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Old 02-18-2007, 12:29 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2007
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Question Fedora and new versions


At the moment I'm considering setting up FC6 as a server at home, but one thing I'm curiouse about is upgrading to new editions.
FC has a rather rapid release schedule. How to you guys handle this when it comes to upgrading your installations. To you skip upgrades or do ypu perform this at every new release?

Old 02-18-2007, 01:32 PM   #2
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Well to start with, you can upgrade Fedora a few different ways: a clean installation ("overwrite" old system), upgrade from new FC release's disc(s), upgrade over internet using Yum. And they are recommended in that order: if you can, don't upgrade (to a brand new FC release) trough Yum, even if it is a nice tool for handling smaller updates.

Then the thing: if you have a server that is working well, there are no problems and it's not very outdated, and it does it's job, is hardened well etc., don't upgrade every half a year. Don't fix a working thing. Of course a 10-year-old server might need upgrading because of security reasons for example, but it's not needed (for a home server, anyway) every 6 months. I myself would configure a server and once it's up and running, not upgrade it the next week but keep on using it for a longer time -- it just saves time and effort.

And then, when the time comes to upgrade it -- if needed -- do a clean install. For this have at least /home mounted in it's own partition, so when you do a clean install you can just overwrite (i.e. format) the root partition without massive problems. And always remember to create backups. Clean install makes the new release be less problematic, usually, than if you do an upgrade over the old system; of course you'll need to reconfigure the whole system again, (and this is why big upgrades for servers shouldn't be done every other day) but since you know how it's done (and may even use old config file backups to some extent), it's not that big a deal. If you would just use net upgrade or upgrade from the FC discs, you might bump into weird problems described at some posts on the web; for example dependency issues or version conflicts.

For desktops it's a lot easier to upgrade every three weeks if you want, because there isn't that much to lose often (wise ones keep personal data safe), but if it's about a server, you don't want to wreck a working server just to get a new skin for an mp3 player. Server's jobs don't change that much every 6 months, and I believe Fedora security updates are available some time after a new release is made, so you're not actually forced to upgrade your server every now and then.
Old 02-18-2007, 02:00 PM   #3
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As suggested above, there is no reason to upgrade to a new version if everything works fine on your server. One suggestion though, if you want a stable server OS based on Redhat/Fedora technologies, then try out CentOS. Its a free rebuild of Redhat Enterprise Linux, so it should provide a nice stable platform for building a server.
Old 02-18-2007, 02:38 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Simi Valley, Calif
Distribution: Fedora 7
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There's one current reason why the "If it's working, don't upgrade it." rule of thumb might not apply. This year the dates for starting and stopping Daylight Savings Time in the US (and several other countries change). The patch to Linux's locales file was published in November of last year. If your version of Linux was old enough to where you stopped getting updates prior to then, your machine will not shift times on the proper dates.

Of course, if your machine is on UTC, then this doesn't apply. And you can always manually correct the time. YMMV, of course.

Personally, I tend to skip one upgrade on servers. Ie, my FC4 servers will get FC6, then FC8, etc.. Desktops stay current. Again YMMV
Old 02-18-2007, 06:02 PM   #5
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Montreal Canada
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Multiple reinstalls of Fedora

How to survive reinstalls.

I did the following, since I have a large hard disk (250meg) allocated to fedora.
I installed fedora using customized partitioning and based on the default logical volume manager.
I created a /boot of 500megs (plenty big)
I created a /home of 20gigs (plenty big)
I created a /root of 5 gigs
I created a /swap of 4gig (4 x my real system memory)
I created a /tmp of 50 gigs
I created a /data for the balance of the harddisk space

Since it was my first sata drive, instead of calling the areas logvolnn which does not make sense to me, I renamed it to:

(I also have a second hard disk an IDE one)

Why did I go through this route. Well, /root is apart, as are /home and /boot from the single space.

I have had to reinstall on occasion, and when I do, /home /data and /root are left intact (no reformat) and I reformat the other logical volumes (or directories).
I have reinstalled Fedora6 a few times, (I play a lot) and each time, I have not had redo the home directories or the user information in this home directory.

My second had disk is a /dev/hda and it was smaller (200gig). It was similarly partioned, only scaled down.

Now from the system bios, I chose to either boot /dev/sda or /dev/hda

There is some other reasons why I did that.
a) from one system, I can access files on the other via a configured /fstab that I created for each.
b) I have a backup system in case my playing with a critical file in one system causes a lockup.

and final reason. What better way to learn.

By the way, I do allow the automatic updates take place.

If you want to protect some files (kernel, X11) etc then you can put a one line exclude parameter in the yum.repos files (you will find these in /etc/yum.d/*.repo


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