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View Full Version : Fedora 18 Isn't Looking Too Good, Anaconda Problems



Demz3
31st October 2012, 11:59 PM
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTIxODk

reading this doesnt sound to good, will the Beta be out on time? my guess is no, another slippage. expect a Fedora18 Christmas present :dance:

nonamedotc
1st November 2012, 12:12 AM
We all know about the various quirks in anaconda, don't we! :)

But, we should also take cognizance of the fact that anaconda is improving quite a bit even in this short period of time. Yes - there are still major problems - features missing. But, I think it is getting there. In my experience, many of the problems I faced have been fixed one by one in subsequent releases (including smoke isos).

May be the devs were ambitious with F18 release - but that's not a point of discussion anymore I guess, this late in development cycle!

For what work the devs are doing in fixing at least the "major" issues, I think they deserve a few words of "encouragement" the good work! :thumb: :)

jpollard
1st November 2012, 12:25 AM
Sounds like a problem of changing too many things at once, and without a fallback position to go to.

As for "encouragement".. what good work?

nonamedotc
1st November 2012, 12:58 AM
Sounds like a problem of changing too many things at once, and without a fallback position to go to.

As for "encouragement".. what good work?

Well, fixing what is broken and not shipping things that are known to be broken. :)

JamesNZ
1st November 2012, 01:14 AM
If it's late a couple of weeks/months while the devs get it working, that's fine by me. Better to have a 9-12 month cycle which results in a stable OS rather than a 6 month cycle which gives you another lovelock :p

hadrons123
1st November 2012, 05:29 AM
Why not release a text installer like Arch?

Or move to rolling-release model?

Finalzone
1st November 2012, 07:08 AM
The old text installer is no more. The new version will not be ready until early prerelease of Fedora 19.
Rawhide works like a rolling release.

DBelton
1st November 2012, 07:40 AM
I thought I saw someplace that they had a text installer for F18 working. Might not have all of the functionality in it, but they did have a text installer going.

I'll see if I can find again where I saw it.

hadrons123
1st November 2012, 08:07 AM
Yes. Chris Lumens said there is a text installer for F18 when F18 alpha was released. But i 'm yet to figure out where it is.

Rawhide is a rolling release, except that it is broken most of the time.

stevea
1st November 2012, 08:15 AM
Well usually I discount phoronix as it produces a lot of flamey headlines w/ little behind it - but this looks pretty real.

I just read the entire thread at http://lists.fedoraproject.org, and it *seems* that everyone is pretty unhappy, and the general consensus (as *I* read it) is that F18 should slip a month or two, maybe to the 9 month mark, to accommodate the problematic Anaconda. FESCo doesn't like the idea of fixing up the old installer and retrofitting it into F18. - it would take a couple weeks and then still need QA.

It looks like the project management is trying to get their hands around this sort of 'feature' change can be scheduled with less risk. It's quite unlike typical packages.

So it looks like F18 will be 2013 event. That sounds better than a half-baked installer.

---------- Post added at 03:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:14 AM ----------


I thought I saw someplace that they had a text installer for F18 working. Might not have all of the functionality in it, but they did have a text installer going.

I'll see if I can find again where I saw it.

They said the text installer capability went away with the newUI of the new anaconda.
Also, as I understand it, the ability to use the install disk to upgrade went away too.

Demz3
1st November 2012, 08:41 AM
So it looks like F18 will be 2013 event. That sounds better than a half-baked installer.
i think your right there stevea. Anaconda is no where at a stage to be made final even if it shipped as final in late December. FESCo need to wear this on there own shoulders an release F18 in 2013 .

jpollard
1st November 2012, 01:59 PM
Yet more features that don't exist anymore that used to work just fine.

A very bad sign.

roger
1st November 2012, 02:44 PM
might be that anaconda is in a mess an preupgrade will not work. Nevertheless, everybody could somehow install that box and get it running...ok, this is not "everybody's darling". Upgrade should in that case been done by yum, which has been done some time before.

