Upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04 from 20.04: Will all my applications work?

In summary: Since usually I have nothing personal anywhere else than in the /home, this tends to work really nicely.This is what I usually do.
  • #1
Wrichik Basu
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Ubuntu 22.04.1 has been released recently, and the Software Centre shows that my system is ready to upgrade. I want to upgrade, but I am a bit afraid because there is no option to rollback the upgrade. I have a number of applications that are essential and I need them to work properly:
  • MATLAB R2020b
  • Android Studio
  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • GIMP
  • Fritzing
  • Arduino IDE
  • MikTeX
  • MySQL
  • OBS Studio
  • VirtualBox
  • VLC
  • OnlyOffice Desktop Editors (alternative to MS Office)
  • Foxit Reader
  • TexMaker
  • LTspice XVII (via Wine)
  • IrfanView (via Wine)
  • git
  • gradle
I was seeing some articles online on how the upgrade process works. The articles state that the upgrade will be done without removing any existing data and applications. Does this ensure that all the applications which are currently working in 20.04.1 will continue to work in 22.04.1 after the upgrade?

I am afraid of losing my working environment, but at the same time, interested in using the latest OS. Testing on VirtualBox will perhaps be not possible, because I cannot install two copies of MATLAB, and installing Android Studio (and replicating current configuration) in virtual OS is a near-impossible task.
 
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  • #2
I believe most if not all of your apps will work. However, you shouldn't mess with a working environment if you still have to get things done on a schedule. As an example, update between projects or update between semesters when you have time to test things out and recover from any incompatibilities.

YOU SHOULD ALSO BACKUP EVERYTHING BEFORE EVEN THINKING OF UPGRADING.

You could also buy a new computer, install the new OS and then migrate your stuff over.
 
  • #3
jedishrfu said:
update between projects or update between semesters when you have time to test things out and recover from any incompatibilities.
Recovering is what I am afraid of. Over these years, I have made so many changes which I don't even remember. The system works as I want under those changes, but if I have to re-do all of them, install all the applications and start afresh, I doubt how many days/months that will take. :H One of the reasons I shifted to Ubuntu from Windows is that after every update, something would be broken, and I would have to search and search to find a solution. The last time, an update just took away the brightness buttons. This frustrated me enough to shift to Ubuntu.
jedishrfu said:
YOU SHOULD ALSO BACKUP EVERYTHING BEFORE EVEN THINKING OF UPGRADING.
That is something I do on a bi-weekly basis.
jedishrfu said:
You could also buy a new computer, install the new OS and then migrate your stuff over.
Life would have been different if I had that much money. :sorry:
 
  • #4
Wrichik Basu said:
That is something I do on a bi-weekly basis.
For this, I think the usual backup won't do. You need a complete copy of the whole system, as-is.

What I usually do is to have a fresh set of HDDs for the install (so I keep the whole old system intact), and then copy over the /home manually once all the programs got installed
Since usually I have nothing personal anywhere else than in the /home, this tends to work really nicely.
Consequently, what I usually do is not an upgrade but always a new, clean, fresh install.

Well, things may be different since I have an OpenSuse system, not Ubuntu: though the sanctity of the /home is kind of a general requirement by now, as far as I know
 
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  • #5
Rive said:
For this, I think the usual backup won't do. You need a complete copy of the whole system, as-is.
Yes, you are right: I need something akin to a recovery disk on Windows. I remember TimeShift is said to be able to do this. I tried TimeShift last year probably, but couldn't set it up properly. I will explore it once again.
Rive said:
What I usually do is to have a fresh set of HDDs for the install (so I keep the whole old system intact), and then copy over the /home manually once all the programs got installed
Since usually I have nothing personal anywhere else than in the /home, this tends to work really nicely.
Consequently, what I usually do is not an upgrade but always a new, clean, fresh install.

