I have a device with an old version of Debian, Debian 6 Squeeze. I am trying to upgrade it to any newer version but I get messages, such as:

Failed to fetch http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/dists/squeeze/Release.gpg Could not resolve 'ftp.us.debian.org'

This is probably because Squeeze is no longer supported at the ftp.us.debian.org address. I am wondering if there is some other address I could use that would allow me to upgrade to Wheezy, after which I should be able to use the normal root. If not is there some kind of work around.

Unfortunately this device has no connections, such as USB or CD drive to install a newer version of Debian through, so whatever I do must be through the internet. I'm sure I once came across a similar problem with an old version of Ubuntu and there was an address for legacy updates.


Your error about resolving ftp.us.debian.org is a network error, not a "distro too old" error.

Change your /etc/apt/sources.list file to contain only the following -

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

Then do your apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade

Once that is done, change your sources list again to be:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian wheezy main contrib non-free

Note that the hostname changes back to ftp.us.debian.org and the release name changes from squeeze to wheezy

Then do your apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade.

Then if you want to go to stretch (latest release) replace wheezy with stretch and do the apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade again.

Don't forget that instead of going to wheezy you may want to look and see if squeeze-lts is still getting updates and if that would be a better target to aim for instead of wheezy.

  • In case you need to get the most recent packages for wheezy before you upgrade you can get them from debian snapshot archive. – sebasth Aug 14 '17 at 1:17
  • Squeeze LTS is no longer supported, see the Using LTS wiki page (which also explains how to upgrade from Squeeze LTS to Wheezy LTS). Your answer doesn’t address the network lookup issue at all... – Stephen Kitt Aug 14 '17 at 8:12
  • Thank you very much, as soon as I changed to archive.debian.org/debian apt-get started to work normally. I had to install debian-keyring and debian-archive-keyring but then the upgrade to Wheezy went perfectly. All the best. – Bruce21 Aug 14 '17 at 11:57

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