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Old 10-26-2006, 05:24 AM   #1
aabfm
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Question "Unable to retrieve software information" MSG


Hi,
I've just finished installing FC5 on a old computer. This machine has a Athlon800, 256MB RAM, Matrox GPU, a 48x CD-ROM drive and a brand new 80GB HD from Western Digital.
Everything went fine during the installation process, however I forgot to choose the VNC server component. Later, when I tried to add this it just keeps on giving me the "Unable to retrieve software information" message.
Any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
 
Old 10-26-2006, 06:04 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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You are trying to install the VNC viewer... how?

Possibly from the disk? Could you have the wrong CD in the drive? Could the CD now be corrupted? Have you tried installing the vnc viewer via yum?
 
Old 12-06-2006, 10:40 AM   #3
Roger in Iowa
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Similar problem

I have Fedora 5 installed on my computer and I have a similar problem. With earlier distributions, one could always go back and add software that one did not initially install. Fedora would tell you what disk you need. With Fedora 5, I get the same message mentioned above: "Unable to retrieve update information." To make matters a bit more complicated, I have a dial-up connection, so I do not want to connect and add software online. I just want to load software from the install disks. With both Package manager and Package updater I get the above message.
 
Old 12-06-2006, 11:03 AM   #4
sn68
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Package manager and Package updater are linked with yum, so if they are not able to connect to baseurl/mirrors as specified in the "enabled" repos then the "unable to retrieve software information" occurs
Check out repos in /etc/yum.repos.d/ folder and remove # in front of baseurl line
this will get both programs working
If internet connection is a problem then disable all repos and create a repo for FC5 dvd and use yum to install
 
Old 12-06-2006, 12:19 PM   #5
Roger in Iowa
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Smile

Thanks for the help. Hopefully, sometime soon I will get a better internet connection, but in the meantime I will take your advise and try to make it work this way. I appreciate the help.
 
Old 03-22-2008, 02:33 PM   #6
jschlesi
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create a repo for FC5 dvd

I, too, received the "Unable to retrieve software information" message.
There are many *.repo files in /etc/yum.repos.d Most of them had the
baseurl line commented out, but changing a few of them, or several of them
didn't seem to help. The livna.repo files did not have the baseurl line
commented out and it looked to me as these were the main files.

Since nothing I did seemed to work, I tried to restore everything back to
the way it was. Now the question: How does one create a repo for FC5 dvd?
 
Old 03-23-2008, 03:03 AM   #7
pobbz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschlesi View Post
Now the question: How does one create a repo for FC5 dvd?
Just out of curiosity, why do you want to use FC5? It's been declared dead a long time ago.

While I know this doesn't actually answer your question and I admit that there probably are valid reasons for running such a relic as FC5 -- although I can't come up with one -- I'm still curious.

And while I also know that I shouldn't make any assumptions about noobness of a person based on his/her post count -- and I sincerely apologize any upset this might cause at your end -- I still would like to suggest that you grab a more recent version of Fedora, as I'm assuming here that you didn't know that FC5 is dead.

If you're running a low end machine and are possibly worried that a more recent version wouldn't run on your hardware, worry not! The system requirements of a linux distribution are pretty constant, and depend mostly on the applications you want to use. If your machine runs FC5, it's quite likely that it runs Fedora 7 or 8 as well.
 
Old 03-24-2008, 10:11 PM   #8
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
I admit that there probably are valid reasons for running such a relic as FC5 -- although I can't come up with one
Some time ago I started a thread on why people still use RH9 which turned up some answers.

I suspect, though, that they run this because it is what they have. (I see that my local Borders Bookshop still has "the fedora linux 5 bible" for eg.) Sometimes I've seen FC5 being named instead of RHEL5 (because the user thinks they have a pirate copy...)

Sometimes you just want something lightweight, available, and able to run vmware. You put your workhorse OS in vmware... and vmware gets totally isolated from the host OS. You you have a nice cosey secure feeling... and you get to run XP (sigh).

How to use the Fedora 5+ DVD as a yum repo:
http://www.techsupportdude.com/viewt...?t=9762#500287

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 03-24-2008 at 10:15 PM.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 02:18 AM   #9
jschlesi
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It's what I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pobbz View Post
Just out of curiosity, why do you want to use FC5? It's been declared dead a long time ago.
I'm sure I've heard an old joke about a man who always answered a
question with another question. And when someone---say his grandson--
asked, "Why do you always answer with another question?" He replied,
"Why not?"

In this case, your question confirms what I've suspected. When I
regularly get: "No updates available" I suspect that FC5 is no
longer being maintained. OK so now FC5 is so old that when I attempt
to use the Software Updater or the System Control Center the baseurls
and mirrors listed in the *.repo files don't respond. That must be
why I get the "Unable to retrieve software information" message.
Conclusion: It is time to upgrade.

The last time I did this I messed up. My Dell Dimension 4100 came with
RH7.0 on a 20 Gig hard drive. When I decided I had to upgrade, I bought
a 250 Gig hard drive and replaced the 20 Gig hard drive. I wanted to have
dual boot system with Windows XP on 50 Gigs FC5 on some more, say 50
Gigs and the rest to spare. I wound up with 50 Gigs for XP and FC5 on
the rest.

