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TongueTied 07-24-2006 10:57 PM

Upgrade OS without badly interrupting network?
I have an office network running SuSE 9.1 on the server with a bunch of windows clients and I would like to upgrade to SuSE 10.1. In the past, I found it almost useless to try to upgrade between major releases of SuSE so I assume I am going to have to do a fresh install (I'd actually prefer to upgrade if it would go smoothly). What worries me is how that will affect the network. Previously when I resorted to a fresh install of SuSE, I had to set up Samba again and then I had to create fresh user and machine accounts. This meant that when I connected the client machine to the Samba server, it needed to join the domain and then insisted on creating a new user account on the windows box for the users resulting in the users having to import mail, bookmark and all the settings they previously had into this new account.

So, my question. Is there a better way of upgrading a SuSE server and retaining the user accounts (/home/, Samba and on windows boxes) so that there is minimal impact on the network? What I would really like is to be able to do the upgrade over the weekend so that on Monday morning when everyone comes into work, they don't even realise anything has happened. Is that possible?

baikonur 07-25-2006 04:22 AM

my experiences with SuSE were: one out of four upgrades failes. Which is one of the main reasons I'm with debian now.
Anyway, I would try to upgrade first. If you have to do a fresh install, you can still try to migrate samba. But that IS tricky. I made it once. My samba server was set up as a PDC, just like yours. I copied passwd, smbpasswd, smb.conf and secrets.tdb to the new server's /etc/samba. A good description of the possible complications can be found here.


ethics 07-25-2006 05:08 AM

No way to get a secondary box? having worked here for a few years with an NT server that is slowly dieing, i wish i had a second machine to take its job while i sort it out, downtime is a problem here, so they're happy to wait till it dies then blame me.

You could then create a replica of your current system, swap it in on a friday, do the upgrade on the main box, then switch it back in when you're done, then upgrade the other at your leisure, and so on, so you'll always have a machine there and no downtime (well no greater than an hour or 2).

I would say an upgrae like that on a production server is very risky, when there is so much to account for, the poster above says 1 in 4, fair enough if it works ok, if it doesn't? what are the consequences in lost revenue, time, delayed projects etc.

TongueTied 07-25-2006 05:31 AM

I can swap out the drives and install on a new one, however the problem is when everyone comes in on Monday they will all need to set up their accounts again, import email, reset wallpaper, play with desktops .... I would like to make it seamless from the windows users point of view so when they walk in on Monday, they don't realise anything has happened even if I look like death having spent 48 hour getting the server going again.

Thinking about it, I might be able to set up a temporary secondary box. How would I migrate back and forth? What would I need to move to the new box while I upgraded the old one?

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