I am aware of these things.
We stick to the distribution tree as closely as possible - which is
generally 100% as we don't have any unusual needs. Many years ago I had
a machine running Mandrake which was regularly messed with and come
update time.... As you say - I have been to that place, have strayed
from the pure path of the distribution tree and have felt the pain -
We run new distributions on a separate machine first.
When running a dist-upgrade for a server I normally clone the hard drive
and run the upgrade on the cloned drive so I have the original drive to
slot back into the machine if it all goes wrong or takes too long.
Another way we have done it was to remove the old hard drive for safe
keeping and install from the backups and upgrade that - helps to test
our backup plan at the same time.
Paul O'Malley - gnu's not unix - wrote:
> Gavin McCullagh wrote:
>>>>> Is this then any different or more reliable than the Ubuntu option of
>>> doing regular dist-upgrades?
>>>> The word "reliable" is a bit subjective.
>> If the word reliable is referring to dist-upgrade, this is something
> you as an administrator need to take care of and consider this and more:
>> How modified or customised from the debian tree is your current
>> If you are using Python / PHP / Haskell / Perl / Lisp or some such as
> part of an application, then, can you document the changes to it in
> the dist-upgrade break your application.
>> If you can't then should you have a second machine where you test your
> install of a fresh version while you prepare for a migration.
>> You should have such a machine if you are in any way dependant on your
> IT infrastructure, i.e. a testing environment.
>> WRT being burnt with dist upgrades know this, every time you stray
> from the original distro, every modification, will put you in a place
> that can cause you pain up to and including losing access to your
> data, this is a rare event but it depends on who and how you take
> advice. ;-)
>> BTW in DR they say, "It is not a plan until you test it!".
>> The same goes for all distros, the more the mods the more the risk of
>> Blowing away an install and beginning again with a CD/DVD in hand and
> a plan could save you lots of work.
>> In fact a plan should save you lots of work.
> Recently I had the following upgrade experiences (within the last 6
>> FreeBSD 7.0 to 7.1 easy. (no critical apps)
>> Debian etch to lenny, burnt by a network driver, sorted by a cruel hack!
>> Ubuntu desktop dapper to hardy, for a critical operator in the home
> (the boss). Perfect.
>> Ubuntu Hardy to Intrepid, where's my grub gone! (very strange
> hardware, easy enough fix but a surprise none the less)
>> gNewSense 1.0 to 2.0 - reinstall (hey we ain't all perfect ;PPPPP)
>> I have lost boxes in the past due to strange and wonderful hacks that
> turned out to be more strange than wonderful.
>> Yay for backups, and backups of backups!
>> If you altering a Distro's main office suite or web browser to the
> latest version without good reason, you have stepped off the planet of
> expected good results, you are now as some say "on your own"!
>> What happens when you run Apache 1.3 and it is no longer supported by
> your distro or the Apache foundation, choose carefully, and don't just
> rush in where angels fear to thread.
>> (with a special note to cjb .. where daemons fear to multi thread :-P)
> Paul O'Malley
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