Ok, its a step backwards.

i prepared on alpha-stage a server using the following:
- postfix
- amavis
- dovecot
- apache
- mysql
- ejabberd
- spectrum

1) i (i make this in my spare time, having 2 children and also have other hobbies) got this combination never running with selinux enabled within 17. in 18 it does, almost flawlessy
2) even if there might be a higher base-cpu-usage (which i must check for processes) 18 runs quite "a little bit" faster than 18.
3) systemd is now developed much better.
4) Ah yes, i forgot. If i get my dovecot-problem solved - it is solid as a rock (as long as i don't touch it) :blink:

If there was no 18, no experiences neither for developers nor endusers could be made. In fact, Anaconda is also the pay for innovation.

AdamW
1st November 2012, 07:57 PM
There's a few inaccuracies flying around here.

There is a text installer in F18 and has been since Alpha. You can just pass 'text' on the cmdline if you want to try it out.

Upgrades to F18 will be done with a new tool called fedup which works more or less like preupgrade but does not use anaconda for the second stage of upgrade, it uses dracut modules. This is currently undergoing testing and will be done for Beta. fedup will be able to use a DVD as a source of packages if you want to do an offline upgrade.

DBelton
1st November 2012, 11:08 PM
Will fedup be put on the DVD media, possibly have an option to start it from the boot menu?

It seems to me like that would be a good place to put it, and also make it available separately if someone wants to do an offline update.

Edit:

And isn't fedup a really bad name for such a tool?

Sound more like someone is getting "fed up" and moving on. :D

First release names sounding like cheesy porn and stupid jokes, and now the utilities are being named bad as well..

AdamW
2nd November 2012, 01:07 AM
I don't think so, the model is more just to run it from the booted system you want to upgrade, like preupgrade. I don't know if there's a plan to write a notifier that pops up when a new release is out or anything like that.

DBelton
2nd November 2012, 02:03 AM
I have always hated those notifiers of new releases, myself, but I'm sure some people like the idea.

And if you have a system that's not online, then the best place to put the upgrade application is on the DVD since you would need to have it anyway. How is the upgrade application going to get on the system that isn't online if it's not on the DVD?

AdamW
2nd November 2012, 03:19 AM
That's not a bad point. I'll have to talk to Will about it. Not sure if it's feasible, but you have a point...

DBelton
2nd November 2012, 03:52 AM
Also, what if an update to the upgrade application between releases breaks it so that upgrade from the DVD doesn't work.

If you have a version on the DVD that is known to work with the DVD, then you don't have a problem with updates in between Fedora versions breaking upgrade from the DVD. So development could still be ongoing on the updater, enhancing it for the ones that do online upgrades, but you are still certain to have a working version for the ones that aren't online and using the DVD to upgrade.

stevea
2nd November 2012, 07:36 AM
There's a few inaccuracies flying around here.

There is a text installer in F18 and has been since Alpha. You can just pass 'text' on the cmdline if you want to try it out.



Thanks for the correction Adam. I was attempting to recall the post I had read which I misremembered.

It actually states the text mode was lost with the newui, but replaced with a minimalist version, without a commitment to full functionality till F19.

http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel/2012-October/173267.html

> The plan to remove rescue and text/serial install which we "found out"
> and "convinced" the Anaconda developers to bring back which they did...

That's not accurate in the least.

text/serial was lost when the switch to newUI was made. They just
wouldn't work anymore. The original plan, the one that the anaconda
team committed to, was having them back in place for F19. I joined the
team and Martin and I got lucky in having enough time to quickly bang
out a minimalist text interface, which I spent a little more time in to
make sure it worked well over serial. We happened to get it done well
ahead of time, but we never committed to having it at all for F18.

AdamW
2nd November 2012, 07:42 AM
stevea: there's some inside baseball there, but the text installer has been in since pre-Alpha, and it actually is pretty much feature complete. I don't think it's going to be extended much for f19. the text installer has been intended to be minimalist for several releases now (the one in f17 wasn't full-featured either).

AdamW
2nd November 2012, 07:43 AM
dbelton: apparently there's a more extensive plan for the offline upgrade feature than I realized, which will involve it being on the DVD in some form. though that may not be complete in time for f18.