Well, things may be different since I have an OpenSuse system, not Ubuntu: though the sanctity of the /home is kind of a general requirement by now, as far as I know
I certainly have all my files in the home folder, but not all applications are installed there. For instance, the Android SDK is in /usr/local/Android, Android Studio is in /usr/local/android-studio and IntelliJ IDEA is in /usr/localintellij-idea. Some applications are probably installed in home folder: I have hidden folders like .arduino15, .gradle, .jupyter, .MathWorks, .matlab, .miktex, and so on. Then, there are programs/libraries that I have installed through apt and the Software Centre, and I have no idea where these are installed.

I will be able to preserve the files, but my concern is to get the applications running properly. If I could "copy" the whole OS along with all installed applications, their configurations and settings, there would be nothing better than that.

Different hard drives is an option, but opening the back of the laptop is something I don't want to do unless very necessary.
 
  • #6
I have somewhat decided on the following: I am backing up the system using TimeShift onto a 64 GB pen drive. TimeShift is backing up the usual OS directories, as well as all the files under /root. I would have also backed up all the hidden files under my home directory too, but that will need more space. So, I will just copy all the files (including all hidden files, except .cache/) under my home directory to an external HDD the usual way.

If something goes wrong after the upgrade, I will be able to restore the system by booting into a Live USB. I will be creating this Live USB on an 8 GB pen drive before the upgrade. Once the system is restored with TimeShift, I will manually copy the files under my home directory.

Even if there is some issue with the Live USB, it will probably be possible to install Ubuntu 20.04 afresh and then restore a TimeShift snapshot.
 
  • #7
Do a standard folder and file backup of your stuff too. Just in case.

Also test your backups to make sure they are fine and you can access files and the numbers of files/folders and file content matchup.

Years ago, a coworker was anxious to move to a new computer system. THe new system came with a box of blank diskettes for the higher capacity drive of the system. My coworker used those disks to make a backup of his existing system, reformatted the old drive and then proceeded to setup and install his files on the new system.

However, to his surprise there was nothing on the disks, absolutely nothing. They were high capacity (1.2mb vs the 360kb) but they required a high capacity drive with a stronger magnetic write head to write anything. The old computer had no such diskette drive and hence nothing got written and no warning was issued. He never checked the backup disks before he reformatted and erased his old drive.

He learned the true meaning of the proverb "On a clear disk you can seek forever."
 
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  • #8
Wrichik Basu said:
I remember TimeShift is said to be able to do this.
The backside of my approach is, that while I'm doing everything the simple way, I have no idea what it takes to do it the complex way o0)
Wrichik Basu said:
I certainly have all my files in the home folder, but not all applications are installed there.
I too have programs which are not completely in the /home: that's why I copy over the /home only once the programs are installed.
So the process actually starts with a complete list of installed stuff.
 
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  • #9
Did the upgrade. All applications were working fine. But then, I screwed up pretty much everything.

After the upgrade, there was no gnome-control-center (aka Settings). I tried to do sudo apt install gnome-control-center and got the following error:
Bash:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies.
 libpython3.10 : Depends: libpython3.10-stdlib (= 3.10.4-3ubuntu0.1) but 3.10.6-1+focal1 is to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
I tried sudo apt --fix-broken install, sudo apt upgrade and sudo aptitude safe-upgrade, but in vain.

I opened aptitude by sudo aptitude. Under "Upgradable packages", there was 1 package. When I pressed g on that, I got the following screen:

?hash=bbb88fa3d72c80c1d85c620282164ed3.png


I clicked on "OK" and then scrolled down to libpeas-1.0-0 to find:

1661197768575.png


When I clicked on -, I got the following warning:

1661197837862.png


Which showed that important packages will be removed if I proceed.

Here, I made the mistake: I clicked g and the library got removed, and with it, a number of packages like gedit, rythmbox were gone. But the dependency conflict wasn't solved.

I could have installed those packages back if the dependency conflict was re-solved later. But I panicked and closed the terminal and lost all the output.

TimeShift was the only way out. Restored the snapshot and got back my old Ubuntu 20.04 at the exact point where I left it. Phew.

