To update or not to update?

This may seem like a stupid question… OK this IS a stupid question… But I ask from many problematic experiences.

I would say out of at least a dozen installs of FreePBX over the years, ALL have died from some kind of failed update, or system corruption on update. This begs me to ask the question, should I actually bother updating or is it better to set it and forget it.

I currently have 4 systems live at the moment 1 installed about a year ago, 1 6 months ago, and a pair done about a month ago. Each are supposed to be on the same version/system/update. But it’s clear there are issues growing.

The 1 year old is already giving odd problems. Updates cause random “UNDEFINED” banners to flash, wonky behavior in the GUI, CDR and recordings died and took a day worth of pissing around with the database to bring back… Basically random glitches.

The 6 month old is holding OK. But I had some really strange GUI issues and it took a full yum update and reboot to clear them.

The 1 month old pair seems to be working cleanly.

My gut feeling, is the longer you let the machine sit before updating, the better the chance of it corrupting. (Sounds logical). But I have had so many updates kill machines, even when I didn’t let them go longer than a month, I am hesitant to update the machines all the time.

Auto update sounds like my savior, but the last thing I want is to wake up to a dead switch, and no idea where things broke.

Does anyone have input in this? All these machines are in datacenters, so we’re not dealing with bad power and strange reboots etc.

Also, secondary question. What is the proper update procedure? I’ve been told to yum update the machine before doing module updates, I’ve been told not to do that. I’ve been told use the GUI, yet the GUI errors. I’ve gotten pure garbage output on the system update tab, to the machine telling me it’s not activated, even though it is.

This really is a stupid question, but I’ve never had so many problems with something so simple as updates. It’s like playing russian roulette with the entire server.

You’ve sort of answered your own question. Eventually you must update and the longer you wait, the more likely it will break. But it may break anyway. My experience has been similar to yours in that every time I’ve done more than module updates I’ve had a broken system. But I find if I update not too long after the new version comes out people can help me fix it. If it wait a long time they tend to say it’s too old, don’t bother me.

I updated mine Friday evening and sure enough, it broke it. I was able to get help here however and it’s mostly back up and running today. My remote Sangoma phones aren’t working so that part is still broken. Hopefully I can get help with that soon as those people can’t work until then.

Bottom line, is my opinion (which may not be worth much) is that you have to update it, and you have to plan on it breaking it.


Could someone confirm to me the exact “By the book” update method? Just so I can follow something and not get flamed in the future for “You did X wrong!”

What about yum updates etc? How/where do they fit in?

I think the exact steps depend on what version you are starting from. In my case I followed the steps at which were well written step-by-step instructions, which I needed. But that may give you a starting point.

That depends on what you have installed exactly and where you are with your versions.
Non distro installs are significantly harder to upgrade and get support on than the official FreePBX distro.

In my experience, upgrading has become safer than it used to be. It looks like Sangoma developers have been putting quite a bit of effort into that, especially in SNG7.
Considering that this will probably further improve with future versions, I would definitely recommend to stay relatively current and upgrade to avoid the point where nobody wants to support your old version.

But surely prepare for the worst case and keep backups ready in case your upgrade goes south and you have to do a complete reinstall, or have some money that you can spend with Sangoma commercial support if you need urgent help.

Once you are on SNG7, there is also no need for running yum updates anymore, you do everything from sysadmin on the GUI.

Running yum update on 10.13.66 Distros is also not necessary:

If you are running the FreePBX distro, the ‘by the book’ method is to use the distro scripts:

If you have System Admin Pro, the scripts can be applied in the GUI by browsing to System Admin Updates.

Sorry for the lack of info.
I am on an official distro, not manually installed.

I have a fairly “vanilla” installation, and all commercial modules removed. (Including Sysadmin… Perhaps bad idea?)

The switch is operating in a configuration that models a “Class 5” switch. (Providing POTS style service… No wakeup calls, PBX functionality, or automated extras) So the majority of the commercial modules did not apply to the setup we needed.

(I am also now seeing that it’s better to disable them, instead of un-installing them completely… I have uninstalled them sadly… Advice? Should I put them back and just disable them?)

Sorry again… 12.7.4-1712-2.sng7

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