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How-to: Upgrade a GoDaddy VPS from Fedora Core 4 to Fedora Core 6

November 25th, 2007 · 3 Comments

The first encounter I had with paid hosting services was Ipowerweb, now known as just Ipower. Their shared hosting service worked well for me for quite a while at a decent price, although I quickly learned that shared hosting was not-so-great when another user on the system was able to turn the server into a massive spam machine, hijacking my HTML in the process. Ipower was particularly clueless about what might have happened, and a later problem with their domain registration services finally put me off for good. So for quite some time now, this site has been hosted on a GoDaddy virtual private server.

A virtual private server allows webmasters to enjoy security and stability benefits of a dedicated server at a lower cost by sharing a larger server’s hardware amongst separate hosting customers. One major drawback however is that the virtual server is usually not supported by the hosting provider, leaving often inexperienced hosting customers to administer their own systems. Being an informed admin, I was prepared for the day when I got the email below:

Dear Peter, Regarding your server -- ineedattention. Due to the security and development improvements to the Fedora System, we will be discontinuing support for the following Operating Systems as of March 15, 2008: [...] Fedora Core 4 [...] We recommend that you upgrade the server as outlined below at your earliest convenience. [...] Once the plan change completes, a server reprovision is necessary. Please note that by doing this; all data on the server will be erased. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you make a backup of your data before continuing. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns which you have in relation to this matter. Thanks again for choosing servers. Sincerely,

Considering they outright tell you this will re-provision your server and cause data loss if done improperly, I was hoping this would go a little smoother than the last time I had to upgrade my GoDaddy virtual private server, although last time I was upgrading the Plesk interface, and not the operating system. I figured if anything, it would be more of a hassle to upgrade the operating system.

Surprisingly, the transition was relatively smooth with a few strange quirks. Some of the quirks may have been deal-breakers for other admins, but I was pretty lucky to be able to say things are running smoothly again. Read more to find out what went wrong and how things were fixed.

Out-of-box experience

Rather than re-provisioning my existing virtual server, I decided to set up a second virtual server and migrate my files and settings. The newly provisioned server included Fedora Core 6, as well as the upgraded PHP 5 and MySQL 5 packages. This was very exciting for me, because the features in PHP 5 and MySQL 5 blow away their predecessors.

The last time I provisioned a GoDaddy virtual private server, I had trouble with the Plesk “Power Pack” PostgreSQL features, so I asked them to give me PostgreSQL support this time around as well. Previously, the PostgreSQL PHP module was not included in the server’s PHP configuration. Because of Plesk, it was not particularly easy to edit the server’s PHP configuration and I deemed it impossible after a few calls to GoDaddy support who also could not explain how to connect to the PostgreSQL server that I had paid for. I was happy to see that this time, PHP was configured with the PostgreSQL module already enabled.

Before I migrated my files and settings, I updated the Plesk software through the administration interface, just in case anything went wrong during during that stage (like there were when I upgraded from Plesk 7.5 to 8). Fortunately that went smoothly, so the next step was migrating everything.

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Tags: Computers

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pete // Mar 4, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I am facing this exact problem right now. Upgrading to Fedora Core 7 on a Virtual Go Daddy Server. I know nothing about this stuff at all and I’m thinking I should just forget it. I cannot have things screwed up for 3 months, or even 3 days. I just became aware of the Fedora change option and I do not want to do it. I will stick with the old Fedora 4 thank you very much. I have spent too much time manually finding and changing the “PHP ON” areas of the server code and that was beyond a nightmare. As for starting over with a new server and migrating…. I can’t remember all the stuff I have to migrate. There must be a better way, and why must we change the operating system in the first place?

    Terminal codes, shell codes, FTP codes… what’s a regular person to do? Go Daddy should offer a per incident support fee for BIG trouble items like this, not leave us all hanging like Chads in the wind. I give them a 0/10 for this fiasco!

  • 2 Time to ditch GoDaddy? // Mar 12, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    […] a GoDaddy VPS customer, and amateur tutorial author and reviewer, this upset me, so I wrote a note on GoDaddy’s public relations feedback […]

  • 3 DrewryNewsNetwork // Oct 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hopefully, everything you said will help me upgrade my server, in making php & mysql 5 work on the VPS!

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