Error updating Debian 'packages have been kept back'


I ran the usual apt-get update and apt-get upgrade just now, which I did without problems last week, to check and install any security updates and I got the following error

apt-get -u upgrade
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
The following packages have been kept back
  apache apache-common apache-ssl apt apt-utils base-config base-passwd bash
  binutils bsdmainutils bsdutils bzip2 console-common console-tools cpio cpp
  cpp-2.95 cron debconf debianutils dhcp-client diff dpkg e2fsprogs ed exim
  file fileutils findutils flex g++ g++-2.95 gawk gcc gcc-2.95 gettext-base
  grep groff-base gzip hostname ifupdown info iproute iptables joe klogd less
  libapache-mod-jk libauthen-pam-perl libbz2-1.0 libc6 libc6-dev libcap1
  libdb2 libdb3 libexpat1 libgdbmg1 libident libldap2 liblockfile1 libncurses5
  libnet-ssleay-perl libpam-modules libpam0g libpcre3 libpopt0 libreadline4
  libssl0.9.6 libstdc++2.10-glibc2.2 libwrap0 login logrotate lsof mailx make
  man-db mawk mbr modutils mount nano ncurses-bin net-tools netbase
  netkit-inetd netkit-ping nvi openssl passwd perl perl-base perl-modules php4
  procps psmisc sed shellutils slang1 ssh sysklogd sysvinit tar tasksel tcpd
  telnet textutils unzip util-linux wget whiptail whois zlib1g 
The following packages will be upgraded
  adduser base-files console-data libpam-runtime libstdc++2.10-dev makedev
  manpages mime-support ncurses-base 
9 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 112  not upgraded.
Need to get 2101kB of archives. After unpacking 1735kB will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] n

Is this because it's trying to upgrade to “sarge” which was just released or is it something else? Any help would be appreciated.


6 Replies

The Sarge version has been just released.

For more information:
> The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 3.1 codenamed ``sarge'' after nearly three years of constant development. Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which supports a total of eleven processor architectures, includes KDE, GNOME and GNUstep desktop environments, features cryptographic software, is compatible with the FHS v2.3, and supports software developed for the LSB.

With the development of the new debian-installer, this release features a new, modular and sophisticated installation routine with integrated hardware detection and unattended installation capabilities. The installation is available in about thirty languages and includes configuration of the X server for many graphic cards.

This release includes a number of up-to-date large software packages, such as the K Desktop Environment 3.3 (KDE), the GNOME desktop environment 2.8, the GNUstep desktop, XFree86 4.3.0, GIMP 2.2.6, Mozilla 1.7.8, Galeon 1.3.20, Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2, Firefox 1.0.4, PostgreSQL 7.4.7, MySQL 4.0.24 and 4.1.11a, GNU Compiler Collection 3.3.5 (GCC), Linux kernel versions 2.4.27 and 2.6.8, Apache 1.3.33 and 2.0.54, Samba 3.0.14, Python 2.3.5 and 2.4.1, Perl 5.8.4 and much more.

To upgrade:````
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade


Or… to stay with woody.

Edit /etc/sources.list

Change all occurances of "stable" to "woody"

Thanks for that Saman and Jay , I think I'll stick with woody for now until I can spend a bit more time looking into sarge and any potential issues.

Sorry, double post - delete me!

Looks like the forums have an error when posting replies and perhaps new topics:

> Ran into problems sending Mail. Response: 550 5.5.0 … Relaying Denied: Check your mail to Authenticate.


Line : 164

File : smtp.php


Thanks for that Saman and Jay , I think I'll stick with woody for now until I can spend a bit more time looking into sarge and any potential issues.

Has anyone had any issues upgrading from Woody to Sarge? I love the fact that it's so easy to back up an image before updating it, but it'd be great to see how well the release was received by other Linoders :)

Apparently there is the possibility of upgrade problems due to cyclical dependencies:

~~[" target="_blank">]( … 28&tid=106">](

I can't say it strongly enough: read the release notes, especially the instructions for upgrading. If you upgrade apt first, like it says, you shouldn't run into problems.

~~[" target="_blank">]( … ex.en.html">](

And of course, back up everything!


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