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Toni S 03-07-2011 03:42 PM

Anyone ever tried a downgrade?
 
Hi folks,

I have lenny running on a headless virtual server being hosted by a
small hosting provider and now I'd like to upgrade to squeeze. The box
does not serve any commercial purpose, but it does handle a portion of
my private email traffic. So I'd like the system not being down for
more than 12 hours.

In case of any service failures after doing 'sudo aptitude safe-
upgrade' I'd like to know some methods to smoothly revert to my
current installation.
Best would probably be to ask my hosting provider to make a disk
snapshot / disk image, but I'd like to know if there are other
possibilities. What's your experience? Did you try out something of
these:

- Using undo mechanism of aptitude (how does this work?)
- using 'dpkg-get-selections >currentstate.txt' and 'dpkg-set-
selections <currentstate.txt
- making a tar backup and restore it afterwards while the system is
running, then reboot?
- making small incremental upgrades of individual packages with
aptitude instead of upgrading all packages at once / test the new
service / revert to old version if necessary

(The latter is the way how i've done it with the previous 2 debian
releases)

What's your recommendation / experience for downgrade?

Thanks for any thoughts
T.


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Camaleón 03-07-2011 04:23 PM

Anyone ever tried a downgrade?
 
On Mon, 07 Mar 2011 08:42:27 -0800, Toni S wrote:

> I have lenny running on a headless virtual server being hosted by a
> small hosting provider and now I'd like to upgrade to squeeze. The box
> does not serve any commercial purpose, but it does handle a portion of
> my private email traffic. So I'd like the system not being down for more
> than 12 hours.
>
> In case of any service failures after doing 'sudo aptitude safe-
> upgrade' I'd like to know some methods to smoothly revert to my current
> installation.

(...)

> What's your recommendation / experience for downgrade?

If disk space is not a concern, I'd go for a parallel installation. In
the event something goes wrong with the new install (or upgrade, if you
made a full image of the currently installed system), you only have to
boot with the old lenny install, which remains intact and ready to serve
you.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr." 03-07-2011 04:30 PM

Anyone ever tried a downgrade?
 
On 2011-03-07 10:42:27 Toni S wrote:
>Hi folks,
>
>I have lenny running on a headless virtual server being hosted by a
>small hosting provider and now I'd like to upgrade to squeeze.
>
>In case of any service failures after doing 'sudo aptitude safe-
>upgrade' I'd like to know some methods to smoothly revert to my
>current installation.
>Best would probably be to ask my hosting provider to make a disk
>snapshot / disk image, but I'd like to know if there are other
>possibilities. What's your experience? Did you try out something of
>these:

Taking a full backup is recommended by the release notes, and that is the way
I did it on the VPSes I administrate.

>- Using undo mechanism of aptitude (how does this work?)

Aptitude has undo?

>- using 'dpkg-get-selections >currentstate.txt' and 'dpkg-set-
>selections <currentstate.txt

That doesn't actually perform a downgrade. You'll have to follow it with an
(apt-get install). Also, it doesn't restore your debonf database nor your APT
extended status database (which packages are marked as auto-installed).

>- making a tar backup and restore it afterwards while the system is
>running, then reboot?

At the very least, shut down everything that's not required for the restore.
But, that could work well. It won't clean up newly created files though.

>- making small incremental upgrades of individual packages with
>aptitude instead of upgrading all packages at once / test the new
>service / revert to old version if necessary

This is a good way to go. After testing freezes I tend to do this on my
desktop and laptop as time permits.

>What's your recommendation / experience for downgrade?

Don't do them. Take backups and restore from them if possible. Either that
or soldier through the issues with the new version(s) and get them working
"enough".

The upgrade didn't take me 12 hours on any system, at least not all at once.
There were a couple of short clean-up sessions over the next 2 days, but
nothing critical.
--
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =.
bss@iguanasuicide.net ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/

Jens Van Broeckhoven 03-07-2011 06:22 PM

Anyone ever tried a downgrade?
 
Op Mon, 7 Mar 2011 17:23:36 +0000 (UTC)
Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> schreef:


>
> If disk space is not a concern, I'd go for a parallel installation.
> In the event something goes wrong with the new install (or upgrade,
> if you made a full image of the currently installed system), you only
> have to boot with the old lenny install, which remains intact and
> ready to serve you.
>
> Greetings,
>

While I agree that's a more secure/stable solution, I would never do
that for a desktop.

I just use all repos and move back if really needed.
APT/aptitude does everything else.

Jens.


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Camaleón 03-07-2011 08:18 PM

Anyone ever tried a downgrade?
 
On Mon, 07 Mar 2011 20:22:43 +0100, Jens Van Broeckhoven wrote:

> Op Mon, 7 Mar 2011 17:23:36 +0000 (UTC) Camaleón schreef:
>
>
>> If disk space is not a concern, I'd go for a parallel installation. In
>> the event something goes wrong with the new install (or upgrade, if you
>> made a full image of the currently installed system), you only have to
>> boot with the old lenny install, which remains intact and ready to
>> serve you.
>>
>>
>>
> While I agree that's a more secure/stable solution, I would never do
> that for a desktop.
>
> I just use all repos and move back if really needed. APT/aptitude does
> everything else.

I've been using the parallelized installation procedure for both servers
and desktops (and my own workstation) and have been working pretty good.

The time I have to spend in installing from scratch is the time I gain
avoiding all the "upgrading" issues|workarounds|RTFM ;-)

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Andrei Popescu 03-08-2011 08:38 AM

Anyone ever tried a downgrade?
 
On Lu, 07 mar 11, 08:42:27, Toni S wrote:
>
> - Using undo mechanism of aptitude (how does this work?)

AFAICT aptitude's undo is only for package selections.

Regards,
Andrei
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