[lug] Re: LUG Digest, Vol 44, Issue 1

Michael J. Hammel mjhammel at graphics-muse.org
Tue Jun 5 15:50:30 MDT 2007

On Tue, 2007-06-05 at 17:00 -0400, gordongoldin at aim.com wrote:
> When every install is a clean wipe, what process do you have for
> managing your config files. 

A shell script to back them up to someplace under /home, which is on its
own partition that isn't touched by the clean install, and "meld" to
merge them back in after the upgrade.  This could probably be automated
to some extent, especially if I spent some time looking at how the
configs would be changing *before* did the upgrade (re: clean install).
But it's not a high priority thing for me, so I don't bother with the

My experience, which includes MySQL/Apache/ssh and a few others, has
been that most of this merging is fairly easy - the config files don't
(usually - there's always an exception) change drastically between
consecutive distribution releases. Since most of my machines have
similar configs, I do the merge on one machine and migrate it to the
others with minor tweaks.

This sort of process is required for databases as well, since the
default location for MySQL is usually on the root partition somewhere.
So I have to back them up, do the upgrade, then reinstall them.
Database migration of this sort has tended to be harder than simple
config file migration.  MySQL has changed on me a couple of times where
the dump was not completely accepted by the reload without some
tweaking.  But that was a while back - hasn't happened in a while now
(and I'm far from a heavy db user).

Not ideal for large enterprises, but works well for the <20 systems I
manage at home and work.
Michael J. Hammel <mjhammel at graphics-muse.org>

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