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Upgraded Ubuntu server 7.04 to 8.04.4

A little while ago I posted about waiting for Ubuntu 10.04 to be released to upgrade our webserver at work to. We were running Ubuntu 7.04 which already wasn’t supported anymore. Due to ClamAV stopping support for the specific ClamAV version on Ubuntu 7.04 we decided not to wait and upgrade as soon as possible. Which was earlier this week.

I had already created a well prepared upgrade procedure, which I finished somewhere in august 2009. Almost 5 months later I was happy to find out that upgrading was still a painless process and all went without problems. As upgrading from 7.04 to 8.04.4 isn’t directly possible I had to upgrade to 7.10 first, which also isn’t supported anymore. Luckily all the packages are still available online. Just not in the official repositories.

The only problem I’ve run into was with Postfix and the IMAP protocol. Some old accounts had their Maildir folder set to the user nobody (which was strangely deleted by the way). For some reason Postfix only accepts it when the group on the folder is users. All Maildir folders for the new(ish) accounts were already owned by the group users and didn’t give me any problems. A quick call chgrp fixed this issue.

Other than that no outstanding issues. So overall I’m VERY HAPPY with how painless upgrading from 7.04 to 8.04.4 was. Of course at the time I was working on my upgrade procedure there were quite some issues, such as HP Tools (hpasm, hpasmcli, hpOpenIPMI) not working. But all were resolved before doing the actual upgrade on the live server. In case of hpasm, in case somebody wonders, you no longer need the hpOpenIPMI driver, as there’s now a open-source driver for it called openipmi. No more recompiling this driver when upgrading the kernel :-).

Upgrading Ubuntu server delayed for next LTS version

Today at work we decided to wait for the next LTS version of Ubuntu, 10.04. Currently we run 7.04 which is no longer receiving updates. For a while now actually. This summer I worked on planning the upgrade process from 7.04 to 7.10, and finally to 8.04. Which is the current LTS version.

I was able to do a dry run upgrade on our backup server. So I was able to document every step of the upgrade process. Ubuntu upgrades nicely and from 7.04 to 8.04 there are only minor changes that need to be done in our configurations. Even the HP iLO software, for which support on Debian based systems is a bit vague, works out of the box with a native driver. No longer do I need to manually compile the HP iLO driver after every kernel update.

Originally we planned on doing the upgrade somewhere this month or December. But due to tight schedules (it’s quite busy for us) January or February seemed be more likely. Since 10.04, the next LTS version with support until April 2015, is out in April 2010 it likely doesn’t hurt to wait a little bit longer. As far as I know every LTS version so far was easily upgradeable to the next LTS version. So I expect upgrading is going to be a breeze. But of course, I’ll be running tests first when 10.04 gets released.

Why not upgrade to 8.04 first and run that first for a couple of months? Well, support for 8.04 ends in 2013, so 10.04 gives us more years of updates. Also, the upgrade process takes (down)time, time to get there, man-hours that need to be paid etc. etc. Further more, without a doubt, with every upgrade there are some issues going to arise. Small and trivial or stuff that brings down every website that’s running on it. Resolving these issues also takes time, which delays the progress of other projects and what not. By skipping yet another version I think we’ll actually save time.

I’m looking forward to it actually. On of the cool things I’m looking forward to is being able to upgrade Zend Framework from 1.8 to 1.9+. I’m also planning to use memcached and perhaps some PHP optimizer to greatly speed up some of the webapplications. And of course, Perl 5.10 (perhaps 5.12 by then?). Although we, unfortunately, don’t use Perl for our websites I like to keep Perl up to date as we use it for several system administration programs. CouchDB also caught my eye :-).

OK, enough for now. Bedtime :-).