Now the question: why was there this conflict with Python 3.10? While I was still in Ubuntu 22.04, I posted this question in AskUbuntu, and someone commented that probably packages were installed from a non-Ubuntu source. In 20.04, I had installed Python 3.10 using the deadsnakes ppa. Could that be causing the issue?

Advice from everyone is appreciated because I would have to do the upgrade sooner or later. Also pinging @pbuk who has helped me in the past in these situations.
 

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  • #10
Wrichik Basu said:
In 20.04, I had installed Python 3.10 using the deadsnakes ppa. Could that be causing the issue?
Very likely. Once you accept a 3rd party ppa you are overriding the abilty of the Ubuntu upgrade to control what is going on.
Wrichik Basu said:
Advice from everyone is appreciated because I would have to do the upgrade sooner or later. Also pinging @pbuk who has helped me in the past in these situations.
My advice is this: don't upgrade, reinstall. And do this once a year anyway. For me, this:
Wrichik Basu said:
Recovering is what I am afraid of. Over these years, I have made so many changes which I don't even remember. The system works as I want under those changes, but if I have to re-do all of them, install all the applications and start afresh, I doubt how many days/months that will take.
is an unacceptable situation. What would you do if your computer was stolen/wiped by lightning/caught in a flood/wiped by user error?

A couple of tips on how to make "bare metal" recoveries as easy as possible:
  • Store all your application data in the cloud: easy with Windows/Office/OneDrive, on Linux I would probably look at Dropbox or maybe pDrive.
  • Store all your vital configurations, license keys, SSH keys etc. in a private GitHub repo. You would be surprised how little is vital - for instance I don't bother with my VS Code configuration, I just change the defaults after install.
The first time you do this it is a bit daunting, and there will be things you miss - this is the point really, once you have done it a few times you have a personal disaster recovery plan that actually works.
 
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  • #12
jedishrfu said:
Murphy is watching you @pbuk
Well exactly, and in particular I believe in the extended Murphy's law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time.

If I had a deadline at 9am tomorrow and my main PC went up in flames in front of me at lunchtime I'd probably lose a morning's work, but I know that I can be up and running on replacement hardware in time to work through the night and deliver on time.
 
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  • #14
jedishrfu said:
Unless murphy gets to your backup.
I'll live with the risk that GitHub and/or OneDrive is taken out at the same time as my desktop.
 
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  • #16
Not sure if this is still relevant, I have successfully upgraded from Ubuntu 20.04.4 to 22.04.1. I also have a heavy dev environment and cannot afford any down time. I made the upgrade during the weekend, to give me enough time to repair in case of troubles.

Here is the high level summary:
  • Don't believe the tech blogs about how easy it is to upgrade to 22.04. They practice on empty VMs so they have no idea about a real machine. If you have a heavy working environment, expect to spend some times to deal with small details.
  • My machine is HP z840 workstation, low end AMD graphic, low end webcam.
  • Used the terminal method "https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-upgrade-ubuntu-to-22-04-lts-jammy-jellyfish"
  • The upgrade took less than 1 hour, no data loss. Ubuntu 22.04.1 boots OK. Secured boot, drivers, hardware, everything works OK. I would even say the PulseAudio seems better, in terms of compatibility with my audio, microphone.
  • Took 2 days to stabilize (ie. fixing small weird changes). 1 day to fix minor configs, 1 day to switch from Gnome Wayland to X11, re-install and test graphical applications.
The machine is now stable, zero productivity loss. Some minor positive things are the gnome extensions Tray icons is better. Flameshot screenshot utility is slightly better. The negative side is heavier: gnome extensions change a lot (not managed by Extension Manager instead of Gnome tweak), the worst is the Gnome 42 theme is an absolute abomination. It is all dark or light. Overlapping windows are hard to distinguish.

Overall, I am not wowed at all by 22.04 Gnome. Quite the contrary, I am now determined to move from Gnome to KDE. Will do that when I have a stretch of many days.

