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Fedora Core 5 was released last monday. Over the weekend and early this week I had a chance to try a few upgrades and installs. Read on for what I found…

First of all, the release announcement was really bad. I was wincing all the way though reading it. I imagine they thought it was “cute”, but I just found it to be creepy and sad. There were a number of jokes about the release in local lug channels, and I only saw a few people that thought it was OK.

The first box I decided to upgrade was my media/mythtv/storage box. I had just installed it a week ago with FC4, so I was hoping it would be reasonably easy to upgrade. It was using the atrpms.net repository for it's mythtv packages. Atrpms is a great repository and they really do a nice job with the mythtv packages. However, they also are very quick and easy to replace core packages with their own versions. I ran into a problem with that on this box. Atrpms had released their own version of the rpm package for FC4. However, they decided they didn't need to do so for FC5. So, when I went to upgrade, yum couldn't deal with the dependencies from the librpm4.4 package that was no longer in FC5. I looked on the net and the suggestion was to use apt-rpm or the 'smart' package managers to get around that problem. I tried them both. apt-rpm just blew up and wouldn't do anything. Smart sat there trying to calculate dependencies forever (I left it for 5 hours). Finally I went in and forced the stock FC4 rpm package into place. That fixed it.

Once that was out of the way, the upgrade went pretty well. Much smoother than FC4 via yum. A reboot and I was happily back up and listening to music.

Emboldened by this success I attempted to upgrade my laptop (which is my main machine, used many hours every day). In this case there was no dependency issues at all, just started yum upgrading about 2300 packages. Nicely, the FC5 DVD image has all the repo data already on it, so you can just copy it to a web server and point yum to it if you want to use a local copy of the packages.

Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong about 2/3 of the way into the updates. Something blew up and marked the disk read only, causing all the remaining updates to fail. Perhaps it was due to me using the laptop while it was upgrading, or some old cruft on it from the last years. There wasn't anything I could do from there, so I rebooted on a rescue DVD.

After a few minutes looking from the rescue CD, it was clear that things were pretty messed up, so I decided to just do a clean install. It's worth noting that I had a full and current backup before I started the upgrade.

This also gave me a chance to run the installer from the DVD and to also setup the encrypted /home partition Sean mentioned in his last entry. The installer itself looks much like it has before. It's now using yum behind the scenes however. (This is so that for FC6 hopefully you will be able to point the installer at other non core repositories, ie extras).

The install went very smoothly. Firstboot ran and let you set time/date and so forth. I'm not sure I like the new time map, it's difficult for me to select Denver from it, but that might be because I was so used to the old one.

Setting up the encrypted /home was pretty easy. Getting all the packages that I typically use installed was a breeze. Since most everything I care about is now in extras, it was just a yum away. I only have 5 packages and one non rpm setup on the laptop, and everything is working great. Yum itself seems to be much faster than FC4, and almost getting up there with apt-get.

The new power management scripts (which are used by gnome-power-manager) seem to work fine. I did have to add a 'acpi_sleep=s3_bios' to my grub.conf in order to get pm-suspend working correctly, but that was easy enough. Amazingly pm-hibernate worked for me as well. This is using the suspend1 code that's in the kernel, that almost never worked reliably for me in the past.

XFCE of course works great (yum groupinstall XFCE; yum install xfce-session).

Setting up the fglrx ati driver from the livna repository was simple. Just a yum install and then a ati-fglrx-config-display enable. The kernel that ships with FC5 doesn't allow it to work, but I was able to load the testing kernel and then the released update kernel easily.

selinux seemed to have a lot more issues with this release than with FC4. I was running my laptop in targeted mode on FC4, but I currently have selinux disabled entirely on FC5. It wouldn't allow the fglrx driver to function. It was spitting out errors when I was doing updates (from the scriptlets in the postinstall on some packages). It wouldn't allow my bluetooth headset to connect, It wouldn't let gkrellm monitor anything, and the final capper, it wouldn't let UUCP work. I should re-enable it when I get time and report the bugs.

All in all it took me about 5 hours to reinstall and get everything setup back the way I wanted it. Not too bad. FC5 seems like a pretty nice solid release. Visit your local mirror or lug group and give it a try.

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