I just did an upgrade of my old desktop from Fedora 20 to Fedora 21. The process was similar to this old blog post, but there were some variations, so I’ll list the procedure here.
It seemed to go fine!
Fedora 21 has arrived and it’s now delivered in three focussed flavours (Workstation, Server and Cloud). This of course resulted in the usual articles from me.
As always, read the warnings before you start down this path.
From an Oracle installation perspective, it’s almost identical to Fedora 20. I chose to use the server flavour and install the “MATE Desktop” package group. I suspect others may prefer to start with the workstation release. Either way it should be fine.
As I suspected, switching my main desktop from Fedora to the MacBook means I care significantly less about this release than before, but I still have some upgrades I’ll need to plug through.
Followers of my blog and website know I play around with installations on Fedora for fun. All of my installation guides on Fedora come with a link at the top that points to this disclaimer.
A few times recently I’ve been contacted by people saying their boss, teacher or customer is insisting they install Oracle on Fedora. Rather than repeat myself, I’ve added another point at the bottom of this disclaimer that reads:
Q: My boss/teacher/customer is insisting that I should install Oracle on Fedora. What should I say to them?
A: Your boss/teacher/customer is making a mistake, probably because they do not understand the implications of what they are asking you to do, or do not know about the free alternatives. You should probably get them to read this Oracle Linux FAQ. If they are still unsure, feel free to put them into contact with me and I will happily educate them.
If you are being asked to do something that is blatantly incorrect, it is your responsibility to educate those around you so they can (hopefully) make better choices in future.
I finally got round to upgrading my desktop machine to Fedora 19. The experience was pretty similar to upgrade from Fedora 17 to Fedora 18.
This time I had to remove FireFox, as it was holding on to Fedora 18 packages. Once I removed and re-added it I could complete a “yum update”. Things seem to be OK.
The DropBox repository is lagging behind again…
I still think it’s better to do clean installations, but I don’t have time to do that now. Perhaps when I get back from South America I’ll do it properly.
For those eager beavers out there, you can now get hold of Fedora 19 Alpha from the pre-release location.
The release notes can be found here. I’m keen to check out the improvements to MATE in version 1.6, as this is now my standard desktop.
Update: It installs in Oracle VirtualBox and the guest additions install correctly, so it’s looking good so far.
I’m a few days into Fedora 18 and I think I’ve come the the conclusion that the desktop that best suits *me* is MATE. The journey to this point has been a rather long and meandering one. Let’s cut it short and start at GNOME2.
- GNOME2 : I was happy and all things were good.
- GNOME 3 (GNOME Shell) : When it became the default Fedora window manager I went with the flow and stuck with it for a few months. At the time I thought it was OK. I even wrote some posts saying I kinda liked it. After a while it started to get on my nerves and I switched.
- LXDE : That lasted about 10 minutes. Nuff said!
- XFCE : I stuck with this for quite a few months. It’s very simple and very quick. There are a few rough edges, but nothing that really made me squirm.
Once I installed Fedora 18 I felt like I needed a change. A quick return to GNOME3 convinced me that I now truly hate it.
- Cinnamon : The first impression was very good. It’s not officially “supported” on Fedora, but is in the repo. The Fedora version seems a little buggy, which is where the problems began. I started trying to arrange my desktop and stuff just didn’t work. I have a feeling that Cinnamon may end up being my desktop of choice in the future, but for now I’ll have to pass for something that works properly on Fedora.
- KDE : I’ve had brief dalliances with KDE over the years. The people who love it seem almost fanatical. Every time I’ve tried it, it has driven me nuts. I had made a decision that Fedora 18 was probably going to be the version where I become a KDE fan. Two days was all I could take. I don’t know what it is about KDE, but I can’t handle it. It is by far the prettiest window manager. I look at it and I feel like I want to use it. Trouble is, when I start I feel like it is getting in my way. I can’t really put my finger on it. It just isn’t for me.
- MATE : So we come full circle. MATE is a fork of GNOME2. I read something recently that says it uses most of the plumbing of GNOME3, but has the “traditional” GNOME2 feel. I installed it and it felt like coming home. After a few months of being out in the cold, MATE was a hot fire, a pair of warm slippers and plate of beans on toast with a bit of cheese on top. Fantastic! My desktop is very simple and functional. The interface does not get in my way. It’s not going to make Linux the desktop of choice, but I think a lot of long time Fedora users will try it and like it.
I understand that open source is all about choice, but it seems such a shame that we have so many talented people all working on different window managers, none of which quite hit the mark. It just makes you wonder what could happen if they all worked together. Of course, it would never happen, but you can dream…
If I’m honest, OS X is better than any of these interfaces. I think Windows 7 probably is too. The bonus with having your interface dictated to you is you just get on with things and make do. The Linux desktop is definitely a case of “Freedom is slavery“. Being the Linux fan I am, I will just have to continue being a slave…
I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, so when next week I’m telling you Windows 8 is awesome, so be it.
