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Distribution: Slackware 12, Fedora 8, Gentoo. (NO MORE MANDRIVA, GO AWAY EVIL THING)
re-installing every 6 months or just updating?
i was wondering, do i have to install fedora from scratch when a new version comes out? how does it work? im new to fedora, i just want to know how it works.
im asking because i dont see ANY part of the system that couldn't be updated via yum or whatnot. kernel - yum. software - yum. what's left? config files? do i have to download a 4 gig iso just to get the config files changed? and im not only asking about fedora, this pertains to every other distro out there - which part of it is impossible to update via the internet?
I've been using Fedora since it was first released. I usually just do an upgrade from one version to the next, and haven't had any problems. I occasionally do a fresh install... Usually only when I get a new computer or am replacing the hard-drive.
There isn't any reason to just upgrade to even numbers. Nor do I recommend always performing a "fresh" install. I have a few Fedora boxes and I always just upgrade, and I usually do that as soon as the new release comes out. I only reinstall if I royally screw something up or if I have a hardware failure (neither of which have happened in years (knock on wood)). Since most of the software I use is installed with rpm (or yum) if it is upgraded or updated, the old version is removed and the new version is added. The only things that typically aren't removed are the config files, and if they are different from the default they aren't overwritten (so therefore you don't have to reconfigure everything).
I have found with Fedora that each new release adds features or removes features but overall the things I use are updated to better versions. Sometimes these things will be updated with "yum update" but this is typically only the case if there is a minor version number update. Upgrading will update the major versions as well. For me this is a good thing because I want to try the new features as well as getting bugs fixed. Others may want more stability and just want to get bugs fixed. They are the ones that choose to skip releases or perhaps wait even longer. There really isn't any NEED to upgrade your system until the version you are running is no longer supported. I have just found that in 6 months time, a lot of cool features have been added, and I want to try them out.
Installing the even numbered and skipping the odd is what I was told by a few fedora developers. Reason being fedora comes in pairs, and odd and then an even. The developers tend to put the major changes and enhancements to the actual fedora system in the odd. By the time the even comes out they've had time to work out the bugs so it usually ends up being more stable. 8 just came out and right away it is a lot better than 7. 7 was worse than 6 and 6 was better than 5. I'd bet when 9 comes out 8 will be better. Until they handle the bug reports that is.
As far as upgrading or fresh install...
The distros should now be at a point where upgrading can execute near flawlessly. However if you started out with fedora core 1 or 2 and most other distros at that time it definately wasn't. So my opinion on it is based off of all of them not just upgradign from 7 to 8 or 6 to 7. I stand firmly in saying that if you are able too, a fresh install is better than an upgrade. But this is only my opinion. The way I see it, is the less room you give for errors the less errors you will have.
I think we all can agree on one thing. Try the upgrade, if it works great, if not do a fresh install.
nomb, sorry, I wasn't trying to imply that you were wrong, only trying to point out that there is more than one way to look at things. These tips are DEFINITELY opinions and not any type of rule. Historically, I used to reinstall, and had been doing so since about RedHat 4.2 (Not Enterprise, the historic free as in beer Red Hat, and yes, back then I wouldn't touch an odd numbered release). Although, things broke a lot more back then and a fresh install routinely forced itself every 6 months or so anyway. I have only done upgrades since about Core 2 (I figured that Core was different enough from Red Hat 9.0 that it should be fresh), and found they worked fine, but I may not have had all the apps installed that you did. The reason I prefer not to do a fresh install is that I hate having to reconfigure everything, and I also invariably forget something that I had installed in the previous version and have to wrack my brain and search google to remember what the package it was found in was called or how to install/configure it (I'm getting old,and my brain doesn't work like it used to ).
As far as skipping versions, like I said, I don't do that anymore because I want the NEW stuff and am now comfortable enough to handle the hiccups. Yes, I am well aware that this can cause headaches with things that don't work, but I'm not running anything that can't be offline for a few days if I can't figure it out. (Someone has to find the problems in the software.) I have also found that the really bad bugs are usually fixed within the first few days. I haven't noticed any difference between the amount/severity of bugs between even or odd versions in Fedora (I had a bunch of security updates for Fedora 8 waiting for me this morning), but I am only basing that off of my experience not any empirical evidence (like I said, my install base is probably different than someone elses). Bottom line, if you want a more stable system, wait as long as you can to upgrade. If you want new features, upgrade sooner. If you want to keep a happy medium, wait a month after a new version comes out and then upgrade (but patch as soon as you reboot).
I don't skip version either. Thats just what I was told to do.
And I know you weren't saying I was wrong so don't worry about it.
Who knows maybe next time I'll do the upgrade thing for the first time in my life!
I forget what I have installed as well. That why I created this. Help me remember the things I might have forgotten.
How about third party application ?
How will they be treated during upgrade, dependency problems ??
If an app isn't in the repo it isn't going to be upgrded. Most libraries call for somelib >= 2.x.x so if your upgrading then ur library should be greater than or equal to. You might run into problems if the libraries it is looking for are installed in different places then where they were originally. The problems you'll probably end up seeing is if you use ati or nvidia drivers. Sometimes (like with fedora 7) if they release a different version x server, those drivers wont work right away. I think nvidia worked for 7 but not ati right of the bat. In which case you'd just have to wait. I skipped 7 in the beginning because i was waiting for the bugs to get fix. I didn't wait on 8 because I knew all the main changes already took place in 7 and were fixed. ;D