Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Upgrading from Debian Woody to Sarge

At work, I use Debian linux as the distribution of choice for our file and mail/web servers. In my experience, the stable branch of the the Debian distribution has been very, very stable. When it comes to file and mail servers, that is exactly what I am aiming at - stability!

Each Debain stable release has a code name based upon (so far) one of the characters in Pixar's Toy Story. The current release is Sarge, the previous release was Woody, and the upcoming release is Etch. Sarge has been out for quite a while, with security updates continuing for Woody up and until the first of the new year.

I upgraded our file server from Woody to Sarge sometime last year, and experienced no problems. I was a bit more concerned with our mail/web server, as it serves important public facing functions for my company.

With solid backups prepared and a bit of trepidation in my heart, I began updating the mail and web server. I followed the directions published in the release notes, and experienced only a few minor hiccups along the way.

After about 200MB of downloaded updates and a bit of intervention from me, the system was ready to go. Email worked fine, as did our web server. All in all, a relatively painless upgrade path!

The next release of Debian is due sometime in the near future. However, right now everything seems to be working just fine, so I'm betting that Debian Sarge stays on these servers for the next year or so.

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