[LINK] Keeping FreeBSD up to date vs. Debian

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Fri Jan 12 15:43:43 AEDT 2007

In "Re: [LINK] 1.5 Mbps limit lifted from Telstra's ADSL DSLAMs?" Rick
Welykochy wrote:

> Upgrading is never that simple on a production box. You first have
> to create the same environment (pre upgrade) on a test server, then
> do your upgrades to that, test the whole mess and ensure nothing
> was broken by the upgrade, and finally:
> apt-get dist-upgrade
> Given that most of the time is taken in setting up and testing the
> upgrade, I don't see why it is that much harder to keep a BSD box
> up to date (Robin's words, not Craig's).

I was referring not to setting up the operating system, but keeping it
up-to-date in terms of security patches.  I spent a long time trying to
figure out a foolproof, simple, way of doing this with FreeBSD 5.3 - and
didn't reach a good conclusion.  I am not saying it can't be done - just
that I couldn't find it after quite a few hours trying.

Debian is simple:

  apt-get update   (Updates the local database of applications
                    which are available.)
  atp-get upgrade  (Resolves dependencies, downloads and installs them.)

The last time I changed the OS I rented this new, cheaper, server in
parallel with the older one (running RedHat 7, I recall).  This time, I
will get them to install the new OS on the same machine and then set it
up myself - so I expect the web sites will be off the air for a day or so.

 - Robin

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