I’ve just got to the end of a real upgrade of a Fedora 17 server to Fedora 18. The basic process goes like this.
- Download the Fedora 18 ISO.
- Update your current Fedora 17 system by issuing the “yum update” command and restart once it is complete.
- Install the “fedup” package. “yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install fedup”
- Run the fedup command pointing it to the Fedora 18 ISO you downloaded. “fedup-cli –iso /home/user/fedora-18.iso –debuglog=fedupdebug.log”
- Check for errors in the log and correct if found.
- Reboot the machine and select the “System Upgrade” option from the Grub menu.
The system came up OK after this, but there are some gotchas. The first thing I did on completion was to run a “yum update” and lots of things were broken. Why? Well, after a lot of messing around and manually updating individual packages I finally figured out:
- Google Chrome, Skype and VirtualBox were all holding on to F17 versions of packages so yum was not able to update them.
- I also had a bunch of packages from the RPM Fusion repository that seemed to confuse things. If you are using that repository I suggest you manually update it using these commands.
rpm -Uvh rpmfusion-free-release-18.noarch.rpm
- The dropbox repository is failing, so add “enabled=0″ to the “/etc/yum.repos.d/dropbox.repo” file.
So IMHO, when you are going to do an upgrade, I would advise to remove any packages that didn’t come from the Fedora repository before starting, or be prepared to spend a few hours cleaning up afterwards. If I had stuck to just packages from the Fedora repository I think the upgrade would have been seamless. As it is, it was a bit of a pain, but now it’s all good.
I think I will have a little rest before trying another.
Update: I just did an upgrade to another machine. By taking my own advice and cleaning up first it was really easy.
After several abortive attempts I finally got hold of Fedora 18 last night. Those mirrors are getting a real battering at the moment.
The first job was to do a basic installation.
I’d seen a few things written about the new installer, not all of which were positive. IMHO the installation was a really nice experience. It is very different to previous installers, which probably freaks some people out, but I think it works really well.
Once the installation is complete it’s pretty much business as usual. You’ve got newer versions of most of the packages, but to be honest I don’t really focus to much on that. I just keep doing “yum update” every few days and work with what I’ve got.
One thing that did take me by surprise is how much a hated GNOME Shell. I’ve written several times in that past that I thought it was OK. It was my default environment for quite a few months, but after spending an extended period on XFCE at home and Windows XP at work, I can safely say that I seriously don’t get GNOME Shell. Fortunately, Fedora 18 comes with a whole host of window managers including GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Cinnamon and MATE, so I’m sure you’ll find something there that you can work with.
The next job was to see if Oracle would install on it.
Every time I do this I think to myself it’s going to be the last time. It’s far more sensible to use a VM and install the database on a supported distro. Oracle Linux is free and a supported platform, so messing around with installs on a non-supported distro, like Fedora, really doesn’t make sense. Maybe this will actually be the last time.
So what next? I’ve got some physical servers running Fedora 17 as the host OS which will have to be upgraded. I think I’m going to play around with Cinnamon and MATE before I do that. If they don’t work for me it’s back to plain and simple XFCE for my window manager.
It’s been a few days since the final release of Fedora 17. I’ve been running it on VMs since the alpha release, but the day after the final release I decided to upgrade a real Fedora 16 machine. That’s where all the fun started…
I’ve now attempted Fedora 16 -> 17 upgrades on two physical servers and both have been destroyed by the process. In both cases, I had to do a fresh install, which worked cleanly and left a fully functioning installation. Perhaps I’m just very unlucky, but with a record of 0 for 2, my conclusion is that the upgrade process on Fedora 17 sucks so much ass it’s untrue.
As followers of the blog know, I try to keep my host machines pretty clean and do anything of significance in VirtualBox VMs. As a result, the recovery of both systems has been fine, if a little slow. In both cases, I did a clean install, then copied back all the VMs and that was pretty much it.
In conclusion, if you are planning on doing an upgrade to Fedora 17, rather than a clean install, I would think very carefully!
As for Fedora 17 itself, it feels like Fedora 16 with a different background.
Fedora 17 was released yesterday. I mentioned in a previous post I had run through the installation of Oracle 11gR2 on Fedora 17 alpha. With the arrival of the final Fedora 17 release I ran through the articles again last night to make sure everything was OK. You can see the finished versions here:
As always, installing Oracle on Fedora 17 is just for fun and totally not supported. For anything proper you should be using Oracle Linux or RHEL.