Benad's Web Site

The web page you’re currently reading is now hosted on a brand new Debian 9 server! The content is exactly the same as before, so you shouldn’t notice any difference.

So why did I update my server from Debian 7 to Debian 9? Well, Debian 7 is now officially unsupported, which means it won’t get any security update. The suport ended on June 1st, though I actually actuvated the new Debian 9 servers a few days after. The Long-Term Support for Debian 9 will last for a few years, so I won’t have to upgrade Debian anytime soon. This month I had a few other things to finish on the server to complete the move, but nothing that would be noticed from web browsers.

For technical reasons, I couldn’t do an in-place upgrade, and in my case it would have been both too risky and an excuse to move from 32-bit to 64-bit. For the most part, the configuration of Debian 9 is similar in design to Debian 7, with just a few changes here and there. The initial move to the new server was done doing a simple DNS change to point to its new IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6), and I was able to fully test the new server, including its SSL certificate, by making local changes to my /etc/hosts file.

The most apparent difference came from doing a minimal install using the "net installer". Debian 9’s minimal install is very minimal, and smaller than what is considered "minimal" in other Linux distributions like CentOS. For example, ifconfig was missing, as in theory the built-in ip and route commands ought to be enough, though quite impractical. I installed the net-tools package to fix that.

Another annoying change was the way Debian 9 handled IPv6 routing, and I ended up doing something like this in /etc/network/interfaces:

iface ens3 inet6 manual
    up ifconfig ens3 add 2604:180:3:e16::384c/64
    up route -A inet6 add default dev ens3
    up /sbin/ip -6 route add default via 2604:180:3::1 dev ens3
    up route -A inet6 del default dev ens3
    down ifconfig ens3 del 2604:180:3:e16::384c/64
    down /sbin/ip -6 route del default via 2604:180:3::1 dev ens3

Yes, it’s strange. For some reason, the ip route commands refused to add a static route until I set up a dummy, broken default route with the route command, which has to be removed for the static route to work. Maybe there was a better way to do it (and I tried disabing IPv6 auto-configuration, with no success), but since I was doing all of this from the VM’s console and I didn’t want to reboot the VM anymore, I won’t fix this for the time being.

Published on June 29, 2018 at 11:42 EDT

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