Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fedora 11 Upgrade - the unofficial way

I continue to believe in 'Fedora 9, May You Live a Hundred Years, Please!' that I wrote in Linux for You, April 2008. Any upgrade is a disruption. Still, I am addicted.

I continue my experiments with upgrading with minimal disruption - even though the elapsed time is much longer. The original source of this method:

I had used it to upgrade a system which had no CD/DVD and used the rpm's cached on a server.

The 'zeroth' step - 'yum update' to ensure that we have the latest updates.

The first step - download fedora-release from Fedora 11 repository and manually update the rpm.

This now ensures that yum will search Fedora 11 repositories. It is better that yum does a clean start. So,

$sudo yum clean all

Now, preferably in a screen session:
$sudo yum -y update
and sit back and do what you want.

Not entirely, I needed to erase some packages like 'VirtualBox' which had not been downloaded through one of the configured repositories.

I also had to erase 'Miro', 'ntp' and 'ntpdate' as the versions with the Fedora 10 update were higher than the ones in Fedora 11 at the time! 'ntp' and 'ntpdate' were installed as a part of dependency resolution. I installed Miro after the update to Fedora 11.

I restarted 'yum -y update'. Thirty hours later, 2.5 gb of data was downloade in about 2000 packages. The 'broadband' connection is 256K.

I had been hoping for a miracle. I had hoped that there would be delta-rpm packages for Fedora 10 to Fedora 11 updates! It would have reduced the time to below 10 hours of downloads. Who knows, it may happen for Fedora 12.

There was still 2 GB space available, but while running the transaction but before actually any update, yum complained that not enough space for some packages. I managed to increase the space to 3GB and the update succeeded.

The extra disk space used after the upgrade was .7gb. However, it needed just above 2 GB during the update process.

The use of screen was a life saver. There was a kernel failure and the konsole session died. However, yum update continued. The actual update took about 3 hours.

15 June: Came across this useful link

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