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Old 11-07-2008, 03:15 PM
Ramasubramanian Ramesh
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

All,

I run Etch+backports at my home gateway/file server. Lately, I find
that many packages are too old in Etch for my needs. I am thinking of
switching to Lenny. While Lenny is not as stable as Etch, I am not sure
how much difference there is, in terms of stability. I am not worried
about a couple of packages breaking here and there and X not firing up
occasionally. I am only worried about complete breakdown like down time
on this server. So here are my quesitons


Does Lenny breakdown occasionally completely? I mean you cannot boot
after apt-get update.

Will it cause major data corruption due to its instability?
Will it have broken kernel?
Will my NAT and firewall completely fail?
Will my samba+cifs+nfs service breakdown or cause data corruption?

Finally, if I decide to switch, do I do a apt-get dist-upgrade or just
apt-get upgrade. What is the difference?


Regards
Ramesh


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Old 11-07-2008, 03:46 PM
Alan Ianson
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Fri November 7 2008 08:15:53 am Ramasubramanian Ramesh wrote:
> All,
>
> I run Etch+backports at my home gateway/file server. Lately, I find
> that many packages are too old in Etch for my needs. I am thinking of
> switching to Lenny. While Lenny is not as stable as Etch, I am not sure
> how much difference there is, in terms of stability. I am not worried
> about a couple of packages breaking here and there and X not firing up
> occasionally. I am only worried about complete breakdown like down time
> on this server. So here are my quesitons

I always run testing and always find it stable for my needs. It is testing
though, and stuff can happen. If your environment is mission critical you are
best off with etch I'd say.

> Does Lenny breakdown occasionally completely?

I have never seen this.

> I mean you cannot boot after apt-get update.

I don't think so, but the upgrade from etch to lenny likely hasn't seen much
testing yet.

> Will it cause major data corruption due to its instability?

I doubt it.

> Will it have broken kernel?

The kernel is running fine.

> Will my NAT and firewall completely fail?
> Will my samba+cifs+nfs service breakdown or cause data corruption?

I doubt it. I only use nfs here but it is working well.

> Finally, if I decide to switch, do I do a apt-get dist-upgrade or just
> apt-get upgrade. What is the difference?

I have always done dist-upgrade first, but I havn't done that in a long time,
I forget why now. You may need to run upgrade as well after dist-upgrade is
done.

I think lenny will be released soon, can you wait?

I never wait.. but maybe you don't want to live like I do..


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Old 11-07-2008, 03:52 PM
Johannes Wiedersich
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Ramasubramanian Ramesh wrote:
> All,
>
> I run Etch+backports at my home gateway/file server. Lately, I find
> that many packages are too old in Etch for my needs.

Which packages are too old for a 'gateway/file server?

> I am thinking of
> switching to Lenny. While Lenny is not as stable as Etch, I am not sure
> how much difference there is, in terms of stability.

Lenny gets several packages updated on a typical day. Sometimes this
requires to restart services or even X, kernel updates require a reboot,
but don't happen prohibitively more often than for etch.

> I am not worried
> about a couple of packages breaking here and there and X not firing up
> occasionally. I am only worried about complete breakdown like down time
> on this server. So here are my quesitons
>
> Does Lenny breakdown occasionally completely? I mean you cannot boot
> after apt-get update.

I've been using testing since sarge and that has never happened to me.

> Will it cause major data corruption due to its instability?

Never happened to me (nhtm).

> Will it have broken kernel?

nhtm

> Will my NAT and firewall completely fail?

nhtm

> Will my samba+cifs+nfs service breakdown or cause data corruption?

nhtm

> Finally, if I decide to switch, do I do a apt-get dist-upgrade or just
> apt-get upgrade. What is the difference?

