toaster.conf home : internet : mail : toaster : upgrade upgrade Perl

Step 0: Test the process!

Before upgrading a production server, test on a development server. If you don't have a development server, consider settings up a FreeBSD jailed test environment. There are several jail targets in to make managing jails easy.

If you have reservations about upgrading your Mail::Toaster, consider purchasing our mail server upgrade service. Many folks find it's cheaper to just hire us once a year to keep their server up-to-date than have to hire us at our emergency rates when something goes wrong.

Why bother?

Once your Mail::Toaster installed, it can run with a minimum of care and feeding. I know of a number of systems that I built that have not been upgraded for several years. So, why bother upgrading a perfectly working system? There are several extremely good reasons to keep your Mail::Toaster up-to-date:

  • Security Updates
    • • Quite often there will be updates to various Mail::Toaster components that require upgrades to maintain the security of your system. The most common items to require upgrades are: courier-imap, squirrelmail, apache, php, and MySQL. All of these can be upgraded per the instructions provided with each package, using portupgrade on FreeBSD. If you run into problems, you can often recover by simply uninstalling the software and then using to install it for you.
  • Functionality Updates
    • • Another reason to upgrade your server is to take advantage of new functionality. Perhaps you were reading through the Mail::Toaster Changelog and saw a new feature that you want. In general, it's safe to simply upgrade Mail::Toaster and nothing else. However, make sure to test by running and -s test.
  • Virus and spam updates
    • • ClamAV and SpamAssassin both require periodic (I recommend monthly, or quarterly) updates. ClamAV is rapidly maturing but often needs an upgrade to detect a new virus, or adjust to new virus db changes. SpamAssassin is fairly stable but the most recent version tend to be the most accurate at spam detection.

How do I know what "needs" upgrading?

If you're using FreeBSD, simply install the portaudit port. FreeBSD will notice it and check all your installed ports for you each day. You'll see it's results in your nightly server logs.

upgrade Perl
upgrade Mail::Toaster
update config files
upgrade FreeBSD
upgrade programs
upgrade logging
how do I watch the mail logs
server tests

Last modified on 6/10/05.