JP Vossen on 28 Jun 2008 12:55:59 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Server h/w migration?

 > Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 01:04:51 -0400
 > From: "David A. Harding" <>
 > 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.

What I'm really looking for is high-level outlines of methods to do the 
move, as per my examples...

 > 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. [...]

All (including snipped) good advice.  But I have a couple of 
contraindications for some of it.  First, my Debian installs are 
*minimal* [1], to which I've added only the necessary packages.  With 
one exception, all servers are purpose-built and have stayed that way. 
So I'm sure there is very little fat, and what there is is just not 
worth the extra time and effort to remove.  (This would not be true of 
some of my workstations, but they aren't at issue.)  The exception to 
this is my main services server, which not only has some extra fat, but 
has many years worth of data (we're talking back to COBOL programs from 
college :).  However, I'm a pack-rat, so...  :-)

 > dpkg --get-selections | grep '\<install$'

I use 'dpkg-query --show'

 > find /etc

I keep /etc in Subversion, and stay reasonably on top of it.

 > find /home

LOL, on my main server that one would certainly kill me!

 > You'll know you're done when you get the same satisfaction that
 > follows a serious housecleaning.

I'll get that from consistent H/W, far less clutter in my server room 
and rack, and neatly run and wrapped cabling (for a while anyway).

 > Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 21:47:02 -0400
 > From: brent saner <>

JP Vossen wrote:
 >> Destination OS is 3 Debian Etch and 1 Ubuntu Hardy.
 > just a quick note. debian is, um... well, notorious for not supporting
 > newer hardware. or even new hardware.

I will be *shocked* if Debian can't handle circa 2004 Dell PE750s.  But 
now that you've got me thinking about it...

<Goes and checks.>  OK, I just did a Debian Etch Net Install from a CD 
burned 2007-05-28 and it worked like a champ.  Guided then tweaked full 
disk LVM, minimal, came right up...  (Even with the server in the rack 
upside down, since I wasn't paying attention... :)

 > or even older newer hardware. hell, it doesn't do a very good job of a
 > lot of hardware support.

I've run into that before, which is why my Wife's VMWare host is running 
Ubuntu 6.06, not Debian Etch.  In retrospect Ubuntu was the right answer 
anyway, but at the time it worked with her Dell desktop's SATA drive/MB 
and Debian didn't.

 > don't get me wrong, i love looooove debian, but the stable branch is a
 > little..well, a little TOO stable.
 > i'd go with lenny and just keep on top of updates.

Not for my servers it isn't!  I just set up an Ubuntu server for and I ran into far too many glitches for my taste.  They were 
trivial, sure, but once you get past the hardware and quite old versions 
of certain things (e.g. PHP, MySQL), Debian Just Works.  Forever. 
Period.  That's what I'm looking for a in a server.  If I wanted to run 
Lenny beta on a server, I'd run Ubuntu server. :-)

Having said all that, I get your point, but in my case I'm aware of the 
issues and have made an informed decision.  Mostly...

 > Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 10:18:52 -0400
 > From: "Chad Waters" <>
 > They're actually going to update hw support in Etch 4.0r4 (codename
 > "Etch and a Half")

Now *that* I didn't know.  If I run into h/w issues I'll try it, but it 
works for the intended H/W as I just tested it.

Thanks for the thoughts so far,

[1] Debian understand what "minimal" means, unlike Red Hat, to whole it 
means tens or hundreds of unnecessary packages, "just in case."
JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
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