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Re: No fool like an old fool (debian installation probs)

On 5/1/23 17:13, DdB wrote:
Am 01.05.2023 um 19:46 schrieb David Christensen:
Reading the above plus your previous post "Looking for
inspiration/advice/best practices on system upgrade", it seems that you
are making things too complicated.

I would pick one machine, disable/ disconnect/ uninstall all of the
drives except optical, install a zeroed 2.5" SATA SSD, make a decision
regarding BIOS/MBR (legacy) vs. UEFI/GPT, run the Setup utility and
configure CMOS/NVRAM settings accordingly, boot the Debian installer,
pick "Install", partition the SSD manually with a 1 GB ESP (if doing
EUFI/GPT), a 1 GB boot partition (ext4), 1 GB or larger swap partition,
and a 12 GB root partition (ext4), at the "Choose software" page select
"SSH server", select "standard system utilities", and deselect
everything else.  After reboot, you should have a working Debian instance.

I am sorry, i do not really understand, what you want to point to.
Your suggestions are coming without even knowing, what my needs and
options are, and involve alternatives that look unnecessary in my view.

Just to give you an idea: my OS partitions are 20 GB and that seems to
be a little too small, i had to delete stuff in order to keep the
systems in good shape.
I did abandon MBR years ago, and look with some bemusement at the many
places, whare that old technology still lingers.
Physical un-/plugging at the machines always involves getting external
help, due to a handicap.
Maybe your feeling is correct and i am in fact complicating things, i
don't know. OTOH, i am dealing with 2 dozen disks, server grade HW,
DUAL-CPU EPYC, 128 GB ECC RAM, nvme-ssd, aso.
My understanding is, that precautions are in order to keep the system(s)
up and running and useable for someoone, who is bad at typing.

I have installed many debian VM's before, all of them with a desktop,
and many of them are in use while i am investigating, how to
replace/upgrade the host OS. Do you get the idea?

But thanks for voicing your concerns, somthing i am trying to understand
and consider. Just keep in mind, that if a problem arises, i might not
be able too deal with, i will be cut off from everything, no paper based
calendar even exists. So i am careful.


It seems like you are trying to solve several issues at the same time:

1.  How to install Debian onto a computer.

2. How to upgrade a Debian 10 computer to Debian 11 when that computer supports a multitude of applications, services, and data.

Solving #2 is predicated upon solving #1. I wanted to help you solve #1, so that you would be able to solve #2 -- e.g. by providing a destination for you to move applications, services, and data off the Debian 10 computer.

As for your needs and options, we can only respond to the information that you provide.

If a suggestion looks unnecessary, it is reasonable to ask "why?". What suggestion of mine do you find unnecessary?

Choosing the size for a given partition/ volume/ file system has always been a non-trivial problem. My 12 GB root solution works for my use-cases. If a 20 GB root file system has been too small for you, then of course you can substitute a larger number into my suggestion. Another option would be to use LVM and resize as required.

Thank you for letting us know that our suggestions should avoid hardware modification. In my previous post, please interpret "disable/ disconnect/ uninstall all of the drives except optical" to mean "use the Setup utility to disable all of the drives except optical".

Thank you for letting us know what hardware components you have. For purposes of this thread, it is simplest to address one computer at a time. Please tell us what components it is built from, the role(s) of the computer in question, and what users/ applications/ services/ data it supports.

What is "aso"?  (Automated System Operations?)

Regarding "precautions are in order to keep the system(s) up and running and useable for someoone, who is bad at typing", one definition of "project management" is:

a.  Identify where you are at.

b.  Identify where you want to be.

c.  Make a plan that takes you from (a) to (b).

Plan testing prior to execution, continuity of service during plan execution (or known outage windows), validation afterwards, and rollback are desirable features of a project plan, but achieving them for a large and complex project is difficult. An obvious strategy is to decompose the scope of work into smaller projects, each requiring smaller and simpler plans.

I suggest that your first priority should be making a disaster plan for "if a problem arises, i might not be able too deal with, i will be cut off from everything". A laptop, a portable USB install of Debian, and good backups come to mind.


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