Scheduled maintenance May 24, 2019 for some servers (complete)

Update May 24 11:00 PM Pacific time: The maintenance described below has been completed and all services are running normally.

Over the last year, we’ve been slowly upgrading our servers from Debian Linux version 8 (codename “jessie”) to version 9 (codename “stretch”). We’ll be finishing that process soon, with brief scheduled maintenance on each server.

The upgrade requires that each hosting server be taken offline for a few minutes over a three hour maintenance window and then restarted, causing brief scheduled “downtime” for websites and email on that server. The total downtime for any site should not exceed ten minutes during this three hour period.

Mail arriving while a server is being restarted will be queued and delivered after a short delay. No mail will be lost.

This coming weekend, we’ll be updating some (not all) web servers:

  • Friday, May 24, 9:00-11:59 PM Pacific: servers ending in digits “4”, “5” and “6”

So, for example, the “web05” and “web14” servers will be updated. This page explains how to find which server a site is on. (Servers ending in digits “0” – “3” and “7” – “9” have already been updated.)

Although the final step of the upgrade modifies hundreds of software packages on the server, we have tested it extensively and don’t expect most customers to notice any change. (We’ve already been using the newer version of Debian for our mail and DNS servers, and this blog server.) Your website and email should continue working as they always have. However, if you do have any trouble, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What are the major changes?

Technically advanced users may be interested in the major changes in this update, which are:

  • MariaDB 10.0 (MySQL) will be updated to MariaDB 10.1
  • Python 3.4 will be updated to Python 3.5
  • Perl 5.20 will be updated to Perl 5.24

However, many of the other updates that users familiar with Debian might expect have already been updated over the last year; for example, we already use the latest versions of PHP, the Apache web server, and the Dovecot POP/IMAP mail server. Updating major packages one by one reduces the impact of making many changes at once.