Etch Upgrade

Etch Upgrade by David Whelan An application I hoped to run left me needing to migrate up to Debian 4 (Etch) from 3.1 (Sarge). I hadn’t done any significant upgrades of Debian packages, let alone something as broad as this. It went exceptionally smoothly, except for a few minor updates that I wasn’t expecting.

The Debian site has plenty of information on doing the upgrade in its release notes for Etch.  I didn’t need to do the 2.6 kernel upgrade first, and the actual update went like clockwork.  I hadn’t been through this process before, so I wasn’t prepared for the process – first the downloading of the packages, the unpacking, and then the setup.  I suppose this is both a newbie and Windows-influenced expectation, since usually you just see a little graphic blinking on the screen.  It was great during the fetch process, as it let you know (%) how far along you were.  I also haven’t needed to fool around with more advanced apt-get/aptitude switches, which enable unattended installs.

I ran into the same problem with PHP that I had when first going to Apache 2, PHP, and MySQL all on Debian.  The problem was that although both MySQL4 and PHP4 were working, the one wouldn’t talk to the other.  Eventually I found the answer in php.ini – the extension directory needed to be changed to one in /usr/lib/php4.  The problem recurred with this upgrade.  The folder containing the file is named with a date, and each upgrade (apparently) removes the old folder and leaves the new one with the revised name.  So a quick change to the php.ini file, and an Apache restart, and I was ready to go.

I decided to go ahead and upgrade to PHP5 while I was enjoying a bit of upheaval.  Same thing happened, except that the folder was removed from /usr/lib/php4 and moved to /usr/lib/php5.  So far, so good!

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David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.