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I am currently upgrading my all-new Linode server running Debian 6 (Squeeze) to 7 (Wheezy) this way:

  1. Updating current system:

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
    
  2. Replace all instances of 'squeeze' with 'wheezy' in /etc/apt/sources.list file

  3. Running the upgrade process:

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    

It so happens that after issuing the last command (as in #3), during the course of upgradation, I am asked two, and only two questions:


(1)

Configuration file `/etc/default/rcS'
 ==> File on system created by you or by a script.
 ==> File also in package provided by package maintainer.
   What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
    Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
    N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
      D     : show the differences between the versions
      Z     : start a shell to examine the situation
 The default action is to keep your current version.
*** rcS (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ?

UPDATE: Here's the diff for /etc/default/rcS:

--- /etc/default/rcS    2011-11-25 23:11:55.000000000 +0000
+++ /etc/default/rcS.dpkg-new   2012-08-31 20:14:04.000000000 +0000
@@ -7,11 +7,18 @@
 #
 # This file belongs to the "initscripts" package.

-TMPTIME=0
-SULOGIN=no
-DELAYLOGIN=yes
-UTC=yes
-VERBOSE=no
-FSCKFIX=no
-RAMRUN=no
-RAMLOCK=no
+# delete files in /tmp during boot older than x days.
+# '0' means always, -1 or 'infinite' disables the feature
+#TMPTIME=0
+
+# spawn sulogin during boot, continue normal boot if not used in 30 seconds
+#SULOGIN=no
+
+# do not allow users to log in until the boot has completed
+#DELAYLOGIN=no
+
+# be more verbose during the boot process
+#VERBOSE=no
+
+# automatically repair filesystems with inconsistencies during boot
+#FSCKFIX=no

(2)

Configuration file `/etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf'
 ==> Modified (by you or by a script) since installation.
 ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
   What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
    Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
    N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
      D     : show the differences between the versions
      Z     : start a shell to examine the situation
 The default action is to keep your current version.
*** dhclient.conf (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ?

UPDATE: Here's the diff for /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf:

--- /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf     2011-11-25 14:38:21.000000000 +0000
+++ /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf.dpkg-new    2012-09-14 03:24:53.000000000 +0000
@@ -14,6 +14,7 @@
 option rfc3442-classless-static-routes code 121 = array of unsigned integer 8;

 #send host-name "andare.fugue.com";
+send host-name = gethostname();
 #send dhcp-client-identifier 1:0:a0:24:ab:fb:9c;
 #send dhcp-lease-time 3600;
 #supersede domain-name "fugue.com home.vix.com";
@@ -21,10 +22,8 @@
 request subnet-mask, broadcast-address, time-offset, routers,
        domain-name, domain-name-servers, domain-search, host-name,
        netbios-name-servers, netbios-scope, interface-mtu,
-       rfc3442-classless-static-routes, ntp-servers,
-        dhcp6.domain-search, dhcp6.fqdn,
-        dhcp6.name-servers, dhcp6.sntp-servers;
-require subnet-mask, domain-name-servers, host-name;
+       rfc3442-classless-static-routes, ntp-servers;
+#require subnet-mask, domain-name-servers;
 #timeout 60;
 #retry 60;
 #reboot 10;

So, what should my answer have been in each case? Y or N

NOTE: Please do keep in mind that it's a new virtual machine, and that I am upgrading to Wheezy right after setting the hostname and FQDN.

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3  
The answer depends strongly on what the diff showed. Did you check it? –  Kevin Feb 5 '13 at 16:37
    
@Kevin and all: please see my question updated with diff info. –  its_me Feb 5 '13 at 17:57
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Part of Debian's policy is to not overwrite configuration changes made by the administrator. Instead, if prompts you and asks you what to do. Generally, you'd check the diffs (D) and then, if still unsure, start a shell (Z) and look at it. You can also use that shell to perform more complicated actions (e.g., merge the changes).

When you look around with the shell, you'll have various .dpkg-* versions of the config file in question. So you can see what the new version would be (.dpkg-new), for example. You can edit the old one to merge in changes, and if you do so, when you exit the shell, you should pick 'no' (possibly after confirming your edits by looking at the diff again).

/etc/default/rcS contains various settings for early boot-up. Probably Linode has changed this for you. You probably want to figure out what they changed; the diff should help.

/etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf contains settings for the DHCP client on the machine. I'd guess Linode has configured this to make the VM work (or work better) with their network. You'll probably want to preserve whatever they set (but check the diffs, to see if there is something you want to merge from the new version).

Every once in a while, you will get a config changed prompt for a configuration file that neither you nor Linode modified. These are often bugs in the relevant packages (maintainer script modified a dpkg conffile), but since they're bugs in the version in Squeeze, they probably aren't worth reporting anymore.

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Please take a look at my question now. I've added the diff info. As for (1) looks like only some comments are being added. So, I hit N. (2) I am not sure about this. –  its_me Feb 5 '13 at 17:59
    
@01100001 (1) also deletes RAMRUN and RAMLOCK (which were moved to a different file; see the wheezy rcS manpage). (2) If you're not using IPv6, I'd replace the DHCP file, otherwise do further research on those options... –  derobert Feb 5 '13 at 18:28
    
Okay, I am told by knowledgeable (who've upgraded to Debian 7) to use the new rcS file, keep the dhclient.conf file –  its_me Feb 6 '13 at 5:06
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The first diff (rcS) appears to be incoming comments overwriting your current chosen options, so N is almost certainly the right choice there. I'm not 100% certain, but the second appears to be dropping some ipv6 options from dhcp, so you probably want to answer N on that as well.

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I am told to use the new rcS file, keep the dhclient.conf file –  its_me Feb 6 '13 at 5:05
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