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macwise
5th June 2005, 10:13 PM
I am trying to update my machine to be running the latest versions of everything, as well as FC3. I am currently running FC1, and just completed yum update. It took care of about 40-50 updates, (1st time doing this).

I am wondering how I find out what the current OS version is through command line. I would also like to get any information on things I should do, not do, expect or watch out for when/if I still need to install addt'l things for FC3. I read some things about modifying my yum.conf file, I think it was, to reflect the current mirrors or sites where FC3 is located. Is this the appropriate action, or am I to take a different road to get this done most effectively.

I also need to know whether I can upgrade directly from FC1-FC3, or if I need to grab the updates in the interum. Thanks for your patience and help.

1yippy1
5th June 2005, 10:16 PM
I am trying to update my machine to be running the latest versions of everything, as well as FC3. I am currently running FC1, and just completed yum update. It took care of about 40-50 updates, (1st time doing this).

I am wondering how I find out what the current OS version is through command line. I would also like to get any information on things I should do, not do, expect or watch out for when/if I still need to install addt'l things for FC3. I read some things about modifying my yum.conf file, I think it was, to reflect the current mirrors or sites where FC3 is located. Is this the appropriate action, or am I to take a different road to get this done most effectively.

I also need to know whether I can upgrade directly from FC1-FC3, or if I need to grab the updates in the interum. Thanks for your patience and help.

In a terminal type "uname -a"

macwise
5th June 2005, 10:21 PM
In a terminal type "uname -a"

# uname -a
Linux localhost 2.4.22-1.2115.nptl #1 Wed Oct 29 15:42:51 EST 2003 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

bytesniper
5th June 2005, 10:28 PM
or you can type cat /etc/issue

robatino
5th June 2005, 10:33 PM
If you're looking for the version of Fedora (not the kernel), this is in /etc/fedora-release (FC3 example below)

Fedora Core release 3 (Heidelberg)

Regarding upgrading, if you back up home directories regularly (which should be done anyway), then clean installs are better. I used to experience little nagging problems that took a lot of time to track down after upgrading, plus you don't get the benefit of the most current default set of installed packages. Also, if you install packages but never use them, they just accumulate.

macwise
5th June 2005, 11:35 PM
If you're looking for the version of Fedora (not the kernel), this is in /etc/fedora-release (FC3 example below)

Fedora Core release 3 (Heidelberg)

# cat /etc/issue
Fedora Core release 1 (Yarrow)


Regarding upgrading, if you back up home directories regularly (which should be done anyway), then clean installs are better.

First of all, what does "clean install" mean in the Linux world? I would assume this means it replaces the core, and backs up the Apps, libraries, Home directories, etc.

I don't use the computer for personal use, therefore I assume the information in the home directories isn't really that important? I certainly cannot find anything that I would be remiss to lose. Just for safety sake though, should I just # cp -R home home.bak? Will this satisfy the need to backup? Also, is there anything else that is critical to backup, or does everything else fit into the "standard risk of loss" category during upgrade?

I used to experience little nagging problems that took a lot of time to track down after upgrading, plus you don't get the benefit of the most current default set of installed packages. Also, if you install packages but never use them, they just accumulate.

Install packages but never use them? This is to say that by doing a clean install it will wipe all of the old (unused) packages off the drive and replace them with the up to date ones, if any?

Thanks for the responses. I am still learning a lot.

robatino
6th June 2005, 12:12 AM
"Clean install" means install from scratch, which usually means reformatting your Linux partitions and losing everything you currently have on disk, unless it's backed up elsewhere (cp -R home home.bak won't work since you'll lose both). Personally I just back up my home directory, then after the clean install, put back all regular files, and the .mozilla and .thunderbird dotfiles (containing Firefox info such as bookmarks, and Thunderbird email). Other stuff such as ISP configuration I put back from memory, or write settings down on paper beforehand.
When I started out I did upgrades the first couple of versions, since it was easier not to have to worry about backup and restore. But eventually when you get more comfortable with Linux, you'll probably find the clean install route easier in the long run than dealing with the little issues afterwards.
The clean install versus upgrade is one of the choices you have to make when using the installation media if it detects you already have a version of Fedora installed. The clean install wipes any partitions you use it on, and it warns you loudly about this before you do it.

macwise
6th June 2005, 12:21 AM
...eventually when you get more comfortable with Linux, you'll probably find the clean install route easier in the long run than dealing with the little issues afterwards.

