I would like to migrate some servers (debian 4 and debian 5) to ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

One is a DNS server with bind and nothing else.(debian 5) Another is pxe server with tftp on debian 5. Another is a debian 4 with a plone farm (plone, python, zope, zeo and varnish). Another is a trac+svn server.

I'm asking here if someone has had to do this or similar and found any problems.

Thanks for all comments, advices and whatever you can tell me.


3 Answers 3


A direct dist-upgrade or similar from Debian to Ubuntu won't work, at least that's my experience.

I recommend doing a clean install of Ubuntu 10.04 and then migrating the data and configuration files manually. This obviously means you need the new machine up and running before you can retire the old Debian servers. Do you use virtualisation? That would make it easier.

With Bind it probably means just copying /etc/bind over to the new machine. For the PXE server (with which I have no experience) and Trac+SVN you need to copy or recreate the configuration files (e.g. /etc/apache2) and then move the real data, i.e. the repositories, Trac instances and TFTP storage.

As to the Plone farm I have no idea but beware of Python version differences.

I have performed such migrations from Debian to Ubuntu several times and that's in my experience the cleanest and least surprising way to do it.

  • Same here, we're migrating from Debian to Ubuntu by reinstalling the machines and copying the data. dist-upgrading is out of question.
    – raphink
    Dec 17, 2010 at 13:30
  • +1 for clean install. I did this a long time ago. Woody to Warty and it went just Ok. There was a lot of weird and annoying little issues. I think those distros were more similar then the current ones.
    – egorgry
    Dec 17, 2010 at 13:31
  • +1 for going with a clean install whenever possible. Dec 17, 2010 at 17:06

I'll agree the same. Except for one thing: Definitely upgrade to at least Debian 5 and consider going to Debian testing. There are a few things that have shifted in the 5(!)+ years since Debian 4 came out, including BIND. You get the upside of migrated configs so it's at least a slightly easier upgrade path.

Also worth considering (definitely in the case of BIND) is looking at the README.Debian files in /usr/share/doc/, as, for instance, it was better for my situation to undo our CHROOT foo and use what was in the Debian/Ubuntu packages.


My advice : if it ain't broken, don't fix it. Ubuntu is far from being an as stable and solid workhorse server OS as Debian is. Upgrade your systems to Lenny, and when Squeeze is out (pretty soon now) upgrade to Squeeze.

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