Fear of the Sarge

Jono and I are men who walk alone
And when we start to upgrade angel
I feel the fear get very large

When the package list begins to change
We sometimes feel a little strange
A little anxious when it’s sarge

Fear of the sarge, fear of the sarge
I have a constant fear that crashing’s always near
Fear of the sarge, fear of the sarge
I have a phobia that hell is nearly here

Today we upgraded angel, the machine that runs kryogenix.org and jonobacon.org and wolveslug.org.uk and phpwm.org and aurochs.org and dellah.com and lugradio.org and other stuff too from Debian woody to Debian sarge, the latest stable release. Pretty terrifying, especially since apt-get dist-upgrade doesn’t work properly between woody and sarge. What’s the point of running Debian, eh? The whole reason it’s better than everything else is that upgrading is done with one command! Anyway, that aside, the upgrade happened by:

  1. Typing apt-get dist-upgrade and noting all the packages that it was going to remove or leave behind, and then cancelling it
  2. Typing apt-get upgrade and letting it upgrade all the stuff it was prepared to, which wasn’t much
  3. Typing apt-get install x y z where x and y and z (and more besides) are all the packages from the “remove or leave behind” list above that we actually need, like apache and mysql-server
  4. apt-get upgrade again
  5. apt-get dist-upgrade
  6. apt-get dist-upgrade again, to confirm that nothing was left to do
  7. Adding the line Include /etc/apache/conf.d to /etc/apache/httpd.conf
  8. Fixing a bug in Debian’s mailman package by doing ln -s /usr/share/mailman /var/lib/mailman/templates and then creating the (newly required) “mailman” mailing list with newlist mailman
  9. Crossing fingers and rebooting to confirm that the box would come back up

It all worked.

That is a big weight off our minds, that.

And now angel should go down less (i.e., not at all!) Fingers crossed, again…

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