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[vox-tech] NIS and MySQL migration
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[vox-tech] NIS and MySQL migration

About a year ago, I inherited system administration of my research
lab's 4 linux workstations from the previous student who was leaving
to take a job at Google. The 4 machines ran Gentoo, and maintenence
(particularly upgrades) was a pain becuase upgrades would need to be
nursed along, taking days of my time, and having very brittle
dependency logic. I have been crossgrading the machines to Debian
stable since Lenny's release, and have now moved 3 of the 4 machines.

The fourth machine, which I haven't touched yet, runs a MySQL
database, and is the NIS server for the other three machines. I now
need to upgrade these machines subject to 3 constraints:

1. The mysql database must not be lost, and I must be able to move the
data reasonably quickly. (Downtime is OK since it's not public facing,
and gets sporadic use, but forcing me to dump/reload would be a royal
pain because one of the databases contains 15GB of linguistic data.)
2. The login information from the NIS server must not get lost.
Creating new accounts, or asking users to recreate their passwords
would be BAD.
3. The NIS server must be moved over without creating downtime on the
other lab machines. (This is a problem because if I have to disconnect
one of the machines from the network, as I had problems with Network
Manager last week, it becomes difficult to do anything to fix the
machine because the machine can't contact its authentication server.)

Is there a way to move the MySQL server without dumping/reloading?

Is there a way to replicate the the logins and passwords from the NIS
server to the other machines in the lab so that the machines are still
useful if the NIS server is unreachable? (Ideally I'd like to use
relatively standard tools for this, and have this replication be an
ongoing process.)

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