[nSLUG] Time to upgrade the server OS...
Steven R. Baker
srbaker at pobox.com
Wed Sep 15 11:14:10 ADT 2004
> My desktop at work was running Debian Woody (stable). I was frustrated
> that certain packages were quite far behind current releases, and I wanted
> features present in newer versions. So I decided to upgrade to
> "testing". I changed my /etc/apt/sources.list to reflect that, and
> changed my cron-apt to not just download but install the packages
> overnight. When I came in the next day my system was a mess, apt-get was
> generating all kinds of errors and wouldn't finish the upgrades without a
> lot of intervention, and it took me most of a work day to get things
> mostly working. Some stuff still doesn't work right, and I swear I'm
> going to fix it any day now...
Well, there are two things that you did wrong.
First, you upgraded to "testing", a distribution of Debian which is
known to be stability impaired.
Second, automating a distribution upgrade is *beyond* stupid. Use
apt-get -d to download only automagically if you must, but take the
30-40 minutes out of your busy schedule to watch the package
I've done literally *hundreds* of woody->sarge upgrades and they all
went smoothly *because* I was watching and interfering where needed.
Distribution arguments are uninteresting to me because it seems like a
solved problem. Every distribution supports a different type of user.
Debian supports the advanced technical user; Fedora supports the desktop
user in need of frequent updates; RedHat and SuSE support corporate
users in different ways; Gentoo supports script kiddies.
Personally, I use Debian on everything that I run, and Fedora on
anything that I expect !me to *ever* use. I've even been using Fedora
on a personal basis more often lately, too.
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