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Upgrading from Lenny to Squeeze

16 February 2011 21:50

Rather than waiting for a few months, as I typically do, I decided to be brave and upgrade my main virtual machine from Lenny to Squeeze. That host runs QPSMTPD, Apache, thttpd, and my blogspam server; nothing too complex or atypical.

The upgrade was mostly painless; I was interrupted several times by debconf asking me if I wished to replace configuration files I'd modified, but otherwise there were only two significant messages in the process:


crm114 warned me that its spam database and/or configuration files had changed and would most likely result in brokenness, post-upgrade, and I should do something to stop avoiding lost mail.

Happily this was expected.


It transpired I had a couple of local init scripts which didn't have dependency information succesfully encoded into them; so I couldn't migrate to dependency-based bootup.

Given that this server gets a reboot maybe once every six months that wasn't really worth telling me about; but nevermind. No harm done.

That aside there were no major surprises; all services seemed to start normally and my use of locally-compiled backports meant that custom services largely upgraded in a clean fashion. The only exception was my patched copy of mutt which was replaced unexpectedly. That meant my lovely mutt-sidebar was horribly full of mailboxes, rather than showing only new messages. I created a hasty backported mutt package for Squeeze and made it available. (This patch a) enables the side-bar, and b) allows you to toggle between the display of all mailboxes and those with only new mail in them. It is buggy if you're using IMAP; but works for me. I would not choose to live without it.)

Now that I've had a quick scan over the machine the only other significant change was an upgrade of the mercurial revision control system, the updated templates broke my custom look & feel and also required some Apache mod_rewrite updates to allow simple clones via HTTP. (e.g. "hg clone http://asql.repository.steve.org.uk/").

So in conclusion:

  • The upgrade from Lenny to Squeeze (i386) worked well.
  • Before you begin running "iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 25 -j REJECT" will avoid some potential surprises
    • There are probably other services worth neutering, but I tend to only do this for SMTP.
  • Keeping notes of updated template files will be useful if you make such system-wide changes. (e.g. hgwebdir templates)

ObQuote - "Hmm, upgrades " - The Matrix Reloaded (shudder).



Comments on this entry

icon Steve Kemp at 12:05 on 17 February 2011

Of course once I woke up this morning I discovered two problems:

All my websites were down

The reason for this was a custom cronjob which was designed to stop the thttpd servers I use, process the logfiles, and then restart thttpd.

Because the default shell changed from bash to dash for the local user the script failed part-way through and left thttpd dead.

My sources.list was updated unexpectedly

I use my slaughter system administration tool to configure things on my machines - think of it as CFEngine-lite if you wish.

Anyway it didn't have a way of differentiating between "lenny" and "squeeze" and replaced a few files with the defaults. I made a new release of slaughter last night; but failed to deploy it. Ooops.

Otherwise everything appears to be working well.

icon mirabilos at 13:27 on 17 February 2011

Mika from Grml showed me file-rc, which works better than
sysv-rc and doesn’t use this insserv nonsense.