Now if you are interested in the details.

I don't use Timeshift, all my code are in Gitlab. Big files are stored in a cloud account. I just tar zip gpg encrypt my app config & data and upload in the cloud. In case disaster happens, I will just reinstall from scratch (ie. format disk) and restore manually the data.

During the upgrade, any apps which are in the official Ubuntu repo are upgraded. Mostly any terminal based apps are upgraded perfectly. Snap applications are also migrated correctly.

3rd party apt repos are all disabled and need to be re-enable manually. Instead, I just deleted these repos in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ and reinstall these app again using `sudo apt`

The most visible breakage came from Gnome which default to Wayland instead of X11. Some apps just don't start (Firefox, Bitwarden). Apps which need access to the screen outside of their own space will either not start (Flameshot) or have the function disabled (video, screenshare in Zoom, Slack, MS Teams).

The fix is just to switch back to X11, uninstall these app + reinstall. For Firefox, Zoom, Teams, I choose to install the the non snap version. Not because I hate snap, I just want to try an alternative.

The most time consuming fix was the loss of foreground colors of the ZShell auto-suggestion plugin. It turns out the cause was the upgrade of tmux which has some incompatibilities with the session saved by the older version (and restored automatically). Killing the tmux session to restart from scratch and that's it.

The next time consuming part is the new Gnome 42: all gnome extension system are broken and removed. Must be all re-installed. I use just 2: Fripery clock move and Tray icon. Then learn how to use and configure them, must use the new Extension manager. Then the new awful Gnome theme which I trial and errors a few times to find the way to re-enable my former custom Gnome theme.

Surprisingly my dev tools are the ones that cause my the least troubles. IntelliJ, VSCode, git, gnome-keyring, and a bunch of terminal based tools.

That's it. Wish you best of lucks. If you need any details please let me know.
 
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  • #17
Some years ago when I did an Ubuntu kernel upgrade, I lost my screen driver somehow which caused me to backup to an older kernel. It took roughly six months before Ubuntu fixed it properly. The laptop was an ASUS X200MA. I recall I didn't know where to report the issue and figured it would be on someones queue but I never expected 6 months. Fortunately, the old kernel still worked.
 
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  • #18
Thanks, @Trikenstein, for the detailed post.

I did the upgrade yesterday, once again. This time, however, there were no broken packages. In post #9, I had written that the broken package was Python 3.10. @pbuk, in post #10, had agreed that it is very likely that the Python 3.10 that I had installed from the deadsnakes PPA was causing the issue. This time, before the upgrade, I purged Python 3.10 as well as 3.9, and changed all variables (python and python3) back to Python 3.8. After the upgrade, everything seems to work fine, at least as of now.

Trikenstein said:
The upgrade took less than 1 hour,
I am surprised at this. I have a low speed internet, and connection to Ubuntu servers seem slower than any other site, so the download part took ~ 1.5 hours. But the installation part, i.e. unpack and then setting up, took exactly 4 hours 30 mins. The cleaning took another half an hour, after which the system restarted.
Trikenstein said:
1 day to switch from Gnome Wayland to X11
Interestingly, in my laptop, Wayland was never installed, and the windowing system remained X11 after the upgrade.
Trikenstein said:
Overall, I am not wowed at all by 22.04 Gnome.
As long as I can still find my applications, and the GUI is more or less fine, I will stick to Gnome. Agreed, the changes are not great, but I can live with it, at least, for now.
Trikenstein said:
The next time consuming part is the new Gnome 42: all gnome extension system are broken and removed. Must be all re-installed. I use just 2: Fripery clock move and Tray icon. Then learn how to use and configure them, must use the new Extension manager.
I used 16 extensions in Ubuntu 20.04. Out of that, two are no longer supported because the functionality has already been integrated into Gnome by default. One has not yet been updated to Gnome 42. I just upgraded the rest using the Gnome Shell Integrations Chrome extension, and they were ready to go.
Trikenstein said:
Surprisingly my dev tools are the ones that cause my the least troubles. IntelliJ, VSCode, git, gnome-keyring, and a bunch of terminal based tools.
My applications are running fine, at least the ones I have tested so far. TexMaker and OpenShot got uninstalled during the upgrade process, not sure why. Installing TexMaker through apt required me to also install TeXlive. I use MikTeX instead. I downloaded the .deb file and installed that through GDebi. The TexMaker config files were not lost because once I started it, it had all the custom commands that I had set up.

