I need to install from scratch a debian 6 squeeze on a computer (well, actually a few of them). 2 weeks ago (Feb 29) debian 6 squeeze reached end-of-life status.

I tried to modify the default /etc/apt/sources.lists file trying to point to the new dists folder structure, without success.

My best bet is:

deb http://debian.grn.cat/ squeeze-lts main contrib non-free

But this does not work. The error I get is

root@debian:/etc/apt# apt-get update
Hit http://debian.grn.cat squeeze-lts Release.gpg
Ign http://debian.grn.cat/ squeeze-lts/contrib Translation-en
Ign http://debian.grn.cat/ squeeze-lts/contrib Translation-en_US
Ign http://debian.grn.cat/ squeeze-lts/main Translation-en
Ign http://debian.grn.cat/ squeeze-lts/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://debian.grn.cat/ squeeze-lts/non-free Translation-en
Ign http://debian.grn.cat/ squeeze-lts/non-free Translation-en_US
Hit http://debian.grn.cat squeeze-lts Release
W: Failed to fetch http://debian.grn.cat/dists/squeeze-lts/Release
Unable to find expected entry  main/binary-i386/Packages in Meta-index file (malformed Release file?)

I have checked the contents of this Release file and indeed it contains a broken reference that I may detail if required.

My question is: Should I give up hacking / debugging with this issue, and move along debian 7 / 8? I am already using debian 8.1 with my development machine, but we need debian 6 for legacy deployed machines that do not have internet. Migrating these machines is not easily possible.

Follows a rant: Why the debian developers want to force us to upgrade distribution? If our solution works on debian 6, we do not want to take risks, and spend time and money migrating on every release. Give us the freedom you claim to promote!

  • Following up on your rant: are you willing to spend time and money keeping the old distribution sensible and working? If you are not, you have an answer. If you are, have you suggested it to the Debian project yet? How did they react?
    – Bananguin
    Mar 15 '16 at 14:09
  • nobody's forcing you to do anything. you're perfectly entitled and welcome to keep using the (now unsupported) squeeze release. you, however, seem to want to force the unpaid volunteers at debian to keep on supporting a release where the EOL date has been announced and known for years.
    – cas
    Mar 15 '16 at 21:56
  • First, thanks to all for your replies and comments. YES. I am forced to migrate to debian 7 on new machines, and perhaps to already deployed machines. If you say I am not forced, then tell me HOW TO install from scratch (i.e. an /etc/apt/sources.list example), which is the reason of my post. I am NOT asking to force unpaid volunteers to do anything, just to leave debian6.0 out as it was before end-of-life. I assume all the risks for not getting updates.
    – carnicer
    Mar 15 '16 at 23:28
  • @Bananguin : I am not asking to do anything (keeping distribution sensible ...), I am just asking to leave it as it is at end-of-life and not making it unaccessible.
    – carnicer
    Mar 15 '16 at 23:32
  • You can still download debian squeeze CD iso images (from archive.debian.org if you can't find them elsewhere) or use the existing ones that you downloaded years ago. Similarly, you can configure your sources.list file to use archive.debian.org URLs.
    – cas
    Mar 16 '16 at 21:05

To install Debian 6 (or 6 LTS) you need to use http://archive.debian.org; e.g. in your sources.list:

deb http://archive.debian.org/ squeeze main contrib non-free
deb http://archive.debian.org/ squeeze-lts main contrib non-free

As to your rant, while I understand your frustration, it's a cost issue: keeping a release around on the main mirror network costs storage space (and hence money, indirectly), and creates support expectations which can't be fulfilled within the existing LTS (or project more generally) framework.

  • Will try this on Friday, thanks. As I understand it, the distribution is still there so no extra costs in storage, and I am not asking for more support or updates. Just leave it frozen and stable, it's fine for me.
    – carnicer
    Mar 15 '16 at 23:35
  • 1
    Continued use of storage incurs costs, so Squeeze has been moved to the archive, which isn't part of the main mirror network. So the distribution is still available, just not from the same places as when it was supported. Mar 16 '16 at 8:27

Thanks to Stephen for hinting me to try the archive. The suggested solution may have worked the day he posted it, but today it did not, it said that that release had expired. But I tried Debian-6.0, to build a file like:

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian Debian-6.0 main contrib non-free
#deb http://archive.debian.org/debian squeeze-lts main contrib non-free
  • You could propose an edition of Stephen's message
    – Sandburg
    May 31 '18 at 15:11

Just rebuilt a sparc machine from Squeeze. In /etc/apt/sources.list I added:

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian squeeze main contrib non-free

Saved, ran apt-get update, and all is peachy.

enter image description here

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