[sf-lug] Linux Server Preferences

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Nov 6 11:15:20 PST 2009

Quoting Akshay Shah (akshay at akshayshah.org):

> I'm only a hobbyist and have never even attempted setting up something
> as production-y as a headless server, but I think there's an official
> upgrade tool for exactly the situation you're describing.  I moved off
> Ubuntu a while ago, so I'm a little rusty - please bear with me.

Akshay, thank you.  I had not known about the "do-release-upgrade"
tool, which appears to query the Ubuntu package mirrors and find out 
whether there's a new release, and, if so, conduct additional package
fetches to migrate the system to that new target.  (Thus, you don't 
actually have to go about manually editing "dapper" to "hardy" in
/etc/apt/sources.list, etc.)

I'm probably missing a bunch of angles about that Ubuntu-produced
utility because I'm only now hearing about it, but I gather that its
behaviour is controlled by editing /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades .  
You can set "Prompt=lts" to make the tool reorient the system to only
new LTS releases, or "Prompt=normal" to reorient to all new releases
rather than just LTS ones.

I still find it a bit odd that they never implemented anything like 
Debian's "stable" symlink on the package mirror sites (not to mention
"testing" and "unstable"), but, hey, let's see how things work.

FWIW, over the years it's been available so far, I've remained 
unimpressed by aptitude:  Its performance is terrible, its default
installation of Recommends packages (unless you manually jigger the
config files to override that behaviour) is annoying, and I find the 
alleged advantage of replacing several other tools at once (deborphan,
debfoster, etc.) a poor justifications for tool bloat.

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