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Old 10-28-2011, 12:43 AM
Joseph Bishay
 
Default To Update or Not?

Hello,

I hope everyone is well today.

So I came across this article and wondered if it applied to Edubuntu:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/diy-it/why-ive-finally-had-it-with-my-linux-server-and-im-moving-back-to-windows/245

The gist of the rant is that Linux servers are rather unstable because
any upgrade can kill the server, and therefore you should NOT be
updating your machine once it's running perfectly.

I get a notice about different packages having available upgrades on
our production LTSP server at least once a week and for the most part
I always do so -- is this going to suddenly result in a
similiarly-described situation? Should I turn off all updates?

Thank you
Joseph

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:00 AM
Jeremy Bicha
 
Default To Update or Not?

On 27 October 2011 20:43, Joseph Bishay <joseph.bishay@gmail.com> wrote:
> So I came across this article and wondered if it applied to Edubuntu:
>
> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/diy-it/why-ive-finally-had-it-with-my-linux-server-and-im-moving-back-to-windows/245
>
> The gist of the rant is that Linux servers are rather unstable because
> any upgrade can kill the server, and therefore you should NOT be
> updating your machine once it's running perfectly.
>
> I get a notice about different packages having available upgrades on
> our production LTSP server at least once a week and for the most part
> I always do so -- is this going to suddenly result in a
> similiarly-described situation? *Should I turn off all updates?

You should probably read the counterpoint by the ZDNet Linux editor:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linux-servers-work-just-fine/9793

Yes, if you don't know what you're doing, you can break your system
pretty badly. And worse, if you don't know how to recover or don't
have good backups, you can easily get yourself in a world of trouble.
Updates to stable releases do get a week of testing before being
pushed from -proposed to -updates. But you definitely should test full
upgrades (like from 11.04 to 11.10) before deploying as hardware
support unfortunately varies from release to release.

I strongly recommend that you not disable security updates and I
recommend reading the changelog entries (if using Update Manager,
click Description of Update). Non-security updates are supposed to fix
bugs so they should be more beneficial than harmful but I suppose it
depends on how risk-averse you are.

Jeremy Bicha

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Old 10-28-2011, 02:04 AM
Mike Biancaniello
 
Default To Update or Not?

I try to keep all of my machines current with package updates (dist-upgrade), but am more hesitant to upgrade to newer versions.* In fact, I rarely actually upgrade the release version, instead opting for a fresh install on a new machine, migrating the data, testing, then turning off the old one.* I'm not a big fan of doing a release upgrade ... too many things change and well it just doesn't feel "clean."

Also, by keeping all of my servers on LTS releases (currently 10.04), the number of package updates is minimized.

I have some servers still running 8.04 simply because it works and I don't need any new features, etc.


From: Jeremy Bicha <jbicha@ubuntu.com>
Cc: Edubuntu Users Group <edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm
Subject: Re: To Update or Not?

On 27 October 2011 20:43, Joseph Bishay <joseph.bishay@gmail.com> wrote:

> So I came across this article and wondered if it applied to Edubuntu:

>

> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/diy-it/why-ive-finally-had-it-with-my-linux-server-and-im-moving-back-to-windows/245

>

> The gist of the rant is that Linux servers are rather unstable because

> any upgrade can kill the server, and therefore you should NOT be

> updating your machine once it's running perfectly.

>

> I get a notice about different packages having available upgrades on

> our production LTSP server at least once a week and for the most part

> I always do so -- is this going to suddenly result in a

> similiarly-described situation? *Should I turn off all updates?



You should probably read the counterpoint by the ZDNet Linux editor:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linux-servers-work-just-fine/9793



Yes, if you don't know what you're doing, you can break your system

pretty badly. And worse, if you don't know how to recover or don't

have good backups, you can easily get yourself in a world of trouble.

Updates to stable releases do get a week of testing before being

pushed from -proposed to -updates. But you definitely should test full

upgrades (like from 11.04 to 11.10) before deploying as hardware

support unfortunately varies from release to release.



I strongly recommend that you not disable security updates and I

recommend reading the changelog entries (if using Update Manager,

click Description of Update). Non-security updates are supposed to fix

bugs so they should be more beneficial than harmful but I suppose it

depends on how risk-averse you are.



Jeremy Bicha



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Old 10-28-2011, 12:07 PM
Joseph Bishay
 
Default To Update or Not?

Hello,

Thanks for the counter-point link.

As I am a volunteer in this whole area, I would like to ask what may
be a beginner's question - how do you test the upgrades correctly?
Does this mean I need a second computer identical to my main server
(an expensive proposition) and then download/install the upgrades on
that and then run random tests on it?

