[clug] Debian Sarge or Ubuntu for a server?

Sam Couter sam at couter.dropbear.id.au
Wed Jun 15 21:22:35 GMT 2005

Alex Satrapa <grail at goldweb.com.au> wrote:
> I am a control freak. I prefer machines to not display unexpected  
> behaviour. In the past I've had problems with packages not properly  
> cleaning up files that they leave behind

Debian packages are expected to clean up after themselves correctly.
When they don't it's a real bug. Report it to the Debain BTS.


Most packages mostly behave themselves.

> And don't get me started on the mess that is xfree86 on Debian...  
> every time I upgraded that I'd lose fonts, and suffer other major  
> breakage.

... while the three workmates who did an identical upgrade that same
morning suffered no ill effects.

Also remember that you were doing unstable -> later unstable upgrades.
Doing an upgrade from stable-1 (woody) to stable (sarge) is fully
supported and expected to work flawlessly. If it doesn't, it's a real
bug and should be reported. Most Debian maintainers take quality

> Besides, reinstalling from scratch is a great test of the disaster  
> recovery procedure. In fact, it's a great way to force you to *have*  
> a disaster recovery procedure!

As long as you can test it before you need it (say, on alternate
hardware while the original machine remains intact), rather than testing
it by actually needing it. Finding out that your disaster recovery
doesn't work by realising that you've lost data isn't a win, it's a big

I'd also like to point out that a disaster recovery plan that involves a
full backup and full restore will leave you with the original machine
intact - you'll still have to answer the "upgrade or reinstall?"

For an extra data point, I'll add that I have an installation (or clone
of that installation) that's never really been reinstalled since slink
or so. I've cloned it to other machines at various points and continued
from there without reinstalls. They all still work.
Sam "Eddie" Couter  |  mailto:sam at couter.dropbear.id.au
Debian Developer    |  mailto:eddie at debian.org
                    |  jabber:sam at teknohaus.dyndns.org
OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C
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