Yesterday was mostly a day of doing upgrades (as well as the usual Saturday things like a parkrun). First on the list was finally upgrading my last major machine from Stretch to Buster. I’d done everything else and wasn’t expecting any major issues, but it runs more things so there’s more generally the opportunity for problems. Some notes I took along the way:

  • apt upgrade updated collectd but due to the loose dependencies (the collectd package has a lot of plugins and chooses not to depend on anything other than what the core needs) libsensors5 was not pulled in so the daemon restart failed. This made apt/dpkg unhappy until I manually pulled in libsensors5 (replacing libsensors4).
  • My custom fail2ban rule to drop spammers trying to register for wiki accounts too frequently needed the addition of a datepattern entry to work properly.
  • The new version of caused deprecation warnings from a custom site I run, fixed by moving from Form to FlaskForm. I still have a problem with a TypeError: __init__() takes at most 2 arguments (3 given) error to track down.
  • ejabberd is still a pain. This time the change of the erlang node name caused issues with it starting up. There was a note in NEWS.Debian but the failure still wasn’t obvious at first.
  • For most of the config files that didn’t update automatically I just did a manual vimdiff and pulled in the updated comments; the changes were things I wanted to keep like custom SSL certificate configuration or similar.
  • PostgreSQL wasn’t as smooth as last time. A pg_upgradecluster 9.6 main mostly did the right thing (other than taking ages to migrate the SpamAssassin Bayes database), but left 9.6 still running rather than 11.
  • I’m hitting #924178 in my duplicity backups - they’re still working ok, but might be time to finally try restic

All in all it went smoothly enough; the combination of a lot of packages and the PostgreSQL migration caused most of the time. Perhaps it’s time to look at something with SSDs rather than spinning rust (definitely something to check out when I’m looking for alternative hosts).

The other major-ish upgrade was taking my house router (a repurposed BT HomeHub 5A) from OpenWRT 18.06.2 to 18.06.4. Not as big as the Debian upgrade, but with the potential to leave me with non-working broadband if it went wrong1. The CLI sysupgrade approach worked fine (as it has in the past), helped by the fact I’ve added my MQTT and SSL configuration files to /etc/sysupgrade.conf so they get backed up and restored. OpenWRT does a full reflash for an upgrade given the tight flash constraints, so other than the config files that get backed up you need to restore anything extra. This includes non-default packages that were installed, so I end up with something like

opkg update
opkg install mosquitto-ssl 6in4 ip-tiny picocom kmod-usb-serial-pl2303

And then I have a custom compile of the collectd-mod-network package to enable encryption, and my mqtt-arp tool to watch for house occupants:

opkg install collectd collectd-mod-cpu collectd-mod-interface \
     collectd-mod-load collectd-mod-memory collectd-mod-sensors \
opkg install /tmp/mqtt-arp_1.0-1_mips_24kc.ipk

One thing that got me was the fact that installing the 6to4 package didn’t give me working v6, I had to restart the router for it to even configure up its v6 interfaces. Not a problem, just didn’t notice for a few hours2.

While I was on a roll I upgraded the kernel on my house server to the latest stable release, and Home Assistant to 0.100.2. As expected neither had any hiccups.

  1. Of course I have a spare VDSL modem/router that I can switch in, but it’s faff I prefer to avoid. 

  2. And one I shouldn’t hit in the future, as I’m moving to an alternative provider with native IPv6 this week.