- From [1]:

> * If you are running stable (aka "Etch"), you could consider
> upgrading to "Lenny" and see, if everything works fine. Currently there
> are no detailed release notes documenting the procedure, so you best
> way to test upgrades are to:
>
> 1. Make backups
> 2. Change your /etc/apt/sources.list
> 3. Run aptitude update to get information about new packages
> 4. Run aptitude install dpkg aptitude apt to install the newest package
> management
> 5. Run aptitude full-upgrade
>
> If something goes wrong / something unexpected happens, please report
> it. If you already know a specific package, report a bug against that
> package. If you don't know, please report a bug describing the problem
> you experienced to the upgrade-reports package. If your problem is
> something, which can't be fixed properly, but should be documented
> (e.g. hardware support regressions, packages no longer available)
> please report a bug against the release-notes package (Bonus points if
> you not only report the bug, but also supply a paragraph to be added to
> the release notes).

A few days ago it worked essentially flawlessly for my workstation [2].

> Regards
> Ramesh

Greetings, good luck!

Johannes

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/10/msg00000.html

[2] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=504592

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To: Ramasubramanian Ramesh <rramesh@ti.com>
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Subject: Re: Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.
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--------------ms040000060206080708050307
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Ramasubramanian Ramesh wrote:
> All,
>
> I run Etch+backports at my home gateway/file server. Lately, I find
> that many packages are too old in Etch for my needs. I am thinking of
> switching to Lenny. While Lenny is not as stable as Etch, I am not
> sure how much difference there is, in terms of stability. I am not
> worried about a couple of packages breaking here and there and X not
> firing up occasionally. I am only worried about complete breakdown
> like down time on this server. So here are my quesitons
>
> Does Lenny breakdown occasionally completely? I mean you cannot boot
> after apt-get update.
> Will it cause major data corruption due to its instability?
> Will it have broken kernel?
> Will my NAT and firewall completely fail?
> Will my samba+cifs+nfs service breakdown or cause data corruption?
>
> Finally, if I decide to switch, do I do a apt-get dist-upgrade or just
> apt-get upgrade. What is the difference?
>
> Regards
> Ramesh
>
>

I have exactly the same opinion as Alan. As I wrote in another thread
about debian versions, Lenny (or testing in general) is so stable that
personally, having never run 'Stable', I can't imagine how much more
stable could a distribution be.

To summarize in 3 words: make the switch. Use aptitude dist-upgrade.
In your place though, since computers are the devil's makings, I would
first use clonezilla to take a full server backup to some external usb
drive, in case (1 in a billion) everything explodes.

Giorgos


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Old 11-07-2008, 07:05 PM
Mark Grieveson
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Fri, 7 Nov 2008 17:02:58 +0000 (UTC)
debian-user-digest-request@lists.debian.org wrote:

> All,
>
> I run Etch+backports at my home gateway/file server. Lately, I find
> that many packages are too old in Etch for my needs. I am thinking of
> switching to Lenny.

Don't do it! Resist the temptation. Stay with good ol' reliable Etch
(at least until Lenny is declared as "good ol' reliable, and stable,
Lenny").

I don't think anyone can reliably answer your questions about the
switch. Maybe things will go wrong, and maybe not. But, if you're
current set up is working for you, and you're simply curious to see if
newer will be better, then I say don't do it. Why fix what isn't
broken? If the older software truly is "too old" for your needs,
meaning that it truly is not meeting your needs, then go for it, and
see. Do a backup first, though. In doing an upgrade of your system, I
would recommend "dist-upgrade" over "upgrade". It supposedly takes more
issues into consideration in doing the upgrade.

Mark


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Old 11-07-2008, 07:35 PM
lee
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Fri, 07 Nov 2008 10:15:53 -0600
Ramasubramanian Ramesh <rramesh@ti.com> wrote:

> While Lenny is not as stable as Etch, I am not
> sure how much difference there is, in terms of stability.

When you run testing (and keep it updated), you don't need to worry
about making the leap from one stable release to the next. That was
the reason for me to run testing on mailservers at work, rather than
stable.

The only problem I had with testing was when they switched from
XFree to Xorg a few years ago and the fonts were messed up after an
update, but that was fixable (and servers don't get X11 installed
anyway).


