Server Upgrade….Debian in, fedora out :)

Seemed simple enough at the time, feed down the better hardware thru the lines – reinstall fedora, latest version of course, but alas – in ten words or less…. switched server OS to debian… that makes +2 debian, 1 fedora remaining 🙂

Some more detail may be required….the usual story of lack of harddisk space and the lack of sata support on the current mobo was the driving force behind the upgrade, quite a decision since I had just recently replaced the heat sink and fan. The machine was to recieve redundant hardware from my main desktop, typically a abit NFS-7 mobo with a 3000XP althlon from memory, i decided to ditch 2/3rds of the RAm since it was without a doubt flatey at the best of times and failed memtest spectacularly 🙂

Now, as forementioned, fedora 10 was the candidate for the replacement OS, I had been thru a fresh install of Fedora 3 and two upgrades, one to core 5 and the final to core 8. I have found a few funny issues of the years resulting from these upgrades, but all in all they were quite good considering you are upgrading your whole OS, these where done from a CD upgrade rather than a yum upgrade. Fedora 10 had been out for awhileand considering that there are 3 odd beta versions before the release i figured this should be a safe bet, boy was i wrong.

I am sure that many will agree and as many, disagree when I list these deal breakers for me but hey..its a personal thing too… My first mistake was not to check the mailing list and forums for other users who had recently installed core 10 – probably would have stopped me right there before even opening the dvd tray. From the get go I had issues – monitor resoltion was messed up, well cant ask too much as it is on a HP KVM box, tried to setup static IP networking, seemed fine until it tried to find additional sources for yum, it would timeout and I would change the settings thinking I had the wrong network card selected only to find it would crash…. guaranteed.

So when I finally fumbled thru the install using the keyboard only, ’cause I could not see the bloody bottom right hand side of the screen I thought…the hard bits over….nup..

-network settings not saved after reboot

-Network manager needs a bullet

– Package manager fails, everytime

– dbus error

– Perl 5 did not work with thermd (big issue)

If I was a new user and confronted with these issues I would have thrown my hands up and gone elsewhere and this is basically what I did, I struggled with the OS for a few days and finally decided it’s not worth wasting my time, I would just go and use a known version like fedora core 9.

So back to the install disk and fedora core 9 was much much nicer, however I still found irritating bugs which I just could not be buggered spending hours trawling thru mailing lists and forums to find an inadequate work around. My biggest gripe at this point was; to sort out an issue, even a small one was hard work, the net is full of fedora 1 thru to core 10 problems and solutions, this makes finding a solution harder for your one little problem on fedora 10.

So after a few more days of struggling and cursing….I was going to sleep one night and I thought.. really this should not be that hard….I have had excellent service from my only debian install, admittingly a little hard to get going but once up and running satisfactory it has not stoppped (touch wood).

I did consider trying ubuntu, for about…5 minutes :/

So armed with a solid game plan I was convinced this was my only way to go, I download the install disks for etch release 4 (i think) and off I went. Oh did i mention the text based installer had no problems with my HP KVM?! 🙂

I only had to go thru the install process twice…thats good for me and that was only to sort out the logical volumes game, which was a first for me. So the good news is debian is installed and up and running, I did have a few niggling issues:

– apache2 config location and content is different but that was ok, issues from my end 🙂

– php conf different, as above.

– ntfs-3g need to jump into testing to get it installed, kernel still deficent, but I can deal with that.

– mod-rewrite, cause me no end of pain until I realsie it was not enabled.

– I had to work pretty hard to get all my goodies installed, like GD, php5-gd, imagemagick etc, not really a drama but is would have bee much nicer to have a better, correction refining method for choosing softare to install during the OS installation process. The apt-get is a godsend, makes life much much easier, light years ahead of yum imo.

In a nutshell, I am pretty darn happy with it at the moment….

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