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I have server with debian lenny. I installed vserver on this server a few years ago. Summary I have 5 guest of vservers and main system, now. Each guest is debian lenny.

Now, I'm wanting upgrade from lenny to squeezy on this servers (each Vservers and main machine).

Do you do it? I should upgrade as usually system ? First I should upgrade every vserver next main machines and I have to do reset all machines and vservers?

Please, advise me how to do it ?

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Setup a test environment similar to your production setup, and try upgrading and see what happens? – Zoredache May 7 '12 at 5:31
We don't have a second machine where I can build debian with vservers. When I upgrade one vserver (only) I didn't started vserver. I cannot try upgrade only main machine because this can have 'epic fail'. – Bartosz Kowalczyk May 7 '12 at 5:50

First of all make sure your kernel is 2.6.32. If it is not, it happened to me that auto-upgrade failed for some reason (Because you are running a BPO kernel for example). In this case, depending on your architecture :

aptitude install linux-image-2.6-vserver-amd64

Given that the above kernel is used, you may proceed with the system upgrade. In similar situations i preffered to upgrade VMs first and then the host itself.

For the VMs the procedure would be:

  1. Update the /etc/apt/sources.list for squeeze
  2. Do the APT update and download the packages (especially when doing this from the internet, assuming there is no local repository mirror):

    sudo apt-get clean && sudo aptitude update

    sudo aptitude full-upgrade --download-only

  3. Make sure that you install the appropriate driver packages for your hardware. It would be unpleasant to find yourself cut off from your remote server :) Example: sudo aptitude install firmware-linux-nonfree

  4. Do the safe upgrade for a few times until there is nothing left: sudo aptitude safe-upgrade

  5. Finally do a full upgrade: sudo aptitude full-upgrade

For the host of your virtual machines there will be an additional step in updating GRUB to GRUB2. You can check if your bootloader was installed properly by running: update-grub If you do not see any errors, it is most likely safe to reboot.

If you get ANY error message about missing drivers, DO NOT REBOOT. Install necessary drivers before rebooting.

Depending on your actual environment and setup the above steps might differ a little, but these should give you a general idea.

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I tried upgrade both on host of linux-vservers and linux-vservers guest - and i didn't havent any major problems.

Minor problems are: - lack of drivers/bad drivers on linux vserver host - sometimes they need to upgrade independly (network cards - r8168, e1000, dahdi drivers...) - some applications on squeeze needs newer kernel than lenny - so there were problems when i upgraded only guest, but not hosts (but it was rare situation)

In most situations - it was enough to apt-get dist-upgrade on host, and then - one by one - dist-upgrade of guests.

If you're using vhashify feature - remember that dist-upgrade on one vserver often destroy unification - you must reinvoke it to spare place there after upgrading guests.

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