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RE: keeping multiple debian machines in sync


On 02-Apr-97 Steve Hsieh wrote:
>Having used debian for quite awhile now, I've really come to appreciate
>the package system and it works great on an individual machine basis.  
>But as soon as you have to start keeping many debian systems in sync with
>each other, it starts to get time consuming using dselect.
>How have others tackled this problem of keeping 10 or more debian linux
>machines synced together?  I assume you don't go about running dselect on
>each machine.  One alternative I can think of is to use dpkg
>--get-selection to get the list of installed packages on a master machine,
>and then use dpkg --set-selection on the rest of the machines to set what
>is selected to be installed, and then to run dpkg over there.  Still in
>that case, I still have to babysit each install process and answer the
>same questions in the post-install scripts as I did on the master machine.
>The other alternative seems to be using rdist or some similar program and
>rdisting /usr and selected parts of /var to the other machines.  But in
>that case, I break the package lists on the other machines since the other
>machines will no longer know the correct list of packages already
>installed, and it is conceivable that someone might want to add one or two
>packages not in the "standard" distribution in which case it might fail.

Off the top of my head, I'd say the best choice is to do a backup prior to major
 mod's.  Once the first system is upgraded do a differential backup to a differe
nt archive.  Then do a restore/update to the other systems.

The system will have to be offlimits during upgrade to keep others from modifyin
g files other than the pkgs in question.

Write a script to make backups of config files that are different between the or
iginal system and the rest.  Maybe de-select those config's for restore/update.

For minor changes cp the dpkg database and debian sub-dir to the other systems b
efore going to the install phase of the d/l process.  You will ofcourse have to 
run dpkg --config --pending etc... on the other systems and answer the questions
 over again, but this is the minor update scenario.

Just quick thoughts.  Maybe Debian has an easier way.  Maybe they will change ds
elect to allow for network installation.

I know there's a program out there that updates all systems in a network but I c
an't think of the name right now.

Hope this sparks an idea.  Have a good one.

- ----------------------------------
Rick <rickya@siservices.net>
E-Mail: Rick <rickya@siservices.net>
Date: 02-Apr-97
Time: 15:38:45
- ----------------------------------

Version: 2.6.2


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