Now here is why I am so gunshy: I put in the 20 Gig hard drive as hdb.
It won't boot because it's files were written when it was hda. I did
take the precaution of mounting the 20 Gig hard drive and /home from
RH7.0 to /oldhome on FC5 on the 250 Gig hard drive. After many efforts
and failed experiments nothing will boot. So I install FC5 on hdb
which overwrites RH7.0. Now that is all that boots. I've got 250 Gigs
spinning away unmounted and I'm running FC5 on the 20 Gig hdb.

When I get the courage to try again, I may try putting FC8 on some of
hda.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 04:20 AM   #10
pobbz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschlesi View Post
I wound up with 50 Gigs for XP and FC5 on
the rest.
Ok, so you made a mistake at partitioning stage of the install process. Not a big deal if you're willing to go through the install process all over again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jschlesi View Post
Now here is why I am so gunshy: I put in the 20 Gig hard drive as hdb.
It won't boot because it's files were written when it was hda.
Let me get this straight: You added the 20GB hd after installing both XP and FC5 and now the machine won't boot at all? I can't see how the machine could become unbootable just by being added an additional hard drive. AFAIK it doesn't matter whether the added hard drive was hda or hdb in the old setup -- the drive should be mountable in any case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jschlesi View Post
So I install FC5 on hdb
which overwrites RH7.0. Now that is all that boots. I've got 250 Gigs
spinning away unmounted and I'm running FC5 on the 20 Gig hdb.
That's the key here. Check your BIOS to see which drive the computer is set to boot from. My guess is that BIOS instructs the machine to boot from the old 20GB hd. If the BIOS has no option to change this, then simply switch the cabling around so that the new 250GB hd becomes the primary drive. Then install XP on it and after that F8 (although, based on my personal experience, I'd recommend F7 for stability). This time pay attention to proper partitioning during install.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 04:51 AM   #11
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
I can't see how the machine could become unbootable just by being added an additional hard drive.
If the new drive was designated as the boot drive in bios (say - primary master IDE) then it would do that. If it was the only drive, from the previous install, it would have been jumpered that way, whereas the new drive would have been jumpered to slave or cable select out of the box.

BIOS won't be able to find the bootloader - boot fails.

Advise: examine the drive jumpering. Check the boot order in bios.

Backup and do a complete reinstall... put windows on the 20gig drive - that's more than it needs, and install f8 or whatever to the 250gig ... but use most of that space for /home on it's own partition.

Technically, we want fdisk -l output to determine exactly what your partition scheme is. But this is a separate thread.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 05:02 AM   #12
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
When Iregularly get: "No updates available" I suspect that FC5 is no longer being maintained. OK so now FC5 is so old that when I attempt to use the Software Updater or the System Control Center the baseurls and mirrors listed in the *.repo files don't respond. That must be why I get the "Unable to retrieve software information" message.
That is correct.

The original question concerned installing from the disk. So the file should have been available.

People should realize that GNU/Linux distros have a rapid rollover - for fedora, it is 6-8 months to the next release. The previous release is supported until the next new release, then it is abandoned.

So, f9 is out in a few months. When that happens, f7 will become obsolete. f8 will be supported until f10 comes out. It's usually tolerable to install every second release of fedora.

So it's still an upgrade treadmill, just not so hard on the wallet, and not so locked-in.

Some distros have a slower rollover, and some have a special release which gets longer maintenance.

One of the advantages of having to wait 5-7 years for the next release, as in some OSs, is that you get to avoid an upgrade for that time.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 05:41 AM   #13
pobbz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
So, f9 is out in a few months. When that happens, f7 will become obsolete.

I'm not sure, but I think that it's actually 6 months after the release of F9 when F7 goes EOL. I might be wrong though, and I'm too lazy to check that out...


EDIT: Never mind, you are right, F7 dies a month after the release of F9.

Last edited by pobbz; 03-25-2008 at 05:47 AM.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 03:49 PM   #14
jschlesi
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Why I'm afraid to upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pobbz View Post
Let me get this straight: You added the 20GB hd after installing both XP and FC5 and now the machine won't boot at all? I can't see how the machine could become unbootable just by being added an additional hard drive. AFAIK it doesn't matter whether the added hard drive was hda or hdb in the old setup -- the drive should be mountable in any case.
You are correct. When I first installed the 20 gig hard drive as the
secondary HD it would not boot (using GRUB) but the 250 gig XP and FC5
primary HD would boot. This allowed me to mount the secondary HD when running FC5 and backup the /home directories from RH7.0 As I recall
RH7.0 has an ext2 file system while FC5 has an ext3 file system but
all you have to do is tell mount what type of file system is to be
mounted. So that seems to go OK. Now when I try to reboot FC5 on the
primary HD (hda) the file system has been corrupted.

It may be that XP continued to boot for a while but I was not done.
(A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing but a lot of ignorance
is even worse.) I had a second problem. I had not been able to install
GRUB on my hard drive. Well to make a long story short and to leave out
the significant details whose significance is not known to me, I think
I wiped out the master boot record on the primary hard drive. At any rate

The current situation is: Nothing boots on the primary hard drive (it
is jumpered cable select). FC5 resides on the secondary hard drive and
boots via GRUB on a floppy. I don't care about XP because I've inherited
A Dell Dimension 2400 running XP and I've run a wire from it to my
cable modem/router/wifi-transmitter Thus I think I can install 250 gigs of operating systems on the primary hard drive.

I'll try to be careful but I may write from the Dell 2400 next time.
 
  


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