Debian upgrade gone horribly wrong

By | February 23, 2012

It has been a long time since I did any kind of decent system upgrade on my VPS debian system. So I decided to be bold yesterday and attempt an upgrade from Debian Lenny to Squeeze. Shouldn’t be that complicated you would think? Right! Oh how I was wrong.

As with anything I wanna do right I first lookup on how to upgrade from Lenny to Squeeze, which according to some blog posts I found should be relatively easy. All it required were a few simple steps. So I was told to first make sure my Lenny system is up to date by running:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

Well not a problem so far. That is something I’ve done regullary to keep up to date. Then I changed my ‘/etc/apt/source.list’ file to contain the following lines:

deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ squeeze main non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main contrib

This should have set everything for the upgrade. Now all you should have to do is run the apt-get update again to refresh the database off applications. Followed by a simple upgrade of the update tool by running:

apt-get install apt dpkg aptitude
apt-get dist-upgrade

So far everything went OK, and I didn’t discover any issues. Granted I had to double check every single configuration file just to make sure that the various applications (Apache / Subversion / postfix & dovecot) still worked.

But the next day I started getting automated e-mails by a verification script I had setup that the number of blog posts here started doubling every hour or so???? When I finaly had some time to check in on my VPS I found that all of the ‘draft’ posts and ‘deleted’ posts had suddenly re-appeared. Not to mention that WordPress started creating hundreds of ‘Auto Draft’ posts and automatically publishing them.

A further check on all my websites quickly revealed similar problems accros all websites and all databases running on that VPS system. So for now I rolled back all changes I did, restoring a backup of the server. Maybe if I feel more adventoures later on this week I’ll try a proper upgrade, but for now it is Lenny all the way baby!

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