Thursday, June 25, 2009

preupgrade -- caveat emptor

A good rant every now and then?

I have been upgrading my Fedora machines by hand using yum. This seemed to work OK, for a machine with minimal tweaking there usually were not so many dependency issues that had to be solved by hand. Though it still is a time consuming process for a handful of machines.

So, I recently found out that I'm bad boy (oooh yeah!), and should have been using preupgrade. Looking at TFM I thought, "fair enough, upgrading a non live system seems like a wise thing". So I gave it a whirl. Which ended up in a strange exception in anaconda and after reboot /var/lib/rpm was missing. yay. So I trip to the reinstall Fedora 11 from DVD shops later and I was back in the mix. But there were/are still some other machines that needed updating to 11.

Once bitten, twice masocistic I thought. So I decided to try on another machine. It might have been something I tweaked on the laptop over the many Fedora updates etc that fluffed up preupgrade and anaconda...

Luckily the second time I didn't loose any data. For one thing, my /var/lib/rpm shouldn't be deleted assumption from before the first install was missing and everything was backed up (twice, I had running incremental baculas too). But preupgrade won't touch a system where /boot is on a RAID. So the second attempt stopped nice and fast.

I might try preupgrade again on the laptop next time. I left things fairly stock during the Fedora 11 install there just so preupgrade could possibly work its magic in the future. But I'm wondering if the pain of yum updating across versions makes sticking with Fedora worthwhile. I have better things to do than manually update and tweak things and if other distros don't chomp days of my life every 6-12 months then maybe I should check them out.

It's a bit sad that /boot on a software RAID-1 is such a rare setup that its not supported.

And that concludes this rant... was it as good for ya?