DBelton
2nd November 2012, 04:06 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Adam :)

While I usually do completely fresh installs, I do realize that numerous users do upgrades and there are quite a few machines out there that aren't connected online.

However, I was messing around with TC6 the other day, and realized an unintended "feature". If you try installing to partitions that have a previous version of Fedora on it, and don't format the partitions first, then it pretty much tries to do an upgrade for you. I haven't checked to see if it works, though. It might just hose the entire system, leaving it in an unknown state.

sea
2nd November 2012, 04:40 PM
The textinstaller takes automaticly place IF there is no X installed. ;)
But reduces options lots more than the GUI.

CaperUser
2nd November 2012, 06:25 PM
I am not a developer. I am simply somewhat of an average user (I would like to think above-average), so perhaps my opinion doesn't matter much...

BUT, I feel that a stable release is more important than an on-time release. Additionally, rather than being critical of those working toward the release of Fedora 18, shouldn't we be grateful for the care these developers are exhibiting?

Also, I would ask, as an "average user", what can I do to help? Is there a part I (or someone like me) can play?

lsatenstein
2nd November 2012, 06:37 PM
I am using Fedora 18 for about a month. It has some problems that are mainly concerned with installation and upgrades.
My use has been concentrated around Gnome3.6 and problems around recovery after timeout that locks the screen, or missing software. I also find that the applications ported from Fedora 18, for the ones I use, test OK. I use firefox, libreoffice, and the GCC compiler environment. I also use Thunderbird and for relaxation, free-cell.

Here are some of my issues.
a) Fedora 16,17,18 -- move the mouse to the top left corner and before you can react, the current window shrinks to show all available windows. -- The user should be able to indicate a hover delay and also the user should be able to relocate this action elsewhere, say to the top right.
b) when a virtual desktop is created, and then cleared, the empty desktop hangs around. It should disappear.
c) If the user leaves the system open overnight, idle with no logon, and then attempts to logon, he is unable to do so.
d) If the user locks the screen, he cannot unlock it. I discovered that to unlock it, I had to select a switch user action, (I have one admin and one normal user). When the new logon screen is presented, I log in again as a new user, and voila, my session is unlocked and I am back therein.
e) I don't like the "show all icons" being a trigger setting on the favourites bar. What if I want to hide the favorites bar? We have a title bar on the top of the screen, put it there.
f) I dedicated a 250gig sata2 drive to it. My principle drive is a one giger on which I have Debian, F16, and Ubuntu lts. On my other system I have F17 default, Ubuntu lts, Lint and Debian. I write software and need to test with these environments.
g) Software update is missing, but if you select add/remove software, and look at the options, one of them is the software Update option.
h) rpmfusion istallation (www.rpmfusion.org) had no errors. I downloaded some applications I did not try all the codecs or try to watch youtube or other streaming video. Eventually I will get to install libdvdcss to test the ability to watch DVDs that I own.
i) The initial grub2 startup screen is a nice improvement over Fedora 17.
j) The default startup display can be switched to something more pleasant than the dreary one as represented by Fedora 17. This is a plus
k) When I installed F18, I chose the Canadian French keyboard, put it first in the list, but could only activate it by removing the USA standard default keyboard. Even with the gui respecting the Canadian French setting, the terminal sessions started via ctl-alt Fx (virtual terminal) only comes up in USA ascii layout, not my default Canadian Multilingual.
l) With F17, I can add the euro symbol to the E key. I did not see an option to do so for F18.
j) When wanting to logoff, while in my desktop session with nothing running, I can select logoff from the dropdown menu
but it tells me that other users are logged on and it can't be done. There is no other user session.
k) Suspend works OK, but I prefer a clean reboot each time.
l) I tried some of the Anaconda settings (keyboard, etc, for TC6, (as far as I know, latest pre-beta 2) and after booting from the DVD, I saw the screen to use the demo or install to hard disk. I had to leave and when I returned an hour later, the sleep window was showing, and I could not remove it to try the live image. This image should never lock up.
m) Other software works just fine, I am happy to continue testing.

