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Re: Mass update deployment strategy

On Tue, Nov 28, 2006 at 05:32:35PM -0500, Joe Bouchard wrote:
> I would say that if you let your machines blindly to an "apt-get update;
> apt-get upgrade" every day, most of the time it won't be a problem, but
> someday it may be a problem and you might render half your cluster
> unbootable.  There are various modifications to this "blind update" theme
> as others have suggested, but I think the basic issue remains. There will
> be some of those packages which ask a lot of questions.  The thing I think

If you know the answers to the questions, you can deploy the
answers as well. See the "preseeding" section of the
debian-installer package.

> I am getting ready to deploy hundreds of small embedded devices running
> Debian, and keeping them up to date is a potential nightmare, and I
> consider it carefully. 

First, there's no point in doing a blind update. Do an
eyes-wide-open update: reserve a few of your devices in the lab
as test units. When you see a package update come along that
pertains to your setup, install it on a test unit. Figure out
the answers to any questions. Run all your tests to see if it's
still working properly. When you are convinced that it is good,
move the package to your own repository. That should be the only
repository these devices are configured to look at, and should
contain every package they need, and none that they do not need.

That repository is safe for auto-update, auto-upgrade.


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