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Author Topic: Upgrading Slackware: esp /etc and conf files  (Read 3759 times)

Offline wombat53

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Upgrading Slackware: esp /etc and conf files
« on: June 20, 2005, 07:13:08 PM »
Hi group.
I am about  to upgrade Slacware from 9.1 to 10.0, and am pretty confused about  what Patrick has written in UPGRADE.TXT , item 6, re "fix your config files"...that the new ones come in with extesion of .new, the old are saved as .bak. and that you "may need to fill these in with information from your old config files and move them over".

Similarly, another paper on this process is along the same lines:

"Merge the new configuration files with your old ones. The newly installed configuration files will have the file extension ".new" Most, if not
all, of the new configuration files will be located in your /etc directory. You can generate a list of these files
like so:
# find /etc -name \*.new
Fold any changes you made to the previous versions of the
configuration files into the new files, as necessary. Then
rename the new configuration file to the name of the old
configuration file (the same name, without the .new extension, conveniently.)"

What does it mean to "fold any changes you made to the previous versions of the configuration files into the new files, as necessary".

How does one know which files have changed over the lifetime of an installation? How can one know this? Does one simply copy the old (.bak) over the new (.new)? It doesn't sound like it. Or identify the private customizations one has made over the year(s), and re-modify the .new's, by hand, one by one and then rename thqam back? This is clearly impossible. Is that what is being said? i.e. that the structure of the new .conf's is unchanged and we just copy the (customized) backups and overlay the .new's? Or the structure is changed, and we ned to "remodify" all the customizations made in the past?
Maybe so! I just don't know.
Forgive me for this possibly moronic question, but while I am a DB guy, I have been a Systems Programmer on and off over 25 years on and off on some of the world's largest and most complex computers (Honeywell, IBM mainframes) and I don't have a clue what is being said here, with the all-important config files. Surely a user cannot "lose" all his changes and customizations, and have to identify them and re-insert them into the . new config files? Take CUPS, for example. I had to make changes long ago to files with  names like mimes.something...conv, types, to enable raw octets; I don't know and cannot remember.  All I know is that it took me weeks to find out that it had to be done, and I made the changes. Will these files be changed back to some pristine state? And I have to find them again, find the changes, and "fill these in ....."
What am I missing here?
Thanks :(
George

Offline Ricky

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Upgrading Slackware: esp /etc and conf files
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2005, 04:41:06 AM »
Although you have tried to be as descriptive as you can, but it is little long question, infact I have to reread to answer it :).

Firstly I want to tell you that I stand no where against with your huge 25 years of experience. But still I can give the suggestion or rather my views.

Well, in Slack there is nothing which checks the old installation and configuration and update itself. But if in RH etc you do fresh installation above the old installation but without removed the old data then you have the old configuration. It sometimes cause the problem b'coz of some changes in config file over the time, which are actually routine for the evolution of anything.

So to avoid that, in Slack they used to put their own new files and rename the old one so there is no conflict and still you have ur old configuration intact.

Now what you should to is simply upgrade, then check what things are not functioning properly, then try to replace the old config file of that stuff with the new one ie. your old one. if then it still not works, then match the config parameters of the both files and do the changes as required.

Hence upgrade would not cause much trouble if every thing works fine after upgrade, ya you will need to do some changes in your new config files in accordance to your old ones.
And what changes are required there ? The answer is simple and already answered but again.. you will come to know that with the time or use.

Hope this helps a bit....

Offline wombat53

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Upgrading Slackware: esp /etc and conf files
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2005, 05:27:50 AM »
Ricky - thank you. You have always been very helpful. I tried to be as descriptive as possible, since I feel that an OS upgrade is not a trivial task (where I just was at a large internal IBM application (at IBM itself), they are planning for almost two years, just to go to the next release of the RDBMS (and not even the OS). I must add that that it is a very major new release, however).
Anyway, you say:
"Now what you should to is simply upgrade, then check what things are not functioning properly, then try to replace the old config file of that stuff with the new one ie. your old one. if then it still not works, then match the config parameters of the both files and do the changes as required."
Let me just ask one question<g>. An upgrade will lay down  his own (new) config files with the ".new" extension. So the existing configuration files will stay in place; they are not moved or renamed (of course we are encouraged to back them up first, and I have done that). That was my understanding, that the new ones are called ".new", and the old ones remain, and you might have to include changes from the old to the ".new", which will later need  to have the ".new" extension removed, of course. Patrick V supplies a script in item 6 of UPGRADE.TXT to help with this process.

You say that S/Ware upgrade will "rename the old one "
So, I'm afraid I am confused on this point. Are the existing configuration files renamed or not? If so, to what names?

Let's assume we can clear this matter up.

The newly installed config files  will function correctly, or they will not, of course. If not "And what changes are required there ? The answer is simple and already answered "?
That is the $64,000 question of course, and sadly, does not appear so simple to this Linux newbie. For example, the most obscure customization I had to do was to mimes.conv and mime.types in /etc/cups. Those two took me weeks to discover, just to fianlly get printing working! Who could know such an obscure thing except a guru?, to enable raw print support in an obscure CUPS file (not even in cupsd.conf)? Now I do not even know if these files are changed (clobbered) by the upgrade (technically, they are not directly under /etc., but under /etc/cups; they not are they called ".conf", but they are certainly "configuration" files) If they are clobbered, it's only by a miracle of God that I would remember to change them. The same would be true of printers.conf, the ppd's, /etc/samba/smb.conf, etc., etc......and a multitude of customizations that we have all done, over the years to get our systems to whwere we want them to be.

But it is possible I am missing something? Maybe he does not touch these files. The thing is, I do not know what is changed, what is restored by the upgrade to "ground zero", so to speak (I realize this is a very mixed metaphor). All I do know is what is written:
"Fix your config files.  Some of the config files in /etc are going to need your attention." from UPGRADE.TXT
To this newbie, this is less than enlightening documentation.

Ricky, forget about my 25 years, I'll change my signature, I appreciate all your replies to my questions!
George

Offline Ricky

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Upgrading Slackware: esp /etc and conf files
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2005, 05:13:16 PM »
Here what I can see is telling that new configuration files will be with ".new" extension.

And for you I want to give a suggestion that install slackware on any spare PC, make changes in that and then upgrade, that way you will learn more and without problem (we all mostly learn linux that way :D ) . And you Dragaoncity is one of the diehard love of Slack . You can better ask him personally  if he is not happned to come over here.. i thin his actual username is 'dragoncity66' .

Hope that  helps.

Offline wombat53

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Upgrading Slackware: esp /etc and conf files
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2005, 12:46:52 PM »
Thanks Ricky - yes, it seems that the new files have ".new", and if something fails with  the "old" (which are unchanged) , you have to review the '.new" and see if there anre any substantive, or structural or functioal changes, and include them to the old (or copy the custimization from old to ".new,", and then rename the ".new" to lose the extension. Is that the general idea?

A spare machine is always a good idea. I have three, for self, wife and kid, all networked, and all sharing files and printers under both Linux, and that other, well-known popular OS. A fourth one to play with, a true "sandbox" would be great.
George

Offline Ricky

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Upgrading Slackware: esp /etc and conf files
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2005, 01:44:53 PM »
Quote from: "wombat53"
Thanks Ricky - yes, it seems that the new files have ".new", and if something fails with  the "old" (which are unchanged) , you have to review the '.new" and see if there anre any substantive, or structural or functioal changes, and include them to the old (or copy the custimization from old to ".new,", and then rename the ".new" to lose the extension. Is that the general idea?
George


So far we are on right way. Lets see how it goes with you!