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 jail as a test environment. The ezjail port is quite excellent.
If you have reservations about upgrading your Mail Toaster, consider purchasing our upgrade service. Many toaster owners prefer to 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.
Once your Mail::Toaster installed, it can run with a minimum of care and feeding. I know of a number of systems that that have not been upgraded for several years. So, why bother? 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 toaster_setup.pl to reinstall it for you.
- Functionality Updates
- Another reason to upgrade your server is to take advantage of new features. Perhaps you were reading through the Mail Toaster Changes and saw a new feature that you want. In general, it is safe to simply upgrade Mail Toaster and nothing else. However, make sure to test by running toaster-watcher.pl and toaster_setup.pl -s test.
- Virus and spam updates
- ClamAV and SpamAssassin both require periodic (I recommend monthly) 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 tends to be the most accurate at spam detection.
What "needs" upgrading?
If you are using FreeBSD, simply install the portaudit port. FreeBSD will notice it and check all your installed ports for you each day. The portaudit scan results will be included in your nightly maintenance report.