GH


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Old 11-07-2008, 08:45 PM
lee
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Fri, 7 Nov 2008 15:05:21 -0500
Mark Grieveson <dg135@torfree.net> wrote:

> But, if you're
> current set up is working for you, and you're simply curious to see if
> newer will be better, then I say don't do it. Why fix what isn't
> broken?

Because it will become broken over time: "Broken" in the sense that it
becomes very difficult or even impossible to upgrade it, some time
after there are no more security updates for that release. If that
works fine for you, don't touch it.

For a firewall/router and fileserver, not touching it is not an option.
Letting aside that a firewall/router should not be used as a
fileserver, it's a good idea to keep it up to date for security.

But why run a second computer at all? It takes time to maintain it
(like software updates and doing backups), it wastes a lot of
electricity, nowadays computers have become fast enough to do what you
want them to do, the hardware routers do a good job (you shouldn't use
a router/firewall as a file server anyway), and you can get huge hard
disks relatively cheap.


GH


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Old 11-09-2008, 02:56 PM
Chris Bannister
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Fri, Nov 07, 2008 at 06:53:59PM +0200, Γιώργος *άλλας wrote:
> I have exactly the same opinion as Alan. As I wrote in another thread
> about debian versions, Lenny (or testing in general) is so stable that
> personally, having never run 'Stable', I can't imagine how much more
> stable could a distribution be.

My understanding is that "stable" means unchanging. That is "stable"
doesn't change (except for security updates) whereas "unstable" (or Sid)
is constantly changing -- hence unstable. It does NOT mean "buggy",
"likely to crash" ... etc!


--
Chris.
======
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god
than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other
possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
-- Stephen F Roberts


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Old 11-09-2008, 02:56 PM
Chris Bannister
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Fri, Nov 07, 2008 at 10:15:53AM -0600, Ramasubramanian Ramesh wrote:
> All,
>
> I run Etch+backports at my home gateway/file server. Lately, I find
> that many packages are too old in Etch for my needs. I am thinking of
> switching to Lenny. While Lenny is not as stable as Etch, I am not sure
> how much difference there is, in terms of stability. I am not worried

By definition: "Etch+backports" is not stable. Please see my other post
in this thread for the meaning of "stable" in regards to how it is used
in Debian.

--
Chris.
======
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god
than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other
possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
-- Stephen F Roberts


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Old 11-09-2008, 03:56 PM
lee
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Mon, 10 Nov 2008 04:56:06 +1300
Chris Bannister <mockingbird@earthlight.co.nz> wrote:

> My understanding is that "stable" means unchanging.

See http://www.debian.org/doc/FAQ/ch-choosing.en.html#s3.1. That would
indicate that "stable" doesn't mean "unchanging" but "likely to not
have as many bugs" as testing or unstable.


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Old 11-09-2008, 07:56 PM
Bob Cox
 
Default Switching from Etch to Lenny - help me assess the risk.

On Sun, Nov 09, 2008 at 10:56:31 -0600, lee (lee@yun.yagibdah.de) wrote:

> On Mon, 10 Nov 2008 04:56:06 +1300
> Chris Bannister <mockingbird@earthlight.co.nz> wrote:
>
> > My understanding is that "stable" means unchanging.
>
> See http://www.debian.org/doc/FAQ/ch-choosing.en.html#s3.1. That would
> indicate that "stable" doesn't mean "unchanging" but "likely to not
> have as many bugs" as testing or unstable.

Section 3.1.5 of the page you quoted says:

Stable is rock solid. It does not break.

Testing breaks less often than Unstable. But when it breaks, it takes a
long time for things to get rectified. Sometimes this could be days and
it could be months at times.

Unstable changes a lot, and it can break at any point. However, fixes
get rectified in many occasions in a couple of days and it always has
the latest releases of software packaged for Debian.

Which in my albeit limited experience, seems to be a pretty accurate
set of definitions.

--
Bob Cox. Stoke Gifford, near Bristol, UK.
Debian on the NSLU2: http://bobcox.com/slug/
Registered user #445000 with the Linux Counter - http://counter.li.org/


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