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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Tuesday March 19, 2002
02:57 AM


[ #3633 ]

I've finally decided I need to upgrade ted, the server that runs and a bunch of other sites. It's running Mandrake Linux 7.0, but with a whole bunch of personally installed software. Sadly there are no longer any security updates for 7.0. I'm not entirely sure what my upgrade strategy should be. I sort of wish there was something like apt, where I could just upgrade automatically. I tried changing my version number in /etc/mandrake-release, and re-ran redcarpet. Strangley that worked, and I was prompted for all sorts of Mandrake 7.2 updates (that's what I changed my version number to). I didn't think it was a good idea to just let it rip though - could be very bad for my health.

So what I think I need to do is recommission an old server (all my other machines are laptops, and in-use or useless), and get that setup with all the sites, email, dns, etc, and swap them over. Then do the upgrade offline, then get all those services back in place, then switch back again. Needless to say I'm extremely nervous about all of this. Any suggestions or war stories most welcome.

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  • ... or not.

    Two good alternatives:

    1) Do the swap thing as you said; if you do it right then swapping back will just be copying over a bunch of files. I like to make installations of projects as self contained as possibly for that reason. On FreeBSD I usually make a perl/apache+mod_perl installation in /home/perl (a script installs Perl and the CPAN modules). Each project then run as their own user, with their own httpd.conf, apachectl and all. Moving a project is just a matter of rsyncing /home/foo.


    -- ask bjoern hansen [], !try; do();

    • I'm tempted to JDI. I'd need to reserve a weekend or an evening for it, but I guess it could be done. What scares me most is knowing what I'll miss in the backup - My MP3's take up most of the space, so I'd have to figure out a way to store those temporarily. Perhaps I'll just buy a new computer - that's always the easiest way ;-) I bet I could just about afford a 600 or 700 Mhz pentium second hand.
      • Maybe you could just buy an extra disk. 80G go for really cheap this days, even in France. They also tend to fill-up just as fast as 40M used to a couple of years ago, darn MP3s and AVIs (not to mention people would crank up modules by the dozen)!