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I upgraded my laptop last night from Fedora Core 3 to the newly released Fedora Core 4 via yum. Here's some information about the upgrade and thoughts on the release:

My laptop is my main machine which I use probibly 16 hours a day on most days. With Fedora Core 4 coming out, I decided to upgrade and check things out.

Of course since my laptop is my main machine, I made a backup before anything else. Always a good idea before any major changes to software. As it turns out I didn't need to restore anything, but it was nice to know I could recover if I needed to.

I pulled down the cd iso images and burned them to cd on another machine, then rebooted the laptop on the first disk. As usual for any of the recent Fedora releases, you are given a chance to test the install media before doing the install or upgrade with them. For some reason the cd I burned tested bad. I checked the sha1sum on the image files I had and they were all correct. So, it might have been a media problem or the burner in my other machine messing up for some reason, or possibly it's a bug in the media test. There have been problems with that function on the installer for some time now.

So, then I decided to pull down the dvd image and try that, however before I could finish pulling it down, I noticed that there was some information on how to use the 'yum' tool to do an upgrade without having to worry about the cd/dvd, so I elected to give that a try.

The following page http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/YumUpgradeFaq gives you information about how to use yum to upgrade your FC3 machine to FC4. It's pretty simple. I decided that most of the mirrors would be lagged pretty badly with people downloading the new release, so I took the cd images I had down and setup a local yum repository for the base FC4 packages.

  • mount each cd image in turn: 'mount -o loop FC4-i386-disc1.iso /mnt/cdrom'
  • copy the files to a dir that a web server can reach: 'cp -a /mnt/cdrom/Fedora/RPMS/* /var/www/html/fc4/'
  • install and run the createrepo utility to make the repository metadata: 'createrepo /var/www/html/fc4/'
  • use a web browser to make sure you can reach the files via http.

Then you upgrade your fedora-release file: 'rpm -Uvh fedora-release*'

Then you run yum 'yum -y upgrade'

I ran into a small problem here, because I have the Xfce Terminal package installed, and it was requiring the FC3 dbus packages. This wouldn't have been a issue if I had been able to get a build of it done for fedora-extras before the release, but I haven't. So, in this case I just removed the package, did the upgrade and then rebuild and re-installed it.

Per the above link I did have to upgrade the kernel and remove all the old FC3 kernels.

The update took a while to run. All the base packages were pretty quick, but I had some packages from fedora-extras (which appears to have NO mirrors) and freshrpms. Those were slow likely due to people trying to download the new release from those sites.

I then installed the kernel from Mhenslers site: suspend2 enabled Fedora Core kernels

After a quick reboot, most things came up fine. Terminal was easy to rebuild and re-install. I ran into a few problems with suspend/hibernate. First the new kernel no longer has /proc/acpi/sleep anymore. So, I switched to using /sys/power/state and that worked. Suspend to disk and several other of my acpi scripts failed to work at all due to selinux. For now I just disabled it and will look into fixing the policy later.

All my Xfce packages upgraded just fine from fedora-extras. Everything else that I had setup just worked. This is one of the smoothest upgrades I have ever done.

For me, there isn't too much thats obviously diffrent. Xfce looks the same. :) firefox is pretty much the same (and all my extensions still work!). Openoffice.org is a newer version (the 2.0 beta) and looks fine. XEmacs works fine and updated from fedora-extras with no problems. The bootup seems a bit faster, but I haven't clocked it.

The split out the xscreensaver package into several packages. The base package now just blanks the screen. If you want the pretty (and potentially offensive) graphical screensavers you need xscreensaver-extras and xscreensaver-extras-gl.

Overall a very smooth and nice looking release.

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