Thank you
Joseph

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM, Jeremy Bicha <jbicha@ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On 27 October 2011 20:43, Joseph Bishay <joseph.bishay@gmail.com> wrote:
>> So I came across this article and wondered if it applied to Edubuntu:
>>
>> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/diy-it/why-ive-finally-had-it-with-my-linux-server-and-im-moving-back-to-windows/245
>>
>> The gist of the rant is that Linux servers are rather unstable because
>> any upgrade can kill the server, and therefore you should NOT be
>> updating your machine once it's running perfectly.
>>
>> I get a notice about different packages having available upgrades on
>> our production LTSP server at least once a week and for the most part
>> I always do so -- is this going to suddenly result in a
>> similiarly-described situation? *Should I turn off all updates?
>
> You should probably read the counterpoint by the ZDNet Linux editor:
> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linux-servers-work-just-fine/9793
>
> Yes, if you don't know what you're doing, you can break your system
> pretty badly. And worse, if you don't know how to recover or don't
> have good backups, you can easily get yourself in a world of trouble.
> Updates to stable releases do get a week of testing before being
> pushed from -proposed to -updates. But you definitely should test full
> upgrades (like from 11.04 to 11.10) before deploying as hardware
> support unfortunately varies from release to release.
>
> I strongly recommend that you not disable security updates and I
> recommend reading the changelog entries (if using Update Manager,
> click Description of Update). Non-security updates are supposed to fix
> bugs so they should be more beneficial than harmful but I suppose it
> depends on how risk-averse you are.
>
> Jeremy Bicha
>
> --
> edubuntu-users mailing list
> edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-users
>

--
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:39 PM
Peter k
 
Default To Update or Not?

And you can be even *more* relaxed about keeping up with updates if you're running a server that doesn't have a public ip address....which may be the case for most of us running ltsp servers. In fact, I only do updates when I have time to fix anything that breaks.

I have definitely had horrible things happen with updates that took me days to resolve. So, while I don't have 2 identical servers, I do have 2 computers...and I have 2 hard drives in each one. It's wise to clonezilla your working server to a second harddrive *before* doing version updates. And I also stick to lts versions because they're designed to be less experimental and more stable.

Perhaps the wisest thing I've done is write a script that can automatically rebuild my chroots. That way when a chroot update fails, I can rebuild with a simple command.*-peter


On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 8:07 AM, Joseph Bishay <joseph.bishay@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello,



Thanks for the counter-point link.



As I am a volunteer in this whole area, I would like to ask what may

be a beginner's question - how do you test the upgrades correctly?

Does this mean I need a second computer identical to my main server

(an expensive proposition) and then download/install the upgrades on

that and then run random tests on it?



Thank you

Joseph



On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM, Jeremy Bicha <jbicha@ubuntu.com> wrote:

> On 27 October 2011 20:43, Joseph Bishay <joseph.bishay@gmail.com> wrote:

>> So I came across this article and wondered if it applied to Edubuntu:

>>

>> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/diy-it/why-ive-finally-had-it-with-my-linux-server-and-im-moving-back-to-windows/245


>>

>> The gist of the rant is that Linux servers are rather unstable because

>> any upgrade can kill the server, and therefore you should NOT be

>> updating your machine once it's running perfectly.

>>

>> I get a notice about different packages having available upgrades on

>> our production LTSP server at least once a week and for the most part

>> I always do so -- is this going to suddenly result in a

>> similiarly-described situation? *Should I turn off all updates?

>

> You should probably read the counterpoint by the ZDNet Linux editor:

> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linux-servers-work-just-fine/9793

>

> Yes, if you don't know what you're doing, you can break your system

> pretty badly. And worse, if you don't know how to recover or don't

> have good backups, you can easily get yourself in a world of trouble.

> Updates to stable releases do get a week of testing before being

> pushed from -proposed to -updates. But you definitely should test full

> upgrades (like from 11.04 to 11.10) before deploying as hardware

> support unfortunately varies from release to release.

>

> I strongly recommend that you not disable security updates and I

> recommend reading the changelog entries (if using Update Manager,

> click Description of Update). Non-security updates are supposed to fix

> bugs so they should be more beneficial than harmful but I suppose it

> depends on how risk-averse you are.

>

> Jeremy Bicha

>

> --

> edubuntu-users mailing list

> edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com

> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-users

>



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Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-users



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Old 10-28-2011, 02:31 PM
"Rippl, Steve"
 
Default To Update or Not?

We've been bitten more than once by what seemed to be problems introduced after updates. *We generally try not to run any updates after we have a stable system (we have no public facing ports on any of the ltsp servers), and often have regretted it when we do! *

Maybe if one just applies security updates it would be fine, but unlike in Debian (which we run on our other servers and do keep patched successfully) regular updates can surprise you. *That said our Debian servers tend to be much more single purpose and have far fewer packages on them (no gui etc etc) while an LTSP server is a pretty complex arrangement. *I would really go by "if it ain't broke don't fix it", I'm not saying this is good policy but in our experience it's a good idea!

Steve Rippl


On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 5:43 PM, Joseph Bishay <joseph.bishay@gmail.com> wrote:



Hello,



I hope everyone is well today.



So I came across this article and wondered if it applied to Edubuntu:



http://www.zdnet.com/blog/diy-it/why-ive-finally-had-it-with-my-linux-server-and-im-moving-back-to-windows/245




The gist of the rant is that Linux servers are rather unstable because

any upgrade can kill the server, and therefore you should NOT be

updating your machine once it's running perfectly.



I get a notice about different packages having available upgrades on

our production LTSP server at least once a week and for the most part

I always do so -- is this going to suddenly result in a

similiarly-described situation? *Should I turn off all updates?



Thank you

Joseph



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edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com

Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-users



--
Steve Rippl
Technology Director
Woodland Public Schools
360 841 2730


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