I use Jupyter for Machine Learning. It was crashing. Found that some Python packages were missing. VirtualBox, too, required some python packages, and installing those got these applications up on their feet once again. MATLAB is working fine "out-of-the-box", even though they haven't yet officially released support for Jammy.

In conclusion, the broken packages issue turned out to be due to the Python 3.10 that I had installed in Focal. And for the question in the title of the thread, the answer is, fortunately, "Yes".

Thanks, everyone, for the support and advice.
 
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  • #19
Wrichik Basu said:
I used 16 extensions in Ubuntu 20.04.
In my opinion, this clearly indicates that Gnome is lacking. Honestly, have you ever wondered why you need those 16 extensions? Why is it your job to find a solution to fix what should probably be implemented by default? It's like buying a car but the steering wheel is in the middle. The user must find a way to move it to the right place. Actually it's a real example, the steering wheel here is the clock in the topbar. I think you'd be happy with KDE.

I am much less demanding. I just need to move the clock to the right edge, and have the tray icon indicators visible. There is no such possibility in Gnome default. Must install 2 extensions. Whoever designed such a bare bone Gnome desktop environment has no clues about design. In fact, with some extensions my computer is fully functional. I don't need anything flashy. But I can't stand the idea where the designer forces the users to comply to his design tastes.

Wrichik Basu said:
Interestingly, in my laptop, Wayland was never installed, and the windowing system remained X11 after the upgrade.
Probably NVidia graphics? Mine is AMD which has very good open source graphic driver.

Wrichik Basu said:
Found that some Python packages were missing. VirtualBox, too, required some python package

I don't use python directly, it was installed by some 3rd party command line tools. After the upgrade python version is magically at 3.10. Not sure what you use Virtualbox for, but if this is to run Linux, it would be much more efficient to use KVM + Libvirt Manager.

I didn't mention about the disk partitions layout. More exactly, if you organize your disk in multiple partitions. This would shield you better from the uncertainty of OS upgrade. For example, 3 partitions:
  • /boot : 512MB for UEFI bios, 2G for legacy Bios
  • / (root): 20GB if light use, 80GB if a lots of things installed
  • /home: the rest of the drive
  • optional swap partition: none if you have lots of RAM, roughly 1x to 2x of your total RAM
On home machines where there is nothing critical, I just install fresh OS + format the /boot and root partitions. The /home partition is just re-mounted WITHOUT being formatted. During the install just recreate the same users and this would hookup the users with the existing /home/user directory in the existing /home partition. Next just re-install 3rd party apps if any. You can even overwrite the OS with a Linux from a different distro and this will still work.

If you don't have this partition layout, I would encourage you to make a one-time investment in trying out. This will be a very useful free "life insurance" for many of your future OS upgrade. In case you want to put this in practice, I use ext4 File system. In particular, I don't create any swap partition.

This approach is simple, robust, safe. Works well if there is no disk encryption. Full disk encryption (FDE) or partition encryption would require more careful planning. FDE with custom partition layout is a bit complicate. I didn't experiment yet but will need to put this in practice. Work projects require disk encryption.

For the Ubuntu 22.04.1 upgrade I made 2 weeks ago. It was the first time I used an in-place upgrade. Which at the end didn't save me any time.
 
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  • #20
I dumped Ubuntu several months ago when I got a new ASUS X515 with half the disk space ie 256GB SSD and installed Fedora. Things are more minimal but work fairly well. I've had to tweak VLC ro recognize some filetypes like .part so while a video is being downloaded you can check it out. I still have an issue with the zsh command session where it messes up the command prompt when you backtrack through your command list which I've yet to figure out.

