Smooth upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS on my Linode

A few days ago I upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS on my Linode VM (the machine which hosts this blog). I had upgraded to 7.10 a while back, so it was unlikely to be much of a challenge… But it was great to see another very smooth upgrade, without any manual workarounds required at all.

While the packages were downloading, I noticed a few coming from universe, but fewer than I had expected. I try not to use universe stuff on my mission-critical server, but some things are just too good to live without. Perhaps they’re candidates for main inclusion?

So, here’s some of the universe stuff I can’t live without on my server, excluding supporting libraries:

  • collectd: Totally awesome “just works” system information collection and graphing tool. No more dicking around with nightmare configuration of Cacti and friends — collectd comes with a bunch of useful and sensible plugins that are ready-to-go for common graphing tasks. collectd has a vote of confidence from the Red Hat Emerging Technology folks, so you know it’s good. 🙂
  • libapache2-redirtoservname: Convenience module for making sure you’re always redirecting to the primary domain name for your websites — with only one line in your VirtualHost configuration. Here’s how easy it is to use:
    RedirectToServerName On
  • rtorrent: Simply the best terminal-based torrent client.
  • php5-xcache: Opcode caching for PHP. Handy when running lots of PHP gash.
  • mailgraph: Lets me know how much spam I’m killing, and email I’m suffering. 🙂 See mailgraph on for a great example of mailgraph in action.
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