Updating Ubuntu on norns. How bad an idea on scale 0 to 10 ⚖️?

I must admit I am addicted to updating software :syringe:. I am not proud of it, but that’s how it is. Additionally I consider norns to be a little computer, so I am often sshd in.

Norms runs Ubuntu Stretch based Rasbian, and there are currently 170 packages that could be upgraded. I’ve held myself back so far, but i would like to ask if anyone has upgraded them, and if it broke the product (reflashing would be the remedy).

norns.local ~ $ sudo apt update
Get:1 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian stretch InRelease [15.0 kB]
Get:2 http://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian stretch InRelease [25.4 kB]
Hit:3 https://package.monome.org stretch InRelease
Get:4 http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian stretch/main armhf Packages [11.7 MB]
Fetched 11.7 MB in 23s (490 kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
170 packages can be upgraded. Run 'apt list --upgradable' to see them.
norns.local ~ $

PS i am not talking about upgrading to a newer Rasbian (yes I’m thinking about it tho), just upgrading the one norns is running on.

badness of sudo apt upgrade = 10. you’ll (potentially) break the custom kernel, audio driver etc.

you can certainly upgrade most individual userspace packages. (i think)

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:no_good_woman: Got it, thank you. I’ll try to sit on my hands.

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Just can’t stop gettin in to that norns Gullyworks, huh???


Btw, your work on usb audio has been extremely cool.


in fact
i think everyone who has worked heavily on the development of norns, has borked their OS this way at least once by pure habit.


kernel package is locked so hopefully there is some level of safeguard. ref (not promising that you’re perfectly protected though)

i’ve actually built a buster image which has updated packages. it’s beta, but if you’d like to test it i’d be very happy to get any feedback. we’re waiting for a big version jump to require a full image update— the features aren’t ready yet.

side note: raspbian isn’t ubuntu, it’s based on debian (which ubuntu is also based on)

if for some reason you really want new packages, just back up your image first and maybe be prepared to revert. but more importantly, getting out of sync with the community image means that anything you want to share can’t depend on these modifications. of course if you just want to install dev tools (i put some weird stuff on my norns) that’s no big deal, totally encouraged :slight_smile:


ah, i completely forgot this was added. thank you.

ok, i’d downgrade it to like 6. there is a strong possibility you’ll blast things like supercollider or stuff we haven’t thought of, so just choose your upgrades carefully

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I am more familiar with GNU/Linux sysadmin than with sound synthesis (tho I am working to re-balance this), so this comes out of habit. I am working towards a New Improved Me which is also addicted to keeping SuperCollider quarks updated, not only apt packages.

And cheers, happy to hear the USB audio thing is useful/inspiring for someone :slight_smile:

Yeap I’ve seen the buster image, but didn’t want to bring it up since it’s in beta. This’d be nice, and bring a new Emacs too to norns hehe.

On Rasbian there is some RasPi firmware packages too which can go either way really, and keeping back Lua and SuperCollider on norns would be a good case for the cautionary principle.

I don’t have any specific need for upgrades except my addiction :syringe: and generally just keeping things updated (for security too). I definitely do not want to deviate from the product and/or the community around the product.