I just managed to upgrade a Debian woody server to Debian sarge (the new stable version of Debian Linux), phew 🙂
It’s pretty painles actually, thanks to the clear information in the [ Sarge release notes ]. Just read it carefully, and you should be ok.
Also, I finally found out why using backports.org is not recommended as a normal practice (even by its own author) – turn out that you may have issues upgrading Sarge if you have backports packages installed. Not the author’s fault, it’s just that it’s not part of official Debian releases, so you SHOULD expect it to be unsupported by Debian’s team, and it’s consequences.
Regarding the long release time (woody: 2002, sarge: 2005), I don’t think it’s that long really. Major Microsoft releases is like that, if not longer. I’m talking about NT4 to Windows 2000, Windows 2000 to 2003, etc. (95 to 98 does not count)
As a sysadmin, I actually like this because upgrading (however painless) is still a disruption, and always has the potential of causing problems.
Anyway, I’m still impressed by this. Kudos & thanks to the Debian team 🙂