[Freedombox-discuss] Announcement: Workaround to fix packages not installing after Debian 10 release

Joseph Nuthalapati njoseph at riseup.net
Wed Jul 24 07:54:15 BST 2019

TL;DR If you’re not interested in the technical details and just want to
get your FreedomBox working again, skip to the Workaround section and
follow the instructions.


App installations and software updates are failing with an error since
Debian 10 (codename Buster) was released.


- All existing FreedomBox Pioneer users.
- FreedomBox users who are using the testing images of FreedomBox
  older than the ones released on July 22
- Users trying out AWS AMIs of FreedomBox using the older AMI from
  before July 19

NOTE: It is harmless to try the fix even if you are unaffected.


- Users running the new stable images of FreedomBox released for
  Debian 10 are not affected.
- New images for testing and pioneer are released with this fix.
  New Pioneer edition kits shipping with the updated images are


Application installations and software updates no longer work.

You might see an error message similar to the following when trying to
install an app.

    Error installing application: Error during installation E: Repository
‘http://security.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates InRelease’
changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘testing’ to ‘stable’


The Buster release triggered a change in name of release files.

- testing now points to bullseye instead of buster.
- buster is now stable, not testing.

Debian expects users to explicitly accept the change in names, which
unattended-upgrades cannot do, so it is blocked.


Add your SSH public key to your administrator account on FreedomBox.
Copy the contents for the file .ssh/id_rsa.pub from your user’s home
directory and paste it into the field for ssh key in your FreedomBox
administrator user’s account and submit.

Login via ssh into your FreedomBox with the administrator account.

    $ ssh <username>@<freedombox-url>

Run apt update to fetch the latest release files

    $ sudo apt update

When you run the above command, you will be presented with a prompt
similar to the following. Press y and enter. Let the command finish

    Get:1 http://deb.debian.org/debian testing InRelease [117 kB]
    E: Repository 'http://deb.debian.org/debian testing InRelease'
changed its 'Codename' value from 'buster' to 'bullseye'
    N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this
repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.
    Do you want to accept these changes and continue updating from this
repository? [y/N]

The above message is shown to testing users. For Pioneer users, the
following will be shown as the error message in the second line.

    E: Repository ‘http://security.debian.org/debian-security
buster/updates InRelease’ changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘testing’ to

After accepting the prompt, your app installations and automatic
software upgrades will start working again.


Unfortunately, this issue cannot be fixed by releasing a new freedombox
package, since updates to existing installations are blocked because of
this issue. However, we will try to find a permanent fix to avoid this
issue when the next Debian release happens.


1. First report
2. Issue in bug tracker

P.S. You can find this announcement on the forum at

Joseph Nuthalapati

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