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What is “dist-upgrade” and why does it upgrade more than “upgrade”?

Is this dist-upgrade normal? It looks like there are way too many packages and some that shouldn't even be there I suppose.

nuno@mozart:~$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  apparmor apport-gtk at avahi-daemon avahi-utils binfmt-support bluez bluez-alsa bluez-cups bluez-gstreamer brltty checkbox checkbox-gtk console-setup couchdb-bin cron
  cups cups-driver-gutenprint cups-pdf desktopcouch desktopcouch-ubuntuone dkms eclipse-jdt eclipse-pde eclipse-platform erlang-base erlang-inets erlang-public-key
  erlang-ssl friendly-recovery ftp gdm gnome-bluetooth gnome-disk-utility gnome-power-manager gnome-session gnome-session-bin gnome-session-fallback gnome-shell
  gnome-tweak-tool gnome-user-share gufw hplip hplip-cups indicator-power indicator-session irqbalance jarwrapper katepart kbd kde-runtime kdebase-runtime kdelibs-bin
  kdelibs5-plugins kdepim-runtime kdepimlibs-kio-plugins kdoctools keyboard-configuration knotes kubuntu-debug-installer lftp libakonadi-contact4 libakonadi-kcal4
  libakonadi-kde4 libakonadi-kmime4 libkabc4 libkatepartinterfaces4 libkcal4 libkcalutils4 libkde3support4 libkdepim4 libkdewebkit5 libkemoticons4 libkfile4 libkhtml5
  libkio5 libkmediaplayer4 libknewstuff3-4 libknotifyconfig4 libkontactinterface4 libkparts4 libkpimidentities4 libkpimtextedit4 libkpimutils4 libktexteditor4
  libmailtransport4 libmicroblog4 libnss-mdns libplasma3 libsolid4 lightdm linux-generic linux-generic-pae linux-image-3.0.0-12-generic linux-image-3.0.0-12-generic-pae
  linux-image-3.0.0-13-generic linux-image-3.0.0-13-generic-pae linux-image-3.0.0-14-generic linux-image-3.0.0-14-generic-pae linux-image-3.0.0-15-generic
  linux-image-3.0.0-15-generic-pae linux-image-3.0.0-16-generic linux-image-3.0.0-16-generic-pae linux-image-generic linux-image-generic-pae linux-sound-base lsb-core
  modemmanager mysql-server mysql-server-5.1 nautilus-share network-manager network-manager-gnome network-manager-pptp network-manager-pptp-gnome ntfs-3g ntpdate
  oss-compat pcmciautils plasma-scriptengine-javascript plymouth-label plymouth-theme-fade-in plymouth-theme-ubuntu-logo plymouth-theme-ubuntu-text pm-utils
  powermgmt-base ppp pppconfig pppoeconf pptp-linux qapt-batch rsyslog sane-utils sat4j simple-scan telepathy-salut telnet ubuntu-minimal ubuntu-standard ufw
  update-notifier upower ureadahead usb-creator-common usb-creator-gtk wine wine1.3 wireless-crda xdiagnose xorg xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-input-all
  xserver-xorg-input-evdev xserver-xorg-input-mouse xserver-xorg-input-synaptics xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse xserver-xorg-input-wacom xserver-xorg-video-all
  xserver-xorg-video-ati xserver-xorg-video-cirrus xserver-xorg-video-fbdev xserver-xorg-video-geode xserver-xorg-video-intel xserver-xorg-video-mach64
  xserver-xorg-video-mga xserver-xorg-video-neomagic xserver-xorg-video-nouveau xserver-xorg-video-openchrome xserver-xorg-video-qxl xserver-xorg-video-r128
  xserver-xorg-video-radeon xserver-xorg-video-s3 xserver-xorg-video-savage xserver-xorg-video-siliconmotion xserver-xorg-video-sis xserver-xorg-video-sisusb
  xserver-xorg-video-tdfx xserver-xorg-video-trident xserver-xorg-video-vesa xserver-xorg-video-vmware
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  diff erlang-base-hipe libraw1394-8 libsepol1 mktemp
The following packages have been kept back:
  python-cddb python-notify
The following packages will be upgraded:
  libavc1394-0
1 upgraded, 5 newly installed, 181 to remove and 2 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/9,339 kB of archives.
After this operation, 1,565 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? 
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marked as duplicate by Uri Herrera, Jjed, hbdgaf, bodhi.zazen, htorque Mar 19 '12 at 18:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1 Answer 1

I think the question isn't necessarily about the size of the update, but the number of packages. If you frequently update your kernel to stay with current release, a list this long should not happen. Specifically:

linux-image-3.0.0-13-generic linux-image-3.0.0-13-generic-pae 
linux-image-3.0.0-14-generic linux-image-3.0.0-14-generic-pae 
linux-image-3.0.0-15-generic linux-image-3.0.0-15-generic-pae 
linux-image-3.0.0-16-generic linux-image-3.0.0-16-generic-pae 
linux-image-generic          linux-image-generic-pae

It seems you've missed some kernel updates or you've recently installed from non-current live media.

EDIT:
Oops. Those were all in the removed packages list. Looks like you were trying to dist-upgrade to 12.04, which is not yet 'stable'. Looks like:
a)I made a mistake.
b)You're question immediately becomes a 12.04 bug report and off topic.

As the question referenced in the comments notes, it should be larger than normal. I look at the packages, not the size though.

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i did execute the dist-upgrade and now I don't have a grub entry for Ubuntu! :S What have I done? –  nunos Mar 18 '12 at 11:42

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