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Old 04-05-2007, 03:33 PM   #1
SlowCoder
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Best practices for updating to new Linux version?


I'm currently using Fedora Core 6. When Fedora 7 comes out in a couple of months, I'd like to update to that. I understand that it's not good practice to try to upgrade my existing installation with the new version, as it could go unstable.

So ... what are my options?

Currently my /home and /etc are on the / partition, not on separate partitions.

I guess I'd have to back up both of those directories before reformatting, then reinstall the OS and restore them?

What do I do about possible incompatibilities with the current config files and new versions of the software in Fedora 7?
 
Old 04-05-2007, 03:45 PM   #2
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You should tar your home directories and your etc directory. And then untar them to your new installation...I've never done this so I don't know if you are going to get configutation conflicts...I image you would though...sorry I cant be more of a help....

-custangro
 
Old 04-05-2007, 03:49 PM   #3
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Stability isn't generally an issue in a upgrade for Fedora. The problem is that new software is not installed. That means that if you want to use one of the new facilities, unless it is a requisite of an existing package being upgraded, you will need to install it manually.

An upgrade can also take several hours, two to three times as long as a clean (new partitions) installation.

For both those reasons, a "clean install" is generally better. Backup your data, install with the option to delete all partitions, and restore. It's actually faster.

Desktop/application configuration files are generally upgraded when the software is first run, so incompatibilities are rare. Otherwise, regular maintenance (essentially new versions) would not work.

I suggest backing up /etc, /boot, /usr/local, /opt, /home, /root, /var/spool/cron, as well as any service machines (like your web server, dhcpd, named, etc.). Also, save a copy of your installed rpms:

rpm -qa > rpms.txt

That will let you compare the before and after, so you can easily get a list of additional software you had installed.

I've been using this technique for FC1-FC6. Works great.

Last edited by macemoneta; 04-05-2007 at 03:51 PM.
 
Old 04-05-2007, 04:20 PM   #4
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Thank you for your prompt response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
Desktop/application configuration files are generally upgraded when the software is first run, so incompatibilities are rare. Otherwise, regular maintenance (essentially new versions) would not work.
It's my understanding that RedHat continues to provide updates for 1 previous version to the most recent. Therefore, what is the benefit to updating to 7 at this time? For instance, if they come out with a new major version of X in 7, wouldn't it also be updated in my current 6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
I suggest backing up /etc, /boot, /usr/local, /opt, /home, /root, /var/spool/cron, as well as any service machines (like your web server, dhcpd, named, etc.).
I have modified /etc files and /home files, but not cron or grub files, etc. I'm also not currently running any servers to speak of. Do you think I still need to back up the /root, /var/spool/cron/usr/local, /boot, /opt directories?
 
Old 04-05-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
macemoneta
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While updates are provided, new function generally is not (some exceptions). The idea is not to destabilize the existing release, and this generally works well.

If you aren't using the directories, you don't need to back them up. Then again, you may want to - as part of a regularly schedule backup process - in case you install something. An empty directory doesn't take long to backup.
 
Old 04-05-2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

That sounds logical. I appreciate your help. Thanks.
 
Old 04-05-2007, 05:30 PM   #7
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As someone who upgraded from FC3, 4 and 5 to FC6, I would advise you to wait for a bit after the official release. In the first few days, things may get messy, as it did with the anaconda bug on the official FC6 install media. Third-party repos might not be ready and copy-and-paste solutions to common problems will be non-existent. I usually schedule a mass-upgrade of my 5 boxes (using the CD/DVD) a month after the official release, just to stay on the safe side.
 
Old 04-05-2007, 05:44 PM   #8
macemoneta
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Excellent suggestion, bouchecl. Since the Fedora Unity project started, I usually wait for the respin. That way, I know that the release has stabilized, and there's little or no additional maintenance that needs to be downloaded. It saves a lot of time over the original installation media, where you may have to apply maintenance for hundreds of packages, and even installation workarounds.
 
Old 04-05-2007, 06:48 PM   #9
jay73
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Or if the size of your HD(s) allows it, you could simply install Fedora 7 to unallocated space; once you find all is doing fine, you can format your FC6 partitions so that you immediately have empty partitions ready for Fedora 8 - or whichever distro you'd like to install next. Don't simply delete the partitions, though, or the numbering may get messed up.

I guess some may consider that a waste of space but it's so convenient and I never ever have to make all those back-ups first, let alone restore them when the new release is not what I had hoped.
 
Old 04-05-2007, 07:33 PM   #10
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Thanks, guys, for all your input. You've given me a lot to think about.
 
  


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