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Bug#679853: general: Too much downtime during a big dist-upgrade - avoidable with snapshots

On Mon, Jul 02, 2012 at 08:27:05PM +0600, Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
> So in reality, I am on the fence. The quoted solution is easier and it
> seems to work well enough. But for some reason, freedesktop folks
> invented this for desktop systems:
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/OfflineSystemUpdates . From
> what I have understood, the motivation is that there is no way to get
> a consistent state except by rebooting - which partially corresponds
> to your case of non-audited daemons. Basically, it looks like they
> gave up,

Yes, freedesktop people have given up on many useful things, which is a
shame in my opinion (consider the fact that dbus can't be restarted on a
running system without causing breakage).

That doesn't necessarily need to mean that Debian can't do the right
thing, though. If indeed restart after upgrade becomes the default, then
that could fix some similar issues. Mean time, if "short downtime"
really is important to you, there's a workaround: don't upgrade all your
packages with dist-upgrade, but upgrade the important packages (Apache
and MySQL in your example) plus their dependencies first (so the list of
packages being upgraded is much smaller, and the time between "things go
down" and "things are up again"), and *then* do a dist-upgrade
(upgrading everything else).

Needless to say, this would need some testing to ensure your upgrade
will go smoothly, but then if reducing downtime is important, that's
true anyway.

The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by
the following formula:

pi zz a

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