Upgrade mainpc to Debian 9.1 [1]

I wrote about this last time. Like all the other times I have upgraded this will be a multi step process because of the various things needed on the system. However none of my other computers will be changed from Xubuntu. I don’t have any real ideological reasons but I do want a system that is more widely supported than Xubuntu and yet still has the Xfce desktop interface which is light and fast. I remember that I tried Debian one time before and didn’t like it for some reason, but I think that time is now past and I will go ahead with the upgrade this time. Probably all of the other computers will stay with Xubuntu (Artful currently).
To get more up to date packages the system needs to have the testing repositories added to apt, this is simple enough to do with a line or two in /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://ftp.nz.debian.org/debian/ testing non-free contrib main

(you may also have a deb-src line as well)

which gives me access to the NZ repositories for testing. When I put this into my test VM and ran apt update it said there were 778 new packages available. Whether all of these actually are required is somewhat moot as the main issue is that the system is pretty well stripped down to the minimum required components – which is probably going to be the case anyway. There were actually 892 gets needed which took 11 minutes in total to download. About the same amount of time again was needed to install everything.

So this is just an early stage of looking into it because there are numerous steps to follow and there will be reinstallation of the software and various disruptions etc.