Move the cache

Naturally, last week I wanted to upgrade the Mini to the freshly relased, new and shining Ubuntu 10.04. There was just one small problem: the Mini's SSD is simply too small to hold all packages required for the upgrade. But wait: couldn't we change the default location of all these packages from '/var/cache/apt/archives' to some place with more storage capacity, such as, e.g., an USB stick or a SD card? Oh yes, and its very easy to accomplish.

For a permanent change (such as required for an upgrade), issue the following command (the directory 'archives' should exist, of course):

echo "dir::cache::archives /media/foo/archives;" >> /etc/apt/apt.conf

Temporarily, apt-get itself can redirect the cache with the parameter -o:

apt-get -o dir::cache::archives=/media/foo/archives install bar

After that, it took only a

update-manager -d

to initiate the upgrade. Went without a hitch, except that I didn't have any window decorations anymore (I had to select compiz as window manager again), and the few things I always change:

gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false
gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/indicator-session/suppress_logout_restart_shutdown true
gdm gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/sound/event_sounds false
gdm gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/disable_user_list true
gconftool-2 -s -t string /apps/metacity/general/button_layout ":minimize,maximize,close"

Ok, the last one is new: it puts the buttons in the window decoration to the right (place).

I've also upgraded my 8.04 LTS server to 10.04 LTS with a simple

do-release-upgrade -d

All services continued to function.