Debian hangs while doing an upgrade

This rather unfortunate hanging event was caused by my neglecting to modify the firefox settings in my Debian, as outlined in the post
Debian Bullseye, KDE hangs - where to look for errors?

So, my own fault, but how do I get out of it.
A reboot does not work, not even a cold boot. I get a window system with an app menu and nothing else… blank screen and cant start a terminal.

So, boot it in recovery mode, login as root, and try to redo the upgrade, but
apt-get update says it cant find
apt-get update says that I have to first do
dpkg --configure -a
because dpkg was interrupted
So I do that , and it says
pcre2-utils is in an inconsistent state, and I should reinstall it
apt-get purge pcre2-utils
apt-get install pcre2-utils
then run
apt-get check
and it says everything is OK.
and when it stops ends with the message
`nouveau -0000:01:00.0 DRM: GPU: lockup - switching to software fbcon’
So it looks like that is what the firefox hangup was about.

On reboot, it now starts OK, and I have my Gnome window system back. Phew.

First thing I do is go into firefox and change those settings

  • Use recommended performance settings OFF
  • Use hardware acceleration when available OFF

Then I try another
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
and everything is fine.

Lesson learnt… when you find out something useful , like those firefox settings, change it in ALL distros, not just the one you happen to be using at the time.a And I have to change it in Waterfox and Thunderbird as well as Firefox.

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