How to reinstall a linode progressively without downtime?

Hi guys,

Hope you're all doing well. Just another super happy linode customer here with a question.

I've had a linode for quite some time now but due to lack of time I've been unable to attend to it properly for quite some time too. It runs a web server and a blog that's very important to me. It also hosts a number of domains that redirect to a primary domain.

Over time my linode has been outdated not only in the distro and version that it runs but in terms of hundreds of packages that are installed. I'd like to do a fresh distro install with a different distro with brand new packages and put all the apache config and my blog back in place.

Now normally I'd back up the old linode, clear it, install a new distro and put everything back on there. I'd normally do this in one sitting which takes some time and potentially things could go wrong in which case it would take even more time. But due to lack of time and the desire to be cautious I'd like to do this incrementally without affecting my current linode until the new set up is ready.

So my question is: what would you recommend as a way of doing a clean install and a progressive migration without downtime? I'm guessing the only way is to buy another linode, install a distro, put all my other stuff on and then switch all domains' dns to the new linode? This option is a bit expensive but I will go for it if it's the only way. How do you guys do this normally?

Anyway, I'd appreciate some feedback from you experts.

Thanks a lot.

4 Replies

Your proposed solution will be the best way. Just lower the TTL of the DNS beforehand so you can quickly switch over. I also believe with Linode you pay per day, so what you actually use. If you cancel your old Linode (and get a new one at the same time) you won't have to pay for the time you have left in that month. So you shouldn't have much double costs.

Thanks Nuvini. As you said that's probably the only way. Though this is actually quite a common scenario for me. I don't want to have to create and cancel a linode every time I do this. I do wish Linode provided a way to do this more easily. Hint hint caker! :)

Note you can swap the IPs of Linodes in the same DC so there's no need for DNS changes. You can have a new Linode setup in a day so it won't cost much less than $1 for a Linode 512.

Oh wow. Cool! Thanks obs. Wasn't aware of the ip swap feature. I guess I'll have to get another one in Fremont then.


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