MEPIS 8 Upgrade FAQ

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What are the main differences between MEPIS 7 and 8?

  • Kernel version
    • MEPIS 7: 2.6.22
    • MEPIS 8: 2.6.27
  • Debian base version
    • MEPIS 7: Etch
    • MEPIS 8: Lenny
  • Open Office
    • MEPIS 7: 2.0, upgraded later to 2.4
    • MEPIS 8: 3.0
  • KDE 3.5.9 with 3.5.10 updates

Issues surrounding the newer Linux Kernel

rt2500 wireless support

Now included in kernel as rt2x00 driver - but defaults to 1Mb/s - workaround is to edit the /etc/mepis-network/wireless/default file so the line:


has 54M as the rate value (presuming your rt2500 card does this speed)


Restart network to effect changes. Unknown whether this is only an issue for rt2500 chipsets or not.

Contents of Releases

Prerequisites to Upgrading

NOTE: As always, back up any data to avoid the risk of losing it. There is always a chance something could go wrong!

The one thing you should do before an upgrade, if you do nothing else, is to ensure that you switch to a 'safe' driver for your graphics card to prevent X from failing to start due to no working video drivers.

Using the 'Vesa' driver will work with any graphics card. You can choose it with the Mepis X-Windows Assistant, if you aren't sure about doing this from the command line. Look in the Nvidia or ATI tabs then select Vesa and hit 'Apply'. You may also need to reduce your screen resolution as the Vesa driver isn't as capable as the Nvidia/Ati drivers.

  • Once I have installed one of the M8 Betas or RCs, can I just use Synaptic or apt-get update/upgrade all the way through M8 Final?
Yes, you can, there is no need to download and burn a CD again except to have a physical backup.
  • Can I upgrade from Mepis 6.0 or 6.5 to Mepis 7 or 8?
No - the differences between core configurations (Ubuntu and Debian based) mean that upgrade attempts will at best result in serious mis-configurations and more likely, fail.
  • Can I upgrade from Mepis 3.4.x or older?
While both Mepis 3.4.x and older and Mepis 7 and newer are both Debian based - there have been major revisions in core packages/configurations - attempt this at your own risk!
  • When upgrading to a newer release of a Linux distribution, parts of the core of the system, namely the kernel will be upgraded.
The problem is that any additional drivers/modules/packages you have installed since fresh install of current running version will be removed/non-functional after upgrade. Most likely parts of your system to be affected are:
  • Video drivers: ATI/Nvidia
  • Wireless drivers: if installed after fresh install
  • Sound card drivers: if installed after fresh install
  • other peripherals including: printers, scanners, webcams, dvcards, etc.
  • Use the 'dmesg' command to check for error messages from drivers
  • Disable Apt-Pinning:
make sure any packages that are on 'hold' or 'pinned' (locked in Synaptic if you are using that) to prevent upgrade, are un-held or un-pinned.
see: /etc/apt/preferences

Other issues can be resolved after upgrade and are likely to be trivial compared with X failing to start!

Upgrading from previous Versions of Mepis Linux

Once Mepis 8 is released, an upgrade to the existing Mepis 7 config package may be provided which will automatically set up your system to prepare it for a full upgrade.

Until it is, do the following:

  1. Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list to point to the Mepis 8/Debian Lenny repositories as shown here:
  2. and then:
 # apt-get update
 # apt-get dist-upgrade

or if using Synaptic:

  1. Reload the package information, [update]
  2. Mark All Upgrades and then
  3. Click on Apply.

Regardless of the method used, here are some thoughts for upgrading:

Note-1: Read carefully any screen output and/or questions during the installation. They might affect the success of the installation.
Note-2: upgrading to a newer version of Mepis using the above methods will likely remove your current personalization, customizations, settings, etc., unless you know the correct answers to give during install. It is safer to back up your /home/<YourUserName> folder and restore any needed parts after the upgrade.

Support Questions

As always we will be there to help if you have any questions regarding any part of the upgrade process:

Hardware Questions

  • I can't see my Windows drive in Kwikdisk.
M8 through Beta 2 has a problem reading disks that are formatted with ntfs. The solution is to add this line above the dynamic entries in the file /etc/fstab:
/dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1 ntfs-3g rw,users,auto,umask=000 0 0
NOTE: Make sure to change the name of the drive (above named sda1) to the correct name for your system.
  • I have sound on the LiveCD but not on the installed version
Try right-clicking the KMix icon on the right side of Kicker and click on Select Master Channel to choose a different channel.
  • After upgrading to Beta 3 my display no longer works.
The new kernel has problems with fglrx 8.9, 8.10, Nvidia 96xx or the Nvidia 174 drivers. The latest Mepis beta 3 will get the latest 177.80 nvidia driver and that is probably too 'new' for your card.
You need an earlier version, but Mepis doesn't provide it at the moment. The easiest way is to use the smxi/sgfxi script to install the correct driver.

Packages Questions

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