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Debian 7: System Administration Best Practices by Rich Pinkall Pollei

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Upgrading your system

As mentioned previously, it is simple to update your system. The commands (or menu items) for upgrading your system to the next official release are different from the standard updating commands. The apt-get command dist-upgrade or the aptitude full-upgrade will perform the necessary special calculations to upgrade to the next major distribution release after the package information cache has been updated (either using the normal update command if you have configured the release name as stable, or after changing to the new release name and executing the update command). The reason for the special commands is that there are major changes in package dependencies between official releases, and the way some software is configured, ...

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