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Re: "Upgrade" from Redhat -> Debian?

It should not be too hard.  We've converted many machines
from Redhat or Slackware to debian.  Take one machine and
use it for prototype.

We have encountered only three main problem areas:
1) any differences in PAM support - I don't know what the
      current differences are; clearly you don't want
      to get locked out (or lock out users).
2) local versions of software - we had local in.tftpd,
      rcp.*, wu.ftpd (to name a few) that got wiped out
      in upgrade process often without warning.  We now
      keep them in /var/<local_package> and the debian
      upgrade process leaves them alone.
3) packages wiping out services without warning, like
   ooops, now you no longer have telnet or nfs...
      We used a local derivative of tripwire that lets
      us query for changes and diff the versions and 
      locations of a piece of software on any number of
      our networked hosts: /bin/telnet no longer
      exists on that one, now /usr/bin/telnet etc...
The libc5 to libc6 HOWTO lists half a dozen critical pieces of
software and how to upgrade.  That, plus bo version of apt
from experimental/ is pretty much the path we use.  We ftp
those, for each { unarchive, tar -xvf from /}, and then can
run apt update and upgrade.

IMHO if you don't upgrade in place and over a relatively short
period of time you are guaranteeing yourself a nightmare of
incompatibilities.  That is, however, likely a matter of
personal `style'.  YMMV.  DO cp -aR /etc /old.etc ;^)


> >>>>> "Marc" == Marc Barnett <marc@mtjeff.com> writes:
>     Marc> Obviously, any new linux servers I plan to install with
>     Marc> Debian, but the installed server base still exists, and
>     Marc> aside from several security concerns stemming from not
>     Marc> upgrading Redhat which I've delt with, I also want to look
>     Marc> into an changeover of the machines to Debian. Preferably
>     Marc> in-place, wiping disks isn't really an option.
> "In place" is not going to be an easy task. The easiest thing to do
> would be to backup local data (such as /home and /usr/local), install
> Debian, and then restore that local data.


Christopher F. Miller, Publisher                            cfm@maine.com
MaineStreet Communications, Inc        208 Portland Road, Gray, ME  04039
1.207.657.5078  (MTRF 3-5pm)                        http://www.maine.com/

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