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Re: RedHat Fedora Core Upgrade

On Tue, 2007-01-16 at 16:28 -0600, Steven Pritchard wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 07:31:42AM -0600, Robert G. (Doc) Savage wrote:
> > On Mon, 2007-01-15 at 23:45 -0600, R Hill wrote:
> > >   Is there any easy way to upgrade from Fedora Core 1 to Fedora Core 5 ? 
> > > It seems that the images for 5 & 6 are only found on the fedora core
> > > website ...?
> [...]
> > Longer answer: Major version upgrades are designed to be incremental.
> > Skipping more than one major version is asking for trouble. I'm sure
> > others will tell you to use this or that method and you'll be fine. But
> > each new Fedora release adds or changes something big. Stuff gets
> > dropped. Other stuff gets added. Examples: Firefox has replaced Mozilla,
> > yum has replaced up2date. If you try to upgrade from release 1 to
> > release 5 you can't help but skip over important evolutionary
> > components.
> > 
> > Your best bet will be to archive everything you want to keep (e.g., home
> > directory, images, etc.) to tape, CD, or other hard drives, then do a
> > from scratch installation of FC5/6.
> I couldn't disagree more.  This is the reason we have package
> management:  to handle package upgrades.  A new release is just a
> bunch of package upgrades with some magic to handle the occasional
> major change (like the modular xorg move away from /usr/X11R6).
> Luckily, the magic has been gradually moving out of the installer and
> into the various packages, so future versions should be less dependent
> on the installer (meaning in-place upgrades with yum and friends will
> work that much better).

True, but we're not there yet and probably won't be until Fedora 7 or 8.
The vast majority of packages are still too dumb to permit you to skip
one major release, let alone four or five, with an anaconda upgrade. As
you say, with more intelligent RPMs anaconda scripts won't have to be
impossibly smart.

Today anaconda-driven upgrades only do 'rpm -U' upgrades: foo-1.3 will
be upgraded to foo-2.0 if_and_only_if foo-1.x is already installed. The
XF86 -> xorg upgrade was a special exception that must eventually be
deprecated. Most contemporary RPMs handle a modest number of
dependencies on earlier packages. Those capable of handling very
comprehensive geneologies going back two or more major releases are few.
Out of 1600+ packages in FC6, I wonder how many would be handled
correctly in an anaconda-driven upgrade from FC1? 1000? 500? 100? You'd
probably have better success installing yum and pointing it at a FC6
repository, but I guarantee you won't get "everything."

> Just about any version upgrade requires a little bit of manual cleanup
> afterwards.  Jumping 5 releases just means a chance of 5 times the
> manual cleanup.  It really shouldn't be that painful.

And I thought _I_ was an optimist!

I always build a sorted list of installed packages, save it to a thumb
drive, build another after a fresh andaconda install (I don't trust an
anaconda upgrade either), then manually add/delete as needed. It's not
elegant and it does take time, but it's guaranteed to work. Combine that
with saving/restoring home directories and other custom configuration
files & directories you're 100% back in business.

> I recently upgraded our phone system from FC2 to FC6.  Granted it was
> a server, so it was quite a bit easier than a desktop, but it was a
> completely smooth upgrade.

I'll guess that your phone system was a relatively minimal install --
possibly with no X. Small servers are almost always easy.

> > Finally, if you're running hardware or software written specifically for
> > FC1 and hasn't been upgraded, I suggest leaving your FC1 system alone,
> > buy a new one, and start over.
> If the software is packaged as rpms, the dependencies should be easy
> enough to fix after the upgrade (if it is even necessary).

Amen to that. Tarballs create maintenance hairballs.

> Hardware is another issue.  FC1 was based on a 2.4 kernel.  Everything
> since then is 2.6-based.  It's entirely possible (though unlikely)
> that hardware drivers were lost.

IIRC, swap requirements increased dramatically with FC2's 2.6 kernel and
made most FC1 -> FC2 upgrades impractical. Lots of hardware drivers have
been abandoned since FC1. Examples: device drivers using SCSI emulation,
old Dell PERCs and AMI/LSI MegaRAIDs, Winmodem/Winprinter drivers, etc.
Some applications and drivers written for old Java releases with
security vulnerabilities don't work with patched updates -- I have to
contend with those at work on Windows servers. Legacy hardware or
software can be a showstopper.

> On another note, it makes no sense to go to FC5 now.  FC6 has been out
> for a couple of months now.  If you are going to upgrade, go to the
> latest version.

Second the motion.


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