntu unacceptable; you cannot have unsupported packages on a production system. Some of the unsupported packages are pretty standard ones (such as nslcd and fail2ban), and are suggested by Ubuntu's official howtos.

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  • Have your system use as most official packages as possible, then build from sources everything else.

Or:

  • Find a simple way to use Debian from Ubuntu, like a chroot jail, or by using Docker.
  • I'm playing with nspawn now. Thanks for the inspiration! – Lasse Kliemann Sep 7 '19 at 14:02

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