Upgrading from 8 to 9 as opposed to a fresh 9 install

Posted on 2004-08-22
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Upgrading from 8 to 9 as opposed to a fresh 9 install

What's the advantages/disadvantages of upgrading as opposed to "starting fresh".  I'm speaking of purely OS level...not taking into account proprietary or 3rd party software that may be installed...

The box as an external RAID array.  Perhaps it would be better to just upgrade, so that some of the drivers wouldn't have to be reloaded...etc.

But...I was wondering, (you know how windows gets cluttered up in the registry), if it would be just better to redo the whole thing...for performance.  Ofcourse, Solaris doesn't get "resgistry" clutter...but still.

It hasn't ran right for over a year...I don't think an upgrade will really make a difference.  My guess is that most of the envirnmental variables...etc, are messed up.

Anyway, just wanted to hear the experts thoughts.

Question by:ramble
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PsiCop earned 200 total points
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Yes, Solaris doesn't have a stupid construct like the Windoze registry to get cluttered. That said, there are some places that can get a little cluttered, down in /var/adm and the like. Depends on how much patching you've done.

If its not running right, then you do need to fix that, and a forklift upgrade might be easier than tracking down everything that's not quite right with the way it is now and fixing those things without breaking anything else.

Featurewise, Solaris v9 adds a number of things that are just not in v8, including a native SSH, IPSec/IKE, extensible password encryption (so you have options other than crypt()), native LDAP, extended file attributes, Volume Manager, Patch Manager, improved Threading support, and multiple page file sizes, among other things. There are improvements to other things, like multipathing, filesystem performance, and security features.

In general, when going between major revs, I prefer the forklift approach. Its cleaner, less likely to have problems, and I don't have to worry about cleaning up or tripping over the old stuff. If the system is a bit squirrely to begin with, that just argues for a forklift that much more.
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jlevie earned 25 total points
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And don't forget that a "forklift upgrade" has the advantage of being easily repeatable. In order to repeat the results of an upgrade you'd need to reload the old copy of Solaris 8 and re-do the upgrade. In general, an upgrade will result in the same system that you'd get from a straight up install, but not always. So if it became necessary to re-install the system you might find that one done as a straight install might behave slightly differently from one done as an upgrade. A full install is also a convenient time to take a look at any adjustments in disk partitionting that might be desireable.

I'm with PsiCop on this and I almost always do a full install after doing a full backup and saving local config data to something easy to get to after the install.
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yuzh earned 25 total points
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I second PsiCop & jlevie's comments, go for fresh install, give yourself a clean start,
it will make life a lot easier for the future. eg, if you have problem, you know for sure
your OS is Solaris 9 (from the clean installation), and you do have to worry above the
ex-Solaris 9 stuff.

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Thanks for the comments!

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