Amazing what can go wrong just by rebooting the server. Apart from the troubles with glibc suddenly LDAP wasn’t working and MySQL refused to start. At first I suspected the new kernel was responsible, but after many hours of troubleshooting it turns out to be a whole series of other things.
First, openssl 0.9.8 broke everything linked to 0.9.7 due to API changes, which resulted in much recompilation and waiting.
Next, MySQL needed to be started manually and the “mysql-fix-privileges” command executed to upgrade the permissions tables. One wonders why it couldn’t do this automatically. More by chance and sheer persistence I eventually came across a blog post explaining how to fix the problem, and 2 minutes later it was up and running again.
The system does appear to be stable and in working condition will all packages updated, however, this has certainly been a -5 score for Gentoo as a production/server platform.