Sunday, August 12, 2018

Upgrade Orgy

I'm running several servers and network infrastructure at home. We rarely use desktop computers anymore, since the family has basically moved towards Laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and phones for their technology needs (with the exception of the PC Gaming station). However, those devices along with entertainment equipment still want to be supported and connected to the Internet by ... something. At the very least for in-house backups and redundant storage. Cloud services for photos are all nice and good, but with volume they become expensive. Backup providers are shifting on an almost yearly basis in search of a viable business model.

I haven't touched much the infrastructure for quite a while. It worked well enough so there wasn't really a need. "Don't touch a running system" is for lazy system administrators that rather play with their trains. However, things started to get a bit creaky over time. Newer software versions complained about the OS being too old, that java needs this libc which ...

My backup server doubles as the railroad computer, so it has much more disk space than needed for the trains. A recent backup filled up the remainder of the archives disk ...
Alright, the combination of some older archives, plus the live backup from the server have exceeded the 2 Terabyte mark on the main server. Time to double the disk space and install 4 TB drives. But that requires a GPT-style partition, which requires parted and that's not installed on this machine, since it still runs Debian Squeeze.

All the signs point at the lazy system administrator to get off his behind and get moving. I procrastinated for too long already. Time to go all the way to Debian Stretch.

24 hours later, I'm still working through apt-get dist-upgrade cycles and resolving dependency conflicts. It would probably have been easier to install Debian Stretch off an USB stick.
Once that upgrade orgy is over I can copy the backup volumes from the 2TB array to the 4TB array, and start looking into getting JMRI working again.

Meanwhile the sole Ubuntu Desktop in the house is moving forward to Ubuntu 18.04 now.

After those two are done, I'll take another round of backups of the main server and upgrade it to Debian Stretch as well, which then allows me to modernize some of the monitoring infrastructure on the network.

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