David A. Harding on 27 Jun 2008 22:05:00 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Server h/w migration?

On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 09:29:45PM -0400, JP Vossen wrote:
> Looking for advice or best practices here. I will be migrating several
> personal servers to new hardware over the next few months.

If you just copy your configuration and data from one computer to
another (or several), I think you're wasting an opportunity to simplify
and improve your setup.

You should start by making a through backup. Then get rid of everything
you don't need -- packages, daemons, configuration files, data, and
programs and libraries in /usr/local. Print the following lists and
consider each item on it before crossing the item out:

        Packages (on Debian-style systems)
                dpkg --get-selections | grep '\<install$'

        Daemons & other possibly useless programs
                ps ax

        Configuration files (and directories)
                find /etc

        Possibly crufty data
                find /var /srv /boot
                find /home

        Unpackaged programs and libraries you aren't using
                find /usr/local -atime +7

While you clean, remember that you can't really know whether you still
need something until you've tried living without it. Today, rm is your
friend. If you have to ask yourself the question, ``do I need this?,''
you probably don't -- so get rid of it; you can always recover it from
your backups or your distribution's package repository.

You'll know you're done when you get the same satisfaction that follows
a serious housecleaning. That feeling that comes when you can look
around your place and remember why you moved there. That feeling that
makes you want to share what you've done with someone else -- but you
can't, not really, when you clean your computer; people just won't
understand. But find contentment in the knowledge that, when you move
your files to a new computer, you won't be just pushing around crap.

David A. Harding            Website:  http://dtrt.org/
1 (609) 997-0765              Email:  dave@dtrt.org
                        Jabber/XMPP:  dharding@jabber.org
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