As a past project manager, my advice is, do not take out your disappointment on the existing staff. If there are n modules in an application, then there are immediately n-squared second level tests to perform. It these clear out, then you have
The software developers for Anaconda, logon shell, etc are clearing out the problems. I for one will scratch and reinstall the official beta when it arrives. The situation is not bleak, but it is requiring patience for we who have been using Fedora. I started with Fedora in 2004 and it has always been my favourite and default distribution

AdamW
2nd November 2012, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Adam :)

While I usually do completely fresh installs, I do realize that numerous users do upgrades and there are quite a few machines out there that aren't connected online.

However, I was messing around with TC6 the other day, and realized an unintended "feature". If you try installing to partitions that have a previous version of Fedora on it, and don't format the partitions first, then it pretty much tries to do an upgrade for you. I haven't checked to see if it works, though. It might just hose the entire system, leaving it in an unknown state.

Unfortunately what you get is b) not a). :) We noticed the same thing a few days back, but yeah, it just hoses the system, sadly. In TC7 it will no longer be possible to do this; you are required to reformat the / partition (you can't re-use an existing partition as / without formatting it). This was enforced in oldUI too, we just didn't get around to adding the enforcement back into newUI until this week.

AdamW
2nd November 2012, 07:28 PM
I am using Fedora 18 for about a month. It has some problems that are mainly concerned with installation and upgrades.
My use has been concentrated around Gnome3.6 and problems around recovery after timeout that locks the screen, or missing software. I also find that the applications ported from Fedora 18, for the ones I use, test OK. I use firefox, libreoffice, and the GCC compiler environment. I also use Thunderbird and for relaxation, free-cell.

Here are some of my issues.
a) Fedora 16,17,18 -- move the mouse to the top left corner and before you can react, the current window shrinks to show all available windows. -- The user should be able to indicate a hover delay and also the user should be able to relocate this action elsewhere, say to the top right.
b) when a virtual desktop is created, and then cleared, the empty desktop hangs around. It should disappear.
c) If the user leaves the system open overnight, idle with no logon, and then attempts to logon, he is unable to do so.
d) If the user locks the screen, he cannot unlock it. I discovered that to unlock it, I had to select a switch user action, (I have one admin and one normal user). When the new logon screen is presented, I log in again as a new user, and voila, my session is unlocked and I am back therein.
e) I don't like the "show all icons" being a trigger setting on the favourites bar. What if I want to hide the favorites bar? We have a title bar on the top of the screen, put it there.
f) I dedicated a 250gig sata2 drive to it. My principle drive is a one giger on which I have Debian, F16, and Ubuntu lts. On my other system I have F17 default, Ubuntu lts, Lint and Debian. I write software and need to test with these environments.
g) Software update is missing, but if you select add/remove software, and look at the options, one of them is the software Update option.
h) rpmfusion istallation (www.rpmfusion.org) had no errors. I downloaded some applications I did not try all the codecs or try to watch youtube or other streaming video. Eventually I will get to install libdvdcss to test the ability to watch DVDs that I own.
i) The initial grub2 startup screen is a nice improvement over Fedora 17.
j) The default startup display can be switched to something more pleasant than the dreary one as represented by Fedora 17. This is a plus
k) When I installed F18, I chose the Canadian French keyboard, put it first in the list, but could only activate it by removing the USA standard default keyboard. Even with the gui respecting the Canadian French setting, the terminal sessions started via ctl-alt Fx (virtual terminal) only comes up in USA ascii layout, not my default Canadian Multilingual.
l) With F17, I can add the euro symbol to the E key. I did not see an option to do so for F18.
j) When wanting to logoff, while in my desktop session with nothing running, I can select logoff from the dropdown menu
but it tells me that other users are logged on and it can't be done. There is no other user session.
k) Suspend works OK, but I prefer a clean reboot each time.
l) I tried some of the Anaconda settings (keyboard, etc, for TC6, (as far as I know, latest pre-beta 2) and after booting from the DVD, I saw the screen to use the demo or install to hard disk. I had to leave and when I returned an hour later, the sleep window was showing, and I could not remove it to try the live image. This image should never lock up.
m) Other software works just fine, I am happy to continue testing.

