Devuan: Upgrading to Devuan ASCII 2.0.0

Upgrading to Devuan ASCII 2.0.0 Stable Release

As you might have realized already, I am not really a big fan of systemd.

After switching from Debian to Devuan not long after the first fork was announced, I have now been a Devuan GNU/Linux user for several years, and am really happy with the overall experience and stability of this systemd-free Linux distribution.

Last month I finally did a dist-upgrade on my main working machine:

I upgraded my box from Devuan 1.0.0 Jessie to the new Devuan 2.0.0 ASCII Stable.

Hardware: Thinkpad T450s

The target computer to update was my main development machine is a Thinkpad T450s with a i5-5200U, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.

The T450s is a rather Linux friendly computer, and both Devuan Jessie as well as OpenBSD run really smoothly on this machine.

Devuan Jessie was installed on this box early 2017, and setup to fit my needs.

Upgrading to Devuan ASCII Stable

As usual, upgrading a Debian based system is easy. You simply need to do the following:

1. Update your existing Jessie system

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

This is something I like to do before running the dist-upgrade with the new apt sources, just to ensure that your system is up to date.

2. Backup your system

This is a good time to backup your files! Even though upgrades can be expected to run smoothly, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Change your APT sources

You’ll need to modify your /etc/apt/sources.list to add the ASCII branch:

root@starlight:~# vim /etc/apt/sources.list

Then add the following lines, and comment out all others:

deb http://pkgmaster.devuan.org/merged ascii main
deb http://pkgmaster.devuan.org/merged ascii-updates main
deb http://pkgmaster.devuan.org/merged ascii-security main
deb http://pkgmaster.devuan.org/merged ascii-backports main

You may also want to upgrade the Devuan keyring:

root@starlight:~# apt-get upgrade devuan-keyring

Now you’re ready to go:

4. Update the package index files

root@starlight:~# apt-get update

5. Upgrade your system to Devuan ASCII

root@starlight:~# apt-get dist-upgrade

Voilà, you’ve upgraded from Devuan Jessie to ASCII.

To clean up your system after the dist-upgrade, you can do the following:

Post Upgrade Conclusion

The upgrade went really smooth on the T450s. Without going into too many details, the new ASCII stable make for a seamless upgrade. You’ll end up with the new stable system pretty effortless, and you get to enjoy newer version numbers of your frequently used programs. Check out the ASCII release notes for more.

MATE Desktop Power Manager

There are still unresolved issues with the mate-power-manager of the MATE Desktop. It seems that there are some dependencies on systemd that are not yet resolved. This lead me to switch back to Xfce as my desktop environment.

With the new ASCII stable with Xfce – even though it requires a bit more RAM to run than MATE – it seems that power consumption is slightly reduced. Powertop is showing a discharge rate of 3-4W on a moderately loaded system.

Migrating to Devuan ASCII from Debian Jessie or Stretch

If you are still running Debian Jessie or Stretch, you can easily migrate to the systemd-free Devuan GNU/Linux.