Package management

dlong500

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What are people doing these days to manage Debian servers with DirectAdmin with regard to updating the server using apt? In other words, how are people keeping the server up to date while at the same time not breaking DirectAdmin (due to the fact that DA is not managed with apt)?

I've seen a few (very) out of date threads on the subject, and even a defunct project for maintaining DA through apt, but nothing else. It would be awesome if some of the Debian users out there could share some strategies or techniques for how to best handle using both apt and DirectAdmin without breaking something. Is anyone creating a set of fake packages using something like equivs to prevent Debian from messing with anything installed by DA's custombuild?

It'd be great to see some tips or suggestions; maybe even a complete walk-through could be stickied at some point if we could get something together. Of course, what would really be cool is if the DA authors would some day maintain an official package so that DA could be fully installed and updated through apt.
 

SeLLeRoNe

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Well, if a package is not installed using apt-get so the update will not break that.

I used to update da related software using custombuild and then just apt-get update and upgrade (and in some case dist-upgrade).

Nothing wrong with it, never had a problem.

Regards
 

syslint

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You can use custom build to update your apache, php ,etc. You can also use aptitiue to update the os packages too.
 

dlong500

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Well, if a package is not installed using apt-get so the update will not break that.
That has not been my experience in the past. Many software packages have dependencies on things like Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc. Because Debian doesn't know something has been installed outside of apt-get it may try to install it to satisfy a dependency (and thus potentially break your DA install). This can make running standard apt-get commands fairly dangerous especially for a production system. Maybe things have gotten better recently, but as of Debian 4 there were plenty of times that I had to do all sorts of workarounds to prevent apt from trying to install something that Custombuild had installed.
 

SeLLeRoNe

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well you asked for update method, i dont know what package different from a base-working-os you installed and what are the dependencies.

But, on a clean system with just base-os and directadmin so apt-get and custombuild have no conflict at all.

What software had you installed using apt-get that require software already installed from custombuild?
 

dlong500

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What software had you installed using apt-get that require software already installed from custombuild?
It has been quite some time since I was installing and configuring things on my existing servers and I don't remember the specific software I had installed (although it was nothing exotic), but I clearly remember several times where apt-get wanted to install Apache and ProFTPD.

Now that I'm setting up a new server with Debian 6 I'll experiment with how everything works again, but the reason I was asking is just because I was curious if anyone had been using a specific methodology when dealing with Debian and DirectAdmin.
 

dlong500

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I found this today; I'm not sure if it's effective (I don't have a Debian or Ubuntu system to test on), so try at your own risk:

http://ccforums.clearfoundation.com/showflat.php?Cat=3&Number=67977&an=0&page=83

Jeff
Thanks Jeff. I've seen several ways that are supposed to prevent Debian from installing packages over the past 5 years or so with varying degrees of success. I think a lot of the problem is that Debian has changed its own featureset for it's package management over the years, and there have also been several bugs in the features related to holding or pinning packages.

The last time I spent any significant time on the matter was a couple years ago and I was not at all successful in preventing apt from trying to install certain packages. I'll experiment with Debian 6 and "negative pinning", and I'll also play around with the equivs package which apparently allows creating fake packages to trick apt into think something is installed (among many other capabilities).

Ultimately I'd like to get a setup where it would be virtually impossible for apt to overwrite certain packages (even if directly commanded to do so).
 
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nobaloney

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Thanks Jeff. I've seen several ways that are supposed to prevent Debian from installing packages over the past 5 years or so with varying degrees of success. I think a lot of the problem is that Debian has changed its own featureset for it's package management over the years, and there have also been several bugs in the features related to holding or pinning packages.
I've receiveed an email from John (of DirectAdmin) after writing him with the same link and he advises me that in his tests, the solutions in the link aren't good solutions at all :(.
Ultimately I'd like to get a setup where it would be virtually impossible for apt to overwrite certain packages (even if directly commanded to do so).
Just as YUM works. I agree with you, and in fact this is a reason we haven't considered Debian servers for our own use. For this and other reasons we recommend and use CentOS.

Jeff
 

zEitEr

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@Jeff,

It would be good, if John add your words as a remark on this page. I've never before used DA with Debian, but now I've got one box.
 

nobaloney

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Tell him that :).

We do manage Debian-based servers for clients. Very carefully.

Jeff
 
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