Ubuntu seemed to be slow to update its library of third party software so using the snap facility you'd get older stuff that would be incompatible with the latest updates. In particular the golang was a couple of versions older than what golang had on its site.
 
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  • #22
jedishrfu said:
I dumped Ubuntu several months ago when I got a new ASUS X515
Why Fedora? Maybe Arch? I use EndeavourOS, KDE flavor for home computers.

jedishrfu said:
Ubuntu seemed to be slow to update its library of third party software so using the snap facility you'd get older stuff that would be incompatible with the latest updates. In particular the golang was a couple of versions older than what golang had on its site.
This depends on the maintainer of the snap app. Zoom, Golang lag behind real time. IntelliJ, VSCode, Bitwarden are updated almost real time. Golang in particular recommends to install from binaries from go.dev. With time, you know how frequent snap updates your apps. For example, I prefer to update Zoom manually directly from *.deb instead of using snap.

jedishrfu said:
I still have an issue with the zsh command session where it messes up the command prompt when you backtrack through your command list which I've yet to figure out.
Weird, I use Zshell + Oh-my-Zsh. With 2 plugins (zsh-autosuggestions, zsh-syntax-highlighting). Never have such a prob. Maybe you can customize your ZSh prompt using these docs:
Example:
Zshell prompt using 256 colors:
# name@current-dir (name in brown, dir in green teal)
PROMPT='%F{95}%n%f@%F{29}%~%f $ '

# no name, dir in bold pink, only show 2 last dir levels (%2~), prompt % + newline (instead of $)
NEWLINE=$'\n'
PROMPT='%F{125}%B%2~%b%f %#${NEWLINE}'
 
  • #23
Trikenstein said:
In my opinion, this clearly indicates that Gnome is lacking.
I'll say. IMHO the only good thing about Gnome in Ubuntu is that it is not Unity. I find Xubuntu much more stable and easy to use, and if it wern't for the awful and evil snap I might even make it my go-to for a Linux desktop.

However we do have snap, and not content with hijacking Chrome, Canonical have now done the same with Firefox.

I moved to Mint a long time ago and remain very happy.
 
  • #24
Trikenstein said:
Probably NVidia graphics?
Possible. I use the proprietary nvidia-driver-470, which was “tested” at the time I switched to it. Without that, OBS Studio was failing.
Trikenstein said:
Not sure what you use Virtualbox for,
For running Windows 10. Occasionally, I need to use the Adobe PDF Editor.
Trikenstein said:
I didn't mention about the disk partitions layout. More exactly, if you organize your disk in multiple partitions. This would shield you better from the uncertainty of OS upgrade.
Yeah, I learned about this long after I had already installed Ubuntu. When I was installing Ubuntu, I was a noob and didn't want to mess with the partitions, and let the installer decide what would be the best. I should make that partition change some day.
 

Related to Upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04 from 20.04: Will all my applications work?

1. Will all my applications be compatible with Ubuntu 22.04?

Most applications should be compatible with Ubuntu 22.04. However, it is always recommended to check with the application's developer or website to ensure compatibility.

2. Will I lose any data or settings when upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04?

No, your data and settings should remain intact during the upgrade process. However, it is always recommended to backup your important files before upgrading, just in case.

3. Do I need to uninstall my current applications before upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04?

No, there is no need to uninstall any applications before upgrading. The upgrade process will take care of any necessary updates or changes.

4. Will I need to reinstall all my applications after upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04?

In most cases, you will not need to reinstall your applications after upgrading. However, some may require updates or reinstallation. It is always recommended to check with the application's developer or website for any necessary actions.

5. Are there any known issues with specific applications when upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04?

There may be some known issues with certain applications when upgrading to Ubuntu 22.04. It is recommended to check with the Ubuntu community or the application's developer for any reported issues and potential solutions.

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