Linux Upgrade Time Part 2: Rising from the Ashes

by Aaron 19. August 2010 11:28

From the ashes rises...well...some heat.  Maybe a little smoke.  Some ashes.  Mythically, a phoenix, but not a Joaquin Phoenix though.  My Linux box didn't certainly rise from the ashes.  Know why?  Because it's ROCK SOLID, BABY!!!  Maybe I'll still refer to it as a phoenix...

Seriously, it was pretty uneventful upgrading to the latest distribution of Debian.  I commented on my last post that I think I had to upgrade the kernel to a newer version, and to do so, I needed a pre-compiled version of it.  I remember now in more detail what was the dealio.

I wanted to upgrade the kernel to version 2.6 from version 2.2.  To do that, I needed to compile a new kernel.  To do that, I needed to upgrade the gcc library or something, and some other libraries, and compilers, and blah blah blah.  I ran into a chicken or egg issue where it appeared that I needed the newer kernel to get what I needed to compile a new 2.6 kernel.  Impossible!

So instead, what I had to do was find a pre-compiled kernel that fit my CPU architecture.  Unfortunately, it didn't fit the rest of my hardware architecture.  So I had to go through all the craptastic steps of building a new kernel.

This time around, I was able to just upgrade the distribution components.  Meh.  There were a couple of steps that I didn't know what it was doing, but everything seems to be working fine.

Now I'm working on creating my firewall script.  I found a site called About Debian Linux.  To be quite honest, this is one of the most informative sites I've ever found for working with my Linux box.

There's a page in the site that has a basic script on it for configuring a basic firewall.  I'm starting with that.  So far I've found that I don't necessarily have everything that I need.  I executed the script as-is with the minimal changes necessary to configure my network interfaces.  It's giving me a lot of feedback telling me that I may need to upgrade components, or the kernel.  If I need to rebuild the kernel, that's not an issue.  I have yet to hose the kernel in such a way that the server doesn't come back up.  Maybe this will be the first?

My plan of action, since I can't afford to upset the wife, is to configure the Linux box on a subnet of my network.  The external interface will look just like it does now to the existing router, but I'm going to plug the office "subnet" into the Linux box and serve up some tasty, tasty routing from there.

Here's approximately what my current network looks like:


You can see that I've got the Linux box on one node by itself, and there are three switches, each with a wireless access point.  I hate Dead Zones.  Not the novel or popular TV series by Stephen King.  The wireless kind.  I actually like the Stephen King kinds.

Once I feel the Linux box is ready for testing, I'm going to move it between the office node and the current router.  The temporary, proposed network will look approximately like this:

This will allow me to test routing and such through the Linux box from within the office, and allow the rest of the network to function normally.

Once I feel that the Linux box is working and ready, I'm going to replace the existing router with the Linux box.  I'll plug in a switch for the rest of the network, and the final network will look something like this:

Stay tuned for Linux Upgrade Time Part 3: End Game!

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8/28/2010 11:11:50 AM #


Linux Upgrade Time Part 3: End Game

Linux Upgrade Time Part 3: End Game

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