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This page documents a way of updating from an SME7.5 system to SME8 (currently 8.0b6, but I would expect it to work on final release as well). It relies on having a fully up to date SME7.5 system running on raid 1 (i.e 2 hard discs), and using the DAR2 contrib to archive the system onto USB hard drive. The method gives you a way of recovering the 7.5 system if you have to (for example if something fails to work for you).


  1. Install the DAR2 package on your SME7.5 system, plug in a USB drive of enough size and configure a backup
  2. Run the backup
  3. Test the backup (restore just one file, or at least list the contents of the archive)
  4. Disconnect the USB Hard Drive
  5. Shutdown the server
  6. Disconnect each internal hard drive one at a time and re-boot to make sure you can boot from either drive (at this point you have broken the raid, you will not be able to reboot with both drives and expect it to resume the raid without some manual intervention).
  7. Decide which drive to keep as a short term backup and only connect the other one
  8. Install SME8 on the remaining drive (probably from a CD). Make sure you give the server the same name as the old server
  9. Reboot
  10. Yum update to the latest version of the base system
  11. Signal-event post-upgrade and signal-event reboot
  12. Install the DAR2 package on the SME8 system, if still on the Beta release you'll need to switch the contribs repo as per: SME8.0_Contribs_QA. Note that a reboot after you do switch the repo will switch it back to the SME8 one which at this moment does not have any contribs in it, as they have not yet been released for SME8 (although a lot of them do work - see SME8.0_Contribs_QA).
  13. Plug in the external USB Hard Drive and restore the dar2 database as per DAR2#Manual_restore_of_DAR2_configuration
  14. Do a restore using the DAR2 package panel in server-manager. You'll need to get the data format right, it corresponds to the directory name on the USB HD. My backup took about 3 hours, the restore took about 1.5 hours. I have about 250gb of data.
  15. The Server manager package says "success" when it means it thinks it might be running! Get into a terminal window and use tail -F /var/log/messages to monitor the activity. It will leave a message in here when the restore is finished.
  16. When it has done, then do a Signal-event post-upgrade and signal-event reboot and check that the data is correct and that your server does the job you expect of it.
  17. Once you are happy with the new software, then you can add the other hard drive as follows:
    1. Close down the server and disconnect the primary hard drive and reconnect the "spare" drive and boot from it.
    2. Get into a terminal session (you are back in SME7.5 at this stage - a good idea to disconnect the Network also to stop emails being delivered to the wrong system).
    3. Overwrite the initial blocks on the drive by dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc count=255. This stops SME8 thinking that the spare drive has a raid partition on it and thus not booting properly (it fails at the udev stage). Note that the /dev/sdc must be replaced by the device name of your spare hard drive. Please be careful about this bit, if yu overwrite the wrong hard drive you will regret it (although you could still recover back to 7.5)
    4. Close down the system
    5. Connect in the primary drive
    6. Reboot, and then use the Console menu option to start the synchronisation of the new drive
  18. If you decide that you need to reverse back to the 7.5 system, then you can do it as follows:
    1. In fact this is the same as above EXCEPT you overwrite the initial bytes of the SME8 system and then boot up from the SME7.5 system and Re-sync
  19. Another alternative for returning to 7.5 is to re-install 7.5 on the system, then install DAR2, then restore the data from the USB hard Drive backup.
  20. I then added in the others contribs that I use (see list below), they all seem to be working, and they picked up the parameters ok from the restored db.


Contribs I am running