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How to update debian etch 4 now?

Asked by , Edited by Fernando C. Estrada [ Admin ]

I’m using debian etch for one my clients server and its loaded with many services. I’m trying to instll php5-gd application on it, but when I do apt-get update it show me some errors saying 404 not found and the following.

W: You may want to run apt-get update to correct these problems
E: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

So can anyone please tell how to update the OS.

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3 answers


zack [ Admin ]

Unfortunately, Debian Etch have been no longer supported since February 2010. At some point after the security support for a specific release is terminated, the release gets removed from the regular Debian mirror network. This is way your apt-get can no longer find the package indexes it is looking for upon upgrade.

While there are ways to find the package you’re looking for (e.g. via, I strongly advise you to upgrade to the current Debian stable release, which still have several months of support ahead of it. Not doing that will expose your installation to security threats, you most likely want to avoid.
Before upgrading from Etch to Lenny please read the Lenny release notes, which are also linked from the aforementioned announcement.

Hope this helps.
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rhonda [ Editor ]

Debian etch is unsupported since february and was moved to in june. You definitely should upgrade to lenny finally. Actually you can change your sources.list to point to, but you really should do the upgrade process really soon because especially for php5 there had been several security announcements been sent out since, ignoring all the other ones about the kernel, apache and other packages.

Again, do your upgrade to lenny finally, you should have done so ages ago already!

NN comments

Yeah!! I am aware of Debian etch is no longer support.. :(

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a) Change your /etc/apt/sources.list to include both actual etch archive and lenny stable repositories
b) Upgrade your system entirely from etch to lenny, either in a block as a wholeor (if you want more control or have scarce hard disk for package downloads) in small pieces.
c) Remove etch repository from your /etc/apt/sources.list
d) Check if you have packages in the section “old/local” and remove them

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