Thursday, June 11, 2009

Upgrading to Fedora-11 (Leonidas)

Finally I got my hands on the brand new Fedora release. Fedora-11 (Leonidas). As I had a sneek-peak into the development process this time around (work reasons), I was pretty excited to upgrade to this new version. There are a couple of nice features in Fedora-11 that makes it awesome.
1) Presto: Delta-RPMs. If you are updating your system, yum now fetches only the *change* between two versions instead of pulling in the new version entirely. Savings of 60-70% of bandwidth have been reported.

2) PackageKit: Makes installation of new packages and plug-ins very easy and user-friendly.

Time for installation.
So, I booted into F10 and set the system up for the normal upgrade method that I use. Which is:
1) Insert the DVD.
2) Make a yum repo which points to the DVD.
3) Issue a "yum update"
4) Watch a movie while your system upgrades.

However, this time I decide to be a good boy and read the fedora docs first to see whether it had to say anything about upgrades. Turns out it was a good decision. Apparently, there is a bug which makes such an upgrade impossible and leads to a possibly "unusable system". Whew! close shave!

So, why the hell did they release F-11 when a method of upgrade was broken? Well, there were vibrant discussions in the fedora community over this bug and the final decision was: This upgrade method is not "recommended" and "supported" and hence, it isn't a F-11 blocker bug :(. Sigh!

So, guess I'll have to follow the "recommended and supported" method. Boot from DVD and choose "upgrade". I'll have to stare at the screen for an hour while the system upgrades :)
Looks like I'll wait for a respin which contains a fix.
(/me adds himself to the CC list for the bug)

Another caveat is that the rpm format has been changed in Fedora-11 to make it more secure. This makes upgrade impossible because the installed rpm simply cannot read these new rpms. The solution is: Fedora has issued an update to F-10 "rpm" package which is aware of this new format. So, you'll have to run a "yum update" on F-10 first (older Fedora's will have to be moved to fedora-10 and then updated via "yum update"). Once, this new "rpm" package is installed, then the upgrade should go smoothly. (Note: If you don't update "rpm", yum will fail with "MD5 sum mis-match" type of errors)

The delta between Fedora-10 and Fedora-11 is huge as compared to the previous deltas. There has been some heavy development. Lets see if Leonidas has the same majesty as the King ...

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