Updating Fedora — 1

On my Thinkpad T400 I used a spare partition to test updating Fedora 22 to Fedora 23. I waited more than a month to make the change with the hope and goal of all repositories getting updated.

The update contains 2,767 packages at 2.2 GB. On a good day I see a 6.5 to 7 Mbps download speed. Do the math. I face comparatively low bandwidth caps from a rural WISP. While this one time download of 2.2 GB of files did not affect my personal monthly quota, I cannot say the same for inexperienced users who are not aware that the Fedora default is keepcache=0, which would affect any unaware user.

With 2.2 GB of space and time, I looked to find the location of the F23 packages. That turned out to be /var/lib/dnf/system-upgrade/. Having learned my lesson with Fedora updates, I copied the packages to a safe location. I was not sure at all that the keepcache=1 directive would save the files since they were stored to some place other than /var/cache.

After running the dnf system-upgrade reboot my system rebooted and nothing happened. I had purposely booted into runlevel 3 (command line). Years of habit from using Linux systems.

I again ran the dnf system-upgrade reboot command only to be told the update was already scheduled.

Eventually I discovered that the updating trigger requires booting graphically. Yet even after I stumbled across that undocumented expectation the updating again failed.

A little web surfing indicated the problem might be excluded packages in yum.conf and dnf.conf. The solution is to delete the affected packages or first update them. Does not seem to matter that the reason people exclude packages is subsequent versions are broken in some manner and they do not want to update those packages. After addressing that glitch and rebooting, manually adding rhgb as a boot parameter because I do not use boot splashes, the update process finally began.

Perhaps the boot splash is unnecessary and that only a graphical target boot is required.

Seems to me the dnf system-upgrade reboot command should provide users information about excluded files and the need to boot into a graphical boot. For those who want to boot to the command line, I am presuming the update process can be triggered manually. How I do not know as I am unfamiliar with the process.

Which leads to another observation. According to the Fedora wiki, the intended target audience of Fedora “a wide audience of users.”

That should read a wide audience of technical users.

Updating Fedora is not a GUI point-and-click experience. I am puzzled why not. The basic terminal commands could be supported in yumex-dnf.

To be a point-and-click experience the reboot side needs to be GUI too. The current simple progress bar seems sufficient.

I did not time the updating, but the logs indicate almost two hours.

When the updating completed I checked /var/lib/dnf/system-upgrade/. All packages were deleted. Thus the yum.conf and dnf.conf keepcache=1 option is useless. Good thing I copied all of the packages as this was only a test run. I do not know why Fedora developers think bandwidth is free or why they are so compulsively obsessed with deleting packages after a system update.

I ran into a few boot bugs. Another story for another time.

Something always breaks.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Fedora, General

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