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Upgrade of Linux Server from Ubuntu 7.10 to Ubuntu 8.04

In an earlier post I have already said that I have upgraded my Ubuntu version (in a VMware virtual machine) to Ubuntu 8.04. I have in the same post described my views on Ubuntu Linux 8.04 - the best Linux distribution so far.

I have now taken the (somewhat brave) step of upgrading my home server to Ubuntu 8.04. I say that this is a brave step as I am always a little cautious about upgrading operating systems without just reformatting the disk and starting again. I would certainly never consider upgrading Windows and expecting it to work, and it's not something I've really done with Linux before. In the main this upgrade went quite smoothly. There were a couple of small things and one real issue, but I've got those all working (or found a workaround) now.

This upgrade was performed on the x86 version of Ubuntu, and was done using the online upgrade option. A very brief summary is on the Ubuntu Forums - Upgrade issues to 8.04

Unattended install not an option

One thing that I did notice is that you can't just leave it for a unattended overnight install. The reason for this is that the installer does ask a few questions - mainly about whether to keep your existing config files or to use the ones from the upgraded package. If you have customised the application then you almost certainly want to keep the existing file, but it's worth comparing the new and old files side-by-side first. It's good that it asks these, but it does mean that you have to be present when the install is done (or at least check back every now and again).

Change of hard disk names from hdxx to sdxx

One of the first things i noted after booting into the upgraded version was that some of my hard disks were not mounted. These were all ones that I had added after the original install.

The reason for this is that the device names when I installed were in the format hdxx (traditionally used by Linux for IDE disks), but since the upgrade they are now sdxx names (traditionally used for SCSI, but now used for most drives). This was a quick edit in fstab and they then mounted without a problem.

The normal Ubuntu way of referring to disks in the fstab is to use their UUID - you can get this info by using the vol_id command. Using the device names is however a bit more use friendly due to the vol_id being 16 hexadecimal characters.

Basically if you knew enough to make changes to your fstab - then change hd to sd and you should be OK. If you don't know what fstab is then you are not going to see this problem as all the entries should be UUID anyway.

DHCPD Not started

I had dhcpd configured on my server as this provides dynamic IP addresses to my laptops which connect via wireless. This did not start after the upgrade.

To get this working was as simple as installing the dhcpd3 server:

sudo apt-get install dhcpd3

The existing configuration file worked fine. I don't know why it did not upgrade to dhcpd3, but it was a simple fix (once I'd identified where the problem was).

Problem with IMAP (courier-imap)

The one problem I did struggle a little with was that courier-imap (which I use as my local email server) did not allow me to connect. It appeared to be failing due to authentication, but I checked all the config files and they all looked OK.

I posted details to the UbuntuForums, but did not receive a reply. Ubuntu Forums - courier-IMAP not working after 8.04 upgrade

In the end I got around the problem by changing to dovecot for my IMAP server. I do not have any preference between the different software, but I don't like admitting defeat :-) I decided I had more important things in my life then trying to struggle with courier-imap, so I installed dovecot and moved on!