APT repository changes its Suite value from stable to oldstable: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied

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Published on - last updated on April 22nd 2022 - Listed in Linux Security


When an APT repository changes its own "Suite" description, apt will return an alert and a notice:

root@buster:~# apt-get update
Hit:1 http://security.debian.org buster/updates InRelease
Hit:2 https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/7.x/apt stable InRelease
Hit:3 http://httpredir.debian.org/debian buster InRelease
Get:4 https://packages.sury.org/php buster InRelease [6,837 B]
Hit:5 http://repo.mysql.com/apt/debian buster InRelease
Hit:6 https://packagecloud.io/varnishcache/varnish60lts/debian buster InRelease
Reading package lists... Done
E: Repository 'https://packages.sury.org/php buster InRelease' changed its 'Suite' value from '' to 'buster'
N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.

In this case this was seen on the well-known PHP repository from Sury.

Note: For PHP packages one of the recommended apt repositories are the Sury packages (maintained by Ondrej Sury), if the PHP version from the official distribution repos don't fit your need.

The official Debian repositories might change the suite from stable to oldstable or set a new release version:

N: Repository 'http://security.debian.org buster/updates InRelease' changed its 'Suite' value from 'stable' to 'oldstable'
N: Repository 'http://httpredir.debian.org/debian buster InRelease' changed its 'Version' value from '10.9' to '10.12'
N: Repository 'http://httpredir.debian.org/debian buster InRelease' changed its 'Suite' value from 'stable' to 'oldstable'

As long as this Suite change is not accepted, no further packages will be installed from the repository. To handle this, launch apt with the parameter --allow-releaseinfo-change:

root@buster:~# apt-get update --allow-releaseinfo-change
Hit:1 http://security.debian.org buster/updates InRelease
Hit:2 https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/7.x/apt stable InRelease
Get:3 https://packages.sury.org/php buster InRelease [6,837 B]
Hit:4 http://repo.mysql.com/apt/debian buster InRelease
Hit:5 http://httpredir.debian.org/debian buster InRelease
Get:7 https://packages.sury.org/php buster/main amd64 Packages [316 kB]
Hit:6 https://packagecloud.io/varnishcache/varnish60lts/debian buster InRelease
Fetched 323 kB in 2s (199 kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done
N: Repository 'https://packages.sury.org/php buster InRelease' changed its 'Suite' value from '' to 'buster'

Now the error is gone, just a notice remains that the suite description changed.

Another apt-get update and the notice is also gone:

root@buster:~# apt-get update
Hit:1 http://security.debian.org buster/updates InRelease
Hit:2 https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/7.x/apt stable InRelease
Hit:3 http://httpredir.debian.org/debian buster InRelease
Hit:4 http://repo.mysql.com/apt/debian buster InRelease
Hit:5 https://packages.sury.org/php buster InRelease
Hit:6 https://packagecloud.io/varnishcache/varnish60lts/debian buster InRelease
Reading package lists... Done



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