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I am about to buy a VPS server but they preinstall debian 3.1 and it seem abit ancient version thus I need to upgrade to 5 version (lenny), is it easy to upgrade 3.1 to 5 via ssh ? If so what would be the command(s) ?

Regards

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Who the hell only provides a Sarge VM image? I expect the rest of their systems are similarly slipshod -- run like the blazes to someone else. –  womble Oct 11 '09 at 11:38
    
lol they also install ubuntu 6 :) –  Hellnar Oct 11 '09 at 14:47
    
At least Ubuntu 6.06 is still supported with security updates (it is until June 2011 as it was a TLS release, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ubuntu_releases#Release_history), though why they don't offer 8.04 by now beats me. Debian 3.1 on the other hand is long out of the support window IIRC. –  David Spillett Oct 11 '09 at 15:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Upgrading direct from 3.1 (sarge?) to 5 (lenny) is, IIRC, not a supported operation.

What you will need to do is:

  1. Make sure your 3.1 install is fully up-to-date (apt-get update && apt-get upgrade)
  2. Make sure you have a fair chunk of free space on the system, specifically on the filesystem where /var is located (as this is where all the many updated packages will go before they are unpacked).
  3. Upgrade to 4.x (etch) following the instructions in the release notes for that release found here, paying particular attention to the first instruction with regard to making sure you take backs of all config files and important data.
  4. You should be fully uptodate as far as etch is concerned at this point, but no harm in repeating apt-get update && apt-get upgrade at this point just to be sure
  5. Upgrade to 5.x (lenny) following the instructions in the release notes for that release found here, paying particular attention to the first instruction with regard to making sure you take backs of all config files and important data.

The links above assume you are using the x86 architecture and working in English, which is most likely. For release notes for other archs and in other languages, see here and here respectively.

This can all be done over SSH successfully (I've done woody->etch and etch->lenny myself a few times), but be careful to follow the instructions and definitely take those backups just-in-case.

This will take some time, so if you can afford to overlap your VPS with another for a short period you might be better off getting a new VPS with a fresh Lenny (5.0) install, migrating your services and content over to it, then closing down the old VPS. This will cost more (you'd have two VPSs to pay for for a month, assuming you pay monthly) but may take a chunk less of your time and will result in a cleaner install too (as you won't transfer over all the cruft that has collected over the years).

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http://www.debian.org/releases/lenny/i386/release-notes/ch-upgrading.html

I dont think 3 to 5 is supported. you may want to find a more up-to-date VPS vendor.

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