Testing upgrade and consequences
I've had to suffer this one - providing telephone support and advice over
a week plus to an old and valued friend :) [Hi Martin :) ]
He is a web developer and electronic publisher with several mailing lists on
his main site. He is also a trainer on Linux subjects and Apache, has run
Debian for several years and is technically extremely competent. He upgraded
from a Potato 2.2r2 system to current "testing" and most things broke in serious
ways, such that he swears he will never again move from stable releases.
Mailman configuration broke - it took him several days to fix the configuration
files for several lists.
Pine broke and is apparently unfixable. Mutt works, but is not his preferred
Exim configuration didn't, such that he reverted to smail. He won't believe me
when I say that Exim works fine.
Most seriously of all - "Apache in Debian is seriously broken"
There may be a dependency loop on apache-perl which is inappropriate.
The default configuration of apache has changed drastically between Potato
and testing. The version in testing is locked down solidly - everything is
denied unless explicitly allowed with apache directives. This is at odds with
the behaviour up to and including potato, which was open. Apache stomped over
his httpd.conf files on upgrade and left him wondering what _exactly_ had
happened. As he says "All other distributions work out of the box. When I'm
training, I can get a class working on apache immediately." We both recognise
the need for security but he suggests that Debian is "too techie" in this
respect at the moment. Can we, at least, recognise the upgrade problem and
provide a choice "secure, preferred but hard to configure" and "you have an opensystem which may have holes but you want it that way" and preserve the existing
setup if the upgrader wishes?
Posted to -devel because we can't be the only ones running apache and it is
specifically a testing/woody issue.