Giving love to projects” is a concept innovated by the GNOME Project. The idea is simple. You identify an open source project which you’re likely to give more attention to and work on it. You love your work, the work automatically gets done.

Today, I’d a similar opportunity to give love to. The project called Sampada (ಸಂಪದ) is a community portal run by a very dynamic and brilliant friend of mine. The portal is hosted on a server at a US Data Center and used to run Debian GNU/Linux Sarge. It had a very good uptime and it was being managed well. Quite a few services are hosted on the server including the website – PHP, Apache, the database – MySQL, Email for the domain (Postfix/Courier/Amavis/Spamassassin/ClamAV) and a management interface – SysCP, Mailing lists using GNU/Mailman. All these were working steadily without any major hitches from some time, but we felt we needed to upgrade the whole system to the newly released Etch distribution.

Typically this kind of entire system upgrade entails a huge amount of planning, dry runs, down time loss estimations. In addition to lots of caffeine to release the tension caused by all the nail biting edges the experience puts one through.

In this case, we decided that we need to upgrade the server and we’d devote some time this Sunday and that’s that. No more planning than saying “we’ll get the thing done!”. Cocky! IMO. But we were only dealing with the world’s most stable and most advanced (In many ways) platform and we’d enough experience to be so lethargic about not making those painstaking plans.

We started a bit late, but we started (unlike other days).

# apt-get update && aptitude dist-upgrade -y

The first thing, we did was to ensure a backup of the most important parts of the disk was taken and stored offsite. Took us about 2 hours. Then the initial run itself went pretty smooth and we’ve had most of the system replaced by newer versions. But there were a couple of packages, which had some issues. Turned out that the customisation that were done on the configurations of those packages – Amavisd-New, Proftpd weren’t compatible with the newer versions.

But that was soon solved by slight brute force. What we did was to specifically seek the version we wanted to install on the system. This happened in the case of PHP 5, Apache2. Soon, it was done. And when we tested, voila it worked straight.

1 hour straight. Some questions asked. All tougher questions parried, prayed to god and hoped for the best. But the whole upgrade process was so Debianish!! Always reliable! Always works!!

Overall, we now have a spiffy and snazzy new operating system and an ecosystem of programs serving out very interesting, intellectual and colloquial thoughts to anybody who simply seeks from any corner of the world. Don’t miss out!!

ಹೊಸ ಚಿಗುರು, ಹಳೆ ಬೇರು
ಕೂಡಿರಲು ಮರ ಸೊಗಸು

ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಚಿಗುರು ಗಿಡವಾಗಿ
ಗಿಡವು ಮರವಾಗುತಿರಲು,
ಆ ಗಿಡ ಮರಗಳಿಗೆ
ನೀರುಣಿಸಿ ಬೆಳೆಯುವುದಾ
ನೋಡುವುದಿನ್ನೆಂಥಾ ಕನಸು – ಮಂಕುತಿಮ್ಮ

By shashi

One thought on “Sampada (ಸಂಪದ) Love Day!”
  1. An interesting and different, non-technical narration of the upgrade experience. Nice!
    Upgrading live debian server with such an ease – it was almost an unbelievable run.

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