As a past project manager, my advice is, do not take out your disappointment on the existing staff. If there are n modules in an application, then there are immediately n-squared second level tests to perform. It these clear out, then you have
The software developers for Anaconda, logon shell, etc are clearing out the problems. I for one will scratch and reinstall the official beta when it arrives. The situation is not bleak, but it is requiring patience for we who have been using Fedora. I started with Fedora in 2004 and it has always been my favourite and default distribution

I'm gonna give you a kind of condensed reply here with general suggestions at the bottom:

a) GNOME design
b) GNOME design
c) bug
d) bug
e) GNOME design
f) this just appears to be a story :)
g) By design for F18: the 'official' GUI way to do updates now is offline - 'Install updates and restart' on the user menu
h) story
i) story
j) story
k) bug, but depends when you installed F18; quite a lot was fixed up post-Alpha
l) not sure
j2) bug, probably https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=814690
k2) story
l2) bug
m) story

(you got a bit mixed up in your alphabet there :>)

things I've marked 'story' are obviously just you telling us stuff, no action required. Things I've marked 'GNOME design' are elements of GNOME 3's design; Fedora is downstream from GNOME and we don't fiddle about with upstream UI design. The appropriate place to get those changed would be at the GNOME level, through their lists/bugzilla. Things I've marked 'bug' sound like bugs; could you verify that they're reproducible and file bugs on the appropriate components at http://bugzilla.redhat.com ? Some of them sound like I might be able to reproduce them and if I get time I'll try them and see if I hit the bugs and file bugs if so, but I can't guarantee I'm going to have the time, so if you could do it that'd be great. On g), a Fedora 18 Feature is 'offline updates' - https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/OfflineSystemUpdates - the idea that the safest way to install updates is across a reboot, so there can't be bad interactions between the updates and running processes. You can still _do_ updates live, using yum or as you found out, gnome-packagekit, but the idea is this is being de-emphasized and the official GUI update method will be the offline way. So it's intentional that the Software Update application doesn't show up in the menus any more.

DBelton
3rd November 2012, 05:33 AM
I don't even have the capability to do offline updates in my F18 install... I don't even have PackageKit installed, nor do I want it installed.

I have never updated my system using a GUI updater, preferring to update outside of the GUI environment on a console screen. Never had issues, and see no reason to change now. About the only time I reboot after doing an update is if it updates the kernel.

AdamW
3rd November 2012, 06:26 AM
I don't even have the capability to do offline updates in my F18 install... I don't even have PackageKit installed, nor do I want it installed.

I have never updated my system using a GUI updater, preferring to update outside of the GUI environment on a console screen. Never had issues, and see no reason to change now. About the only time I reboot after doing an update is if it updates the kernel.

if that's how you prefer to do things, you'll see zero change in f18, so no need to worry.

personally I just run updates from yum inside GNOME. but then, I'm an idiot. It's well-documented. there *are* valid reasons for the offline update process, to be fair, but I'm too l33t to care ;)

hadrons123
3rd November 2012, 06:31 AM
The textinstaller takes automaticly place IF there is no X installed. ;)
But reduces options lots more than the GUI.
i 'm really interested in doing a text install. Is there any link about how to do it?

jpollard
3rd November 2012, 10:53 AM
Only kernel updates matter - all others are user processes that can be restarted - though systemd+dbus updates could put a crimp in that.

This is very important for server uptime requirements.

smr54
3rd November 2012, 01:05 PM
There probably are somewhere. However, note that text install has been severely crippled, and the recommended workaround is to use a kickstart file. There's lots of kickstart guides, I would just google it and find one that suits you.



http://how-to.linuxcareer.com/automating-linux-installations-with-kickstart

seems reasonable.

AdamW
3rd November 2012, 05:35 PM
Only kernel updates matter - all others are user processes that can be restarted - though systemd+dbus updates could put a crimp in that.

This is very important for server uptime requirements.

On a server you're going to be using yum, and again, nothing is changing from a yum perspective. But it's more complicated than that. To give an example, there has been more than one known case where updating the firefox package while firefox was running could cause issues in your firefox profile.