Can you briefly explain a few of these "little issues". I am not sure that I am in a position to backup and clean install at this point in time, as I have a number of websites running on the box right now, and there is an extremely large amount of data on the drive (photos for clients).

Basically, if the little issues are going to amount to a large amount of DOWN time, then I will consider a clean install. Otherwise, I may need to take the low road and go through the hassle of little fixes afterward here and there. Any examples of these possible issues would be helpful as to help me assess the feesability of either option.

gavinw6662
6th June 2005, 12:35 AM
if you are going from FC1 to FC3, it is best to do a brand new install with FC3 install disks. There were huge changes between 1 and 3 that will probably cause problems if you are trying to do a yum upgrade.

robatino
6th June 2005, 12:52 AM
Since you're starting out, you should probably go the upgrade route instead. If you know how to back up to some external media (CD, DVD, USB thumb drive, etc.) you should do this regardless. Once or twice a few years ago I had problems with upgrades serious enough to force a clean install. That's a worst case. An example of a minor issue is that my DSL connection used to keep dropping mysteriously. It eventually turned out to be due to a Red Hat 7.3 configuration file that never got updated since upgrades didn't touch it (I was running something like FC1 at the time). Of course it was easy to fix once I tracked it down, but it never would have happened in the first place with a clean install.
If you don't know how to backup the machine right now, you should consider putting off the upgrade for now, buying a CD burner or something, and learning how to do it first, since the machine is critical. Fedora Legacy releases updates for older Fedora versions.

macwise
6th June 2005, 01:52 AM
So, robatino, just to be clear, you think it would be better for me, given the circumstances, to upgrade rather than clean install? Also, is this something I should only attempt to do with the burned disks? I am not at the same location as the box, but can access it if I need to. As it is an OS upgrade, I presume I need to be there in person to do this. (Only ever done this on a Mac, GUI with disks in hand). Sorry, I am still new to some aspects of Linux, and am always amazed at the power and ability it has. Naturally, I am inclined to ask what might seem like stupid questions, only because I am quickly learning not only how much IS possible, but also how much ISN'T IMPOSSIBLE.

Thanks for all your help.

robatino
6th June 2005, 03:10 AM
Well, IF you need to do either an upgrade or a clean install, then since you're new to this, an upgrade would be easier (though since this IS a critical box you're talking about, I would practice on some other box first, or at least make sure you have verified backups -preferably 2 copies). You could also try migrating some of the services to other machines first, if that's possible, to minimize the risk.

robatino
6th June 2005, 03:20 AM
Also, I've only done upgrades/installs with CDs, don't know much about the other options. I believe this is the simplest option.

macwise
6th June 2005, 03:30 AM
I guess I just thought I should update the OS to be as secure as possible. If I have gotten all the available packages from yum, then I am up to date as far as patches and security, right? If this is the case, maybe it is better that I just keep the system running on FC1 and call it good. Is this a secure and reasonable decision? If so, I think I will do that until server traffic tapers down, or I get another box. (I am now moved and going to school, and so the business it was serving is on hiatus right now. It is just serving past clients, which will soon become unnecessary).

The biggest thing I don't want to lose is the configuration, as I had some friends help me set this box up. While I am pretty confident I could go the rounds of a completely new install this time on my own, I am not in a position to be able to be without the box if I am dreadfully wrong.

robatino
6th June 2005, 03:45 AM
FC1 has reached End-Of-Life, so there are no new updates currently being provided for FC1 from Red Hat. Fedora Legacy is still supporting FC1 (see http://fedoralegacy.org), so you should be able to pick up their updates by pointing your yum.conf at the right server. That should be risk-free and buy you a few more months.

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