My original query concerned the possible use of rdist as an upgrade
tool. I received over twenty responses. Thanks to all of those who replied.
Various individuals suggested using dump/restore rather than rdist
for this purpose. Others pointed out possible problems updating files in
use and device special files. Also pointed out was the fact that OS
upgrades often include more than simple file changes, such as filesystem
format changes. Local configuration file issues of various kinds were
Various other utilities were also mentioned, particularly "depot" and
"track". A rather interesting, if somewhat complex, system was offered by
Alain Brossard (email@example.com) which allows setting up an "upgrade
server" system and is available via anonymous FTP from ltisun.epfl.ch.
It should be noted that Sun offers a half-baked plan for upgrading
using a remote CD-ROM in the 4.1.1 Release & Install manual.
In the end, I opted for booting each of the machines on the local
network from tape, loading the miniroot, and using the CD-ROM on the server
to upgrade each machine individually. This had more to do with local time
constraints than with any determination that a more elegant solution could
not be found.
Oh well. Maybe next time. Or rather, certainly next time, as
4.1.1 is supposedly the last release which will be distributed on tape...
-- Tres Hofmeister firstname.lastname@example.org
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