[sf-lug] Linux Server Preferences

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Nov 5 20:44:55 PST 2009

Quoting Michael Paric (mparic at compbizsolutions.com):

> My apologies if I've somehow offended you; since I was the originator of 
> the post I appreciate any and all responses. It wasn't an intended  
> lecture, just engaging in a conversation about how different people  
> administer their networks. If this list isn't the place to ask such  
> questions and discuss different approaches to common problems, then I'll 
> leave y'all to your "community". Thanks again.

You can say anything you please, subject to the pleasure of Jim
Stockford and LX_Rudis, the listadmins.  I'm not the listadmin; I'm just
the poor bastard who pays for and administers the server on which I host
this mailing list for free.

But while I am on it:  

> Sure, RHEL/CentOS and the last Ubuntu LTS release may have older
> kernels and packages, but is it really necessary to have your network
> servers running the latest (and sometimes *not* the greatest)
> versions? For the desktop, sure, you  probably want the latest
> wireless, graphics, disk drivers, but is any of that is necessary in
> a server environment? From what I've read on the Ubuntu site, they've
> spent a good deal of time making sure an "apt-get dist-upgrade" from
> one LTS version to the next is relatively smooth, especially since
> you're not dealing with all the cutting-edge drivers and gui features
> that play havoc with the system.

Er, well, to remind you:

What SVLUG then-VP Micah Dowty saddled me with (on the Linode host
that now is www.svlug.org) was _not_ an LTS release, as no such beast
then existed.  To reiterate, he installed 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog, released
in March 2005.  

The first _LTS_ release was 6.06 Dapper Drake, released 2006-06-01, with
optional paid support available for the Ubuntu Server variant for five
years.   The next was 8.04 Hardy Heron, released 2008-04-24 with
optional paid support available for Ubuntu Server for five years.  The
next one will be 10.04 Lucid Lynx with optional paid support available
for Ubuntu Server for five years.

So, ignoring the fact that I _didn't have_ an LTS version, for starters,
and that such a concept wouldn't even have existed until two releases
later, let's imagine that I _did_ have an LTS release.  Let's imagine
that I'm perfectly OK with running a server with critical software
that's two years obsolete (albeit presumably with backported security
patches), so that I can't have, for example, a modern version of
MoinMoin or ikiwiki or OpenJDK without building my own local package.

Let's grant all of that.  The same question that I asked Jim still

Is it really true that there's no alternative to personally noticing
that 6.06LTS has been obsoleted by 8.04LTS, manually editing all
"dapper" references in /etc/apt/sources.list to "hardy", and running the
upgrade semi-manually with spare time available in case something
crucial blows up?   Why isn't there?

And, by the way, "relatively smooth" doesn't cut it with production
servers.  If it's only "relatively", then I might as well be runing
RHEL/CentOS and doing reinstalls every couple of years.

Rick Moen             "The plural of Blackberry is 'Blackberries.'  The plural 
rick at linuxmafia.com   of Blackberry users is 'Dingleberries.'"
                                                           -- FakeAPStylebook

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