More CentOS 7.4 and VirtualBox Breakage

VirtualBox 5.1.28 was released on or about September 14, the same day the official CentOS ISOs were released. Because of related problems with updating CentOS 7.4, I updated to 5.1.28, including all guest virtual machines (VMs).

My first effort at updating CentOS to 7.4 was a mess. There were various dependency issues. I restored the VM to the previous state.

After reading the final CentOS 7.4 release notes, in my CentOS VMs I performed a single step to avoid calamity with updating:

yum remove rdma

The package is part of the Infiniband/iWARP drivers. I have no idea how this package got installed in my VM.

Updating to 7.4 went smooth after that.

After updating and rebooting CentOS I removed the useless rdma-core package and several i686 packages brought along for the ride as dependencies. In hindsight I probably should have run yum update --exclude=rdma-core.

I had no problems on three of my CentOS VMs. On the fourth I could not get the shared folder icon to appear on the desktop or in the Caja file manager.

Thinking the problem was in the dconf settings for showing mounted volumes, I launched the dconf-editor. I have used the editor many times. For the first time ever I was greeted with a Firefox-like dialog that I would be careful. Yes, indeed, treat users with contempt because they are stupid. Then I was stunned to see the new interface, which is barely usable. There is no database tree sidebar for easy navigation. Instead there is now a useless bread crumb toolbar. I have not found a way to repeat a search. There is no keyboard shortcut. There is no keyboard shortcut to move back a level in the bread crumb. Only the mouse may be used in the useless bread crumb toolbar.

I have no idea why people salivate over GNOME development when the developers continually make software worse.

I am using the MATE desktop. Themes were broken after the big update. The menu bar in mate-terminal was distorted. Dialog buttons lacked outlines. This seems to be a common occurrence. The GNOME developers keep changing the way theme CSS files work and downstream theme developers always scramble to patch their work.

An updated mate-themes package arrived later in the day, which fixed the problems.

Thankfully this is a VM. I restored the VM and repeated the steps. Like I had done previously to exclude geany from being updated, I excluded dconf and dconf-editor from being updated. The GNOME developers can take a long walk on a short pier.

This time, although oddly I had to reboot three times, the desktop icon appeared for the shared folder.

The CentOS 7.4 packages likely will install and update just fine on work servers. I hope. I will roll out the updates slowly and methodically, first using a test system and then some of the least critical systems as the first batch. Nonetheless, I perform a lot of maintenance on the servers remotely from home and I needed a working VM.

In the end I was able to get everything updated and running as desired. Yet this is the fourth time in the past several weeks that I have been inconvenienced and lost time because of CentOS. I am growing weary of this story.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: CentOS

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