MEPIS 8.5 Upgrade How-To

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Updating from MEPIS 8 to MEPIS 8.5 (without reinstalling)

This is probably not the best option, you can install MEPIS 8.5 from the Live CD in 5-10 minutes depending on the system, upgrading will take longer and because of the major switch from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4 will be somewhat riskier. If you are not comfortable taking those risks, stop here.


  1. backup of important info and willingness to risk borking your MEPIS installation.
  2. basic knowledge about command line.
  3. decent Internet connection.


(All the commands listed here are run as root):

1. Upgrade MEPIS 8 packages to latest versions, run:

apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

2. Install aptitude:

apt-get install aptitude

3. Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list add this line:

deb mepis-8.5 main

4. To refresh the repo info, run:

aptitude update

5. Run:

aptitude full-upgrade

On a fresh install these programs will get removed:

The following packages will be REMOVED:
amarok-engine-xine{a} kcontrol{a} kdebase-bin-kde3{a} kdebase-kio-plugins{a} kdesktop{a} kmenuedit{a} kmplayer-common{a} 
kmplayer-plugin{a} ksmserver{a} ktip{a} libavcodec51{u} libdbus-1-qt3-0{u} libgsmme1c2a{u} libkipi0{a} qca-tls{u}

Since this is not a fresh install and you probably installed programs it's possible that other programs will get removed too, if you see any important program in the list write it down so you'll know to reinstall it afterwards. This is also a step where you can stop and revert the changes in /etc/apt/sources.list if you are not comfortable with the risk. Otherwise respond "y" to "Accept solution?" and then press "y" again when prompted to continue. Download might take a while depending on your Internet connection.

Make sure everything gets downloaded and installed. When prompted respond "y" to install the "package maintainer's version" of configuration files, it's recommended to do that unless you have a custom version of the configuration file that you want to preserve.

6. Install packages that are different in KDE4 and MEPIS 8.5:

aptitude install dolphin okular kdeplasma-addons plasma-desktopthemes-artwork plasma-widget-folderview gdebi-kde kde-window-manager mndiswrapper mwelcome

7. Install the new kernel.

If you use 64 bit:

aptitude install linux-image-2.6.32-1-mepis64-smp 

If you use 32-bit, have less than 4GB RAM:

aptitude install linux-image-2.6.32-1-mepis-smp 

If you use 32-bit, have more than 4GB RAM):

aptitude install linux-image-2.6.32-1-mepis-pae 

Also, if you need, install the corresponding modules: aufs-modules-2.6.32, ndiswrapper-modules-2.6.32, nvidia-kernel-2.6.32, nvidia-kernel-legacy-96xx-2.6.32, wl-modules-2.6.32 firmware-linux-free (hit TAB to complete the full name of those packages)

8. Reboot, you'll be prompted with a "Debian KDE Migration Settings wizard". Click "Next", use the default selection "use KDE3 settings as initial settings for KDE4" and "backup KDE3 settings" and click "Next", "Start" and then "Finish".

If you want to see icons on the desktop you might need to change to "Folder View", right-click on the desktop -> "Desktop Settings" -> Change Type to "Folder View" -> OK

9. Remove obsolete packages:

aptitude purge kpdf

If you want to remove all the KDE3 packages (you don't have to do that, some packages might be useful, for example Guarddog) you could run this command:

aptitude purge kdelibs4c2a 

And respond "y" to remove all the packages that depend on kdelibs4c2a.

10. Enjoy.


This procedure was carried out with a fresh MEPIS 8 install in VirtualBox. You might have a different experience with a system on which you installed many programs, especially if you installed from unofficial repos.

Differences between an upgraded system and MEPIS 8.5 installed from Live CD.

  1. You most likely have a different package selection
  2. Some configuration files remain from your old install so the system might behave slightly different than if it were cleanly installed from the Live CD. For example, you might have different default programs that open a specific file type, the fonts size might be different, etc.

But for all intents and purposes if you followed these instructions you are running MEPIS 8.5.

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