Bits and Chaos

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Between bits and chaos, a sysadmin stands.

Upgrading from Fedora 6 to Fedora 8 via yum

I’ve successfully perfomed an update from Fedora 6 64bit to Fedora 8 64 bit, this won’t be a news except that, to make things more spicy, I choose to perform this update by yum.

I read that Anaconda has some troubles in updating from previous releases to Fedora 8 (it hangs with packages fromdifferent repositories) and, more important, I am too lazy to download a whole DVD and prefer doing things the fancy way, so I decided to go along the yum way.

First, I installed the Fedora Release RPM (see here), then I eagerly launched yum to see if it’s capable of deploying such a massive upgrade (yes, I’m doing this in the spirit of testing). Yum found that 1350+ packages must be downloaded, for a grand total of 1.4 GB of new software. After download, it started the upgrade process, made of 2700+ steps.

This wasn’t without some harshness, because yum need some help from me: I manually remove some packages, they conflict with packages from Fedora 8 that yum was pulling in. In this ward there are mostly packages from third party repositories that I installed once and the forgot to have.

Unfortunately, yum stuck at step 1950 circa, I guess because I submitted from another console a simple rpm -qa statement: it’s sad to say, but still today we – inhabitants of the RPM world – are experiencing deadlocks. So I choose to remove all the packages from Fedora 6, and I define this sets as “all the packages with “.fc6″ in their name”. By this definition, I remove keyutils-libs, and as a result after the boot SSH server, X Server, yum failed to start.

Yum reports a cryptic message, complaining about a SHA256 missing module, good for me that SSH server startup fails with a more informative string. I installed the package, fixed the entry in /etc/fstab (no more /dev/hd<n> for us! Labels everywhere) and now I’m posting about it.

(Thinking about it, I devised that the best way to find no longer used packages is the package-cleanup –orphans command)

First impressions: Firefox (which is now the 64 bit application shipped with Fedora, not the 32 bit application downloaded the site I used to have) is really faster, and I have the distinctive feeling that the whole desktop is more responsive. Getting help for a 64 bit installation (which is somewhat less mainstream) is as easy as googling for it and going to Fedora 64 web site.

Two years ago the landscape was completely different, but Red Hat is no longer the leader in the desktop market, Ubuntu holds the sceptre. A problem for Red Hat, because the boys that today are using Linux on their desktop are the men that tomorrow will use Linux on their server (think of Microsoft). They need to regain popularity, and it seems to me that they are headed in the right way.

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