Newbie Question About System Update

Matthias Buelow mkb at
Wed Apr 20 13:04:01 PDT 2005

Bill Moran <wmoran at> writes:

>Fact is, trying to update a running system could result in silent failures.
>The system can not replace programs that are in use, so there's always the
>chance that something or other won't get updated (cron would be an excellent
>example ... do you always shut cron off when you update?  How about syslogd?)

This is complete nonsense.

>On a production system, you should have a serial terminal connected so you
>can go to single-user mode remotely to do updates.  There are fairly
>inexpensive serial terminal boxes available from a number of vendors, and
>if you have a spare machine available, you can always hook it up as a
>serial terminal.

I was talking about a colocation situation, where you most likely will
never see the machine.  Networked console boards are usually available
but may not always be cost effective.  I would agree that such a board
may be a necessity in a high profile production server but if you are a
small company, or use a machine privately, the extra cost often
outweighs the gain.  And a good colo hoster usually also has qualified


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