I have now successfully upgraded the machine running on my closet shelf that functions as my web and mail server, BBS, and amateur radio Winlink gateway. It wasn't without incident, but nothing broke that couldn't be fixed.
I should mention this follows upgrading my main workstation to Windows 11. My main workstation is almost legitimately Windows 11 compatible - the only requirement missing was the CPU didn't quite make the cut as supported (it's a 1st Gen Ryzen 7 1700), the motherboard supports UEFI Secure Boot and TPM 2.0, has an RX 460 video card and ticks all the other boxes. So I considered buying a Gen 2 Zen CPU and dropping it in, it just seemed silly to pull out a perfectly good 8 core 3.0 GHz processor - and I'm glad I didn't because I now know Windows 11 sure isn't worth it. My workstation was an almost painless upgrade (using the install.wim swap "hack" to install Win11), the only issue was the ethernet adaptor didn't work and just needed the driver redone.
The machine I'm currently using for the server is even longer in the tooth and doesn't even come close to being Win11 compatible, and I briefly considered replacing it. It's running a Haswell i5-4590T, but the quad core 2 GHz is plenty powerful enough for its purpose. Most stuff was fine, but it was a little tricker of an upgrade though:
- Same problem with ethernet adaptor - but this is more of a hassle with a headless machince (where did I put that spare monitor?)
- Hyper-V (even though it was running on the Windows 10 install) wasn't installed and had to be added and new virtual switch configured - minor hassle. VM wouldn't start with complaints on too little RAM (but this is fine now)
- Ghost refused to start, upgrading didn't help. Ghost Doctor said it couldn't talk to MySQL, but MySQL looked fine. Loading Node.js seemed to be the issue, but installing the latest LTS version 14 Node.js didn't fix it. Upgraded to Node.js version 16 that didn't resolve it either. Finally, for whatever reason, upgrading the Ghost CLI and NPM got it to start.
- Node.js bound to localhost (127.0.0.1) instead of the IP of the adaptor. This is really an improvement, just took a hot minute to figure out (and made it look like Ghost was still broken after it started)
- The LDAP Server (Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services) wasn't installed (even though it was running in the Windows 10 install). Had to install and setup again *sigh*
I'm not a fan of most of the GUI changes in Windows 11. It's not Windows 8 bad, but there are several pretty annoying changes (like the right click menu) and it sure looks like they removed more features than they put in. It's always hard to tell if there are some improvements under the covers we are not aware of, but that doesn't look like the case, and the version numbering they are using is indicative of this still being Windows 10 with a cosmetic facelift:
The moral of the story - aside from the obsession with being on the latest and greatest, I can happily ride Windows 10 to the end of support date without guilt on my other machines if need be.