This document shows how to upgrade from Devuan Jessie to Devuan ASCII. It assumes a working Devuan Jessie system is already installed and should not be used for migrations from Debian.

Upgrade from Devuan Jessie to ASCII

First edit the sources.list file so that the branch can be changed to ASCII.

root@devuan:~# editor /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the latest Devuan mirror and the ASCII branch as shown. Comment out any other lines.

deb ascii main
deb ascii-updates main
deb ascii-security main
deb ascii-backports main

Upgrade the Devuan keyring to make sure you have the latest version.

root@devuan:~# apt-get upgrade devuan-keyring

Update the package index files.

root@devuan:~# apt-get update

The only thing left to do is upgrade the system.

root@devuan:~# apt-get dist-upgrade

The default kernel version in ASCII is 4.9, but I'm still running 3.16 after the upgrade

The problem:

  • (fsmithred) The kernel doesn't get upgraded automatically unless a kernel metapackage is installed.


  • Install the kernel metapackage (recommended)
  • Install a newer kernel package directly
  • Find available packages via apt-cache search linux-image. Then run apt-get install <package>.
  • Note: This does not remove the old kernel package. But it can be safely removed through apt after reboot. You may be asked to run update-grub after removing it.

Generating GPG keys

When I run gpg --gen-key, I'm only asked for a name, e-mail address and passphrase. Where did the other options go?

You're working with the leaner key generation interface that was introduced in version 2.1. Use

gpg --full-gen-key

to get all the options.

When I generate a key from an X terminal window, GPG brings up a graphical window for entering the passphrase, but I want to enter it on the command line.

You're most likely missing the pinentry-tty package. After installing it, open the file ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf in your favorite text editor and add a line saying:

pinentry-program /usr/bin/pinentry-tty

After saving the file, run:

gpgconf --kill gpg-agent

Now it should work as expected.

  • Note: You might also consider using pinentry-curses.

X freezes on start-up

The problem:


  • either add needs_root_rights=yes to /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config (tested)
  • or install elogind and libpam-elogind to run X as a normal user (verify)

Logging out on VT2 crashes the X server on VT1

This is due to Bash running the clear_console program on log-out. This behavior can be changed by editing (or simply deleting) the file ~/.bash_logout.

For more information, see

My cursor theme was changed and I want to change it back

As superuser, run:

update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme

Then select the desired theme by number and hit Enter. After logging out and in again, the cursor theme should be changed back.

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