AdamW
3rd November 2012, 05:36 PM
i 'm really interested in doing a text install. Is there any link about how to do it?

It should be as simple as hitting tab at the bootloader screen and adding 'text' to the install parameters.

Dan
3rd November 2012, 05:42 PM
Morning, Adam.

Silly question, and admittedly ridiculously subjective, but ... are the changes in F18 big/important/settled enough to consider ordering a new SSD for it now, or are the smoother/less troublesome incarnations likely to come in F19, making it the wiser choice instead?

jpollard
3rd November 2012, 07:05 PM
On a server you're going to be using yum, and again, nothing is changing from a yum perspective. But it's more complicated than that. To give an example, there has been more than one known case where updating the firefox package while firefox was running could cause issues in your firefox profile.

Now WHY would a system update alter user files? Should never happen, and if it does it is a fault of the update.

now I can understand when a SELinux update requires a relable.. but that should be delayed/referred to the administrator.

AdamW
3rd November 2012, 09:28 PM
dan: 18 itself is pretty solid. all the churn is in the installer. once you get 18 installed somehow, it runs well, from my experience anyway.

AdamW
3rd November 2012, 09:28 PM
jpollard: as I recall the update didn't touch the user files, but after updating, firefox's behaviour changed on the fly in some way. in general, updating running code can theoretically cause issues.

OG1958
4th November 2012, 03:41 AM
Why can't Fedora be a rolling release like Fuduntu, Arch, etc. just to name a couple? I see some disappointment and resentment that Fedora 18 is not ready yet. I am not upset that it is myself, I would rather wait for something good (and Fedora is great) than something mediocre or fails all the time. Seems as of late that many distributions are in a competition to see who can build and put out their distro first. I have experienced it especially with the Ubuntu based builds such as Descent, Bodhi, exTix, etc.
So keep doing great things, and you are instead of pushing something out that will be plagued with bugs. I believe the wait will be well worth it.

hadrons123
4th November 2012, 03:48 AM
I managed to install TC7 and it works good. Looks solid until now. Better than any betas of fedora I 've come across.

domg472
4th November 2012, 01:25 PM
I (net) installed rc7 yesterday as well on a laptop and all went well.

A few things i noticed:

It seemed to me that its not possible to install using a hidden wireless access point. There was only a drop down list of viewable access points and nowwhere to specifiy a hidden one

I had to remove existing partitions with anaconda because there was no space.However when i selected a partifition and pressed the + instead of the - (accident) that crashed anaconda.

I forgot to change the timezone (i somehow overlooked it in anaconda?) and when i later changed it in gnome, systemd timed was denied access by selinux to read /dev/urandom and create a /etc/locale.* or localtime.* symlink

Other than that it was all smooth.

AdamW
5th November 2012, 02:44 AM
domg472: hidden APs - that's probably correct, it's not something we've explicitly considered. feel free to file an RFE but it probably won't be terribly high priority...we only care about wireless installation _so_ much =). any time you hit a crash in anaconda can you please report it to bugzilla, following the instructions? it really helps a lot, if you just file the bug and include an explanation of what you were doing when you hit it, that's often enough for the anaconda devs to identify and fix the bug. ditto with selinux denials - please, _any_ time you hit one, use the report-to-bugzilla option. the selinux devs are very proactive about picking up and addressing those bug reports. thanks!

AdamW
5th November 2012, 02:45 AM
Why can't Fedora be a rolling release like Fuduntu, Arch, etc. just to name a couple? I see some disappointment and resentment that Fedora 18 is not ready yet. I am not upset that it is myself, I would rather wait for something good (and Fedora is great) than something mediocre or fails all the time. Seems as of late that many distributions are in a competition to see who can build and put out their distro first. I have experienced it especially with the Ubuntu based builds such as Descent, Bodhi, exTix, etc.
So keep doing great things, and you are instead of pushing something out that will be plagued with bugs. I believe the wait will be well worth it.

See https://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel/2012-November/173397.html and the follow-ups. So far I appear to be losing the thread. :)