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bawitdaba
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Joined: 16 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:46 pm    Post subject: Need advice for updating old VM install Reply with quote

I have a Gentoo VirtualBox install (circa 2009) on my Windows Server. I picked Gentoo primarily because I didn't want a GUI and I had used gentoo in the past.

I primarily use this for a DNS Server (bind), Print Server (cups), Phone PBX (asterisk) , etc mostly small things like this.

I haven't maintained this install I'm an awful sys admin, needless to say I emerge --sync'd and borked my install.



Is it worth trying to save this install? Can I just throw a current stage3 tarball on top of my current install or something like that to bring it current?

Should I even be running Gentoo? I don't really have the time to maintain updates on this VM, ideally I would like something similar to Windows Update that I could do every few months without major risk of bricking my box. I saw this http://www.panhorst.com/glcu/ script that does automatic updates for gentoo, is that safe to run?
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NeddySeagoon
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bawitdaba,

Welcome to Gentoo.

Virtual Machines are cheap. Make a new VM and install Gentoo there.
When it works, throw away the old install.

If you really want the educational experience, do the update.

Untarring a stage3 over the top of your existing install will destroy your install.
There are a few files you need to save to simplify the migration to a new VM.
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Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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Hu
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not reviewed the cited update script, but I can tell you that you will quickly find numerous posts on this forum advising against generalized automated updates in Gentoo. It is too easy to have an update install a package that requires new configuration, have the user not notice and perform that configuration, and then have the package broken because it cannot process the old configuration. This is mildly irritating for some packages, and catastrophic for others. I cannot think of any specific cases where systemd/openrc/other-init-system had this problem, but if it did happen, it would mean you need to resort to recovery media to repair an unbootable machine.

Automated updating of a well-controlled subset can be done, but solving it for the general case is hard. Other distributions are able to avoid some of this because they focus more strongly on staying pinned to package versions that do not require user intervention (except when you do a full distribution upgrade, but everyone expects those to require a bit of care). Gentoo has a strong preference for shipping upstream's latest release, even if that sometimes means more update work for individual users.
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