On my production web server, I’m kind of a crazy fool. I often do things that make people cringe and scream and say “what the hell are you doing?”
One of those said things is doing a distribution upgrade on-the-fly of the OS. Since the installation of my server some three and a half years ago, Debian has had two major releases. My server started with sarge, upgraded to etch, then upgraded again to lenny. Unfortunately this time after 1210 days without rebooting my server I was forced to reboot. That is to say, since I installed my server where it lives it had never been rebooted.
The reboot occurred because the new libc required kernel 2.6. I was still cooking with an old 2.4 kernel. After a pile of apt-get trickery, I got the necessary packages installed and had to reboot. Once the 2.6 kernel was up and running everything else installed without a hitch. I had to track down a few configuration changes with a couple of things, but overall I think the upgrade went smooth and with only a few minutes of downtime. Not bad, I say, not bad.