Sunday, July 8, 2007

Fedora 7

Today, I optimistically decided to upgrade from Fedora Core 6 to Fedora 7. Given how smooth going from FC5 to FC6 was, I thought I could do it quickly in the morning before everyone was up. When will I learn...? ^^;

The install went pretty well initially. I popped in the install DVD, did a media check on it and let it work its upgrade magic. Everything looked okay when it said it was done and ready for a reboot so I let it. That's when I hit the first problem. For some reason, it did not update the GRUB loader so that it still defaulted to the FC6 kernel which no longer existed because it was upgraded to F7. Getting around it was easy because GRUB comes up again and ask you to pick another selection so I just picked the F7 kernel.

The next problem was that almost immediately as it start loading, it complained about a corrupted drive. Oh, oh... Fortunately, I quickly realize that it was talking about the external USB drive not being available. For some reason, F7 is unable to load USB devices at startup so my fstab entry that mounted the /dev/sdb* device failed since /dev/sdb* doesn't exist! This seems to be a pretty serious bug in F7.

Boot with the DVD again, I went into repair mode and commented out the entry in the /etc/fstab and restarted. It continued with the load and failed when it tried to start X. I had it retry the XConfig for my nvidia card and had it use the open source nv drivers which brought up X. I tried to switch to the nvidia vendor driver and it also failed resulting in me going back to the nv driver until after I did an 'yum update' to pull the latest changes.

'yum update' also had some issues. There was a FC6 package (kdebinding) that were more recent then the F7 ones and it confused yum so I had to first remove the FC6 package. There were also some i386 package installed along with the x86_64 ones that had to be removed in order to get past the dependency checks.

Once I got all the latest updates, I was able to reboot into Fedora (still no USB support at start-up) everything seemed spiffy except that for some reason the nmb service was not enabled to start up at boot which resulted in my windows machine not being able to find my shared drive. This was annoying but once I figured it out was easy to fix.

It wasn't a painless upgrade and I'll have to admit that I'm a bit disappointed after my good experience with FC6. The USB drive issue is big although for now I work around it by manually powering off-and-on the drive after Fedora boots and then manually mounting it to where I want it to be. [Update] Instead of reconnecting the external drive or powering it off-and-on, I ran 'modprobe usb-storage' which will get Fedora to recognize the device so that I can mount it where I want. For some reason, Fedora on start-up does the same thing but gets a "module not found".

There are some other bugs such as the firewall settings not taking into effect even after you "apply" and "ok" the changes. Hopefully these things will get resolved soon.

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