Alex Hudson

Thoughts on Technology, Product, & Strategy

Rawhide upgrade pains

This weekend saw the arrival of a new computer – woo! – a long-needed desktop upgrade which brought me the usual technological wtfs (“since when did CPUs come without pins?!” etc.). As part of this, I’ve been trying to upgrade my Fedora 11 Alpha to a more current rawhide.

Clearly I missed something, because even after a number of attempts in different ways I failed. rpm complaining about md5 mismatches or something, for example, which I kind of knew might be an issue from following devel but didn’t really anticipate. The worst of my attempts ended badly with rpm attempting to upgrade glibc, the pre-script failing (I think with some python error) and rpm bailing, leaving me with a completely horked system.

I also tried installing rawhide directly; again no joy – various segfaulty type issues and Xorg problems preventing success. So, having wasted a few hours on attempting to get rawhide up, I’m going to go with F10 and maybe try to upgrade again after the beta comes out – I believe in trying to test this stuff as much as possible, but unfortunately (and it’s probably as much to do with my hardware as anything else – e.g., Xorg won’t work with my monitor plugged into DVI at all, it just can’t figure out any screen modes bizarrely) it seems completely impossible right now.

Now I have a bit more space I can install a few different distro versions and things and hopefully provide a bit more testing coverage; the QA side of Fedora is something I’m very interested but completely inactive in. I’m sure all of this stuff basically works in VMs, but there’s no substitute for trying it on actual hardware… and being able to give decent feedback on what happened.


Government Action Plan: Open Source, re-use, etc.


Testing Nouveau


  1. domg472

    After installation of Alpha update rpm first. (yum update rpm)
    Gdb which is a dependency will fail to install but you can re-do that afterwards.

    Then do the rest (yum update)

    After that one should be fine. ( i just did it last night )

  2. Alex

    Yeah; that’s the theory – sadly, doesn’t work for me 🙁 I tried updating things in a couple of batches, and various packages kept crapping out on me. I don’t know if you are on the same arch as me – x86_64 – or if it was to do with my LVM setup or whatever, but I’ve tried it a number of different ways and it simply won’t go.
    What I really want is some kind of offline update along the lines of preupgrade or something; trying to use the software on a system to update itself is asking for trouble in general, really.

  3. Alex

    Oh, I should also add to this tail of woe – tried installing F10; various problems. Couldn’t find /dev/root, and even when I got it booting Xorg wouldn’t work. Didn’t spend any time trying to figure out why – more productive for me to wait for the beta and test that properly I think – but it did surprise me.
    I think part of my issue is the combination of hardware. Sadly I know my smolt profile has already been sent and probably looks like a successful install :S

  4. There was a rather silly failure in X for a while that sounds like what you’re seeing, but it should have been resolved in 1.6.0-3 and later. A link to your X log would be appreciated.

  5. I think I’ve spotted the problem. You’re trying to install Fedora!

  6. Alex

    ajax – will do. I was trying to make as little noise about this as possible because I appreciate that I haven’t done anything constructive to solve any of these problems, but I will try again and do a proper report later in the week.

  7. domg472

    Yes the install that i did last night was also x86_64. I used the default partitions. My experience with Alpha is that it is recommended to use the partition defaults.

  8. Alex

    I handled the md5sum problem by installing rpm and some of its dependencies manually by downloading them from koji, a solution I found on some random mailing list that came up on Google. I am absolutely shocked that this issue was not made more public (i.e. a warning placed on the alpha download page). WTF? I ended up reinstalling several times. Also, it appears that ext4 is not, in fact, the default filesystem (at least when installing from a live CD). Again, WTF? Were it not for the promise of kernel modesetting for my Intel GPU, I probably would have gone back to Ubuntu.

  9. Thanks for trying out Rawhide and wanting to help with QA and bug fixing. Rawhide is literally the bleeding edge and sometimes we do cut ourselves on it. 🙂 The update to RPM is in fact in the Alpha release notes page. I slightly edited that this morning, but that warning was there as of 2 March:

    I am probably going to move one of my systems here to Rawhide shortly — just need to replace the power supply (and hope my mobo is OK) from a recent outage. Thanks for the post.

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