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Revision as of 13:40, 2 November 2008 by Thl (talk | contribs) (don't mention specific 3rd party repos in the wiki)

Upgrading Fedora Using Yum

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Although upgrades with yum have been tested and work, live upgrades are not recommended by the Fedora Project. If you are not prepared to resolve issues on your own if things break, you should probably use the recommend installation methods instead.

The recommended installation method is with a boot media with the Anaconda installer as detailed in the Installation Guide. PreUpgrade is a slightly different upgrade method where the all packages are downloaded before the system is rebooted into the Anaconda installer.

When upgrading with yum you don't get any help from Anaconda, but if you are lucky you might be able to upgrade systems remotely over ssh and without any downtime. But the system must be rebooted to get the new kernel and system libraries and services running, so currently you can't avoid having some downtime. Rebooting after such an upgrade is always very exciting.

With a typical installation and when following advices here, then live upgrade with yum usually works well.


If you are upgrading using Yum and it shows up any general dependency issues, please file them in But please read this page and all references pages and search the mailing list archives before filing bugs. And of course, please help keeping this page updated.

If you want to help make live upgrades work smoothly, join the SIGs/LiveUpgrade Live Upgrade Special Interest Group.

Instructions to upgrade using yum

1. Read about common problems

Further down in this page there's a list of common problems for specific versions. Some of them require attention before the upgrade.

General advice on upgrading Fedora can be found on DistributionUpgrades. You should also read the release notes for the version you upgrade to (for example Fedora 9) - it contains important information regarding upgrading issues.

2. Clean Stuff

Review and remove all .rpmsave and .rpmnew files before and after upgrading. (And if you have selinux enabled then remember to check security context if you move config files around.)

Find unused config files
Merge and resolve the changes found by the following script: for a in $(find /etc /var -name '*.rpm?*'); do diff -u $a ${a%.rpm?*}; done.

Now is a good time to remove packages you don't use - especially non-standard packages.

Find and review "unused" packages
You can find packages not required by other packes with the tool package-cleanup from the yum-utils package: yum install yum-utils; package-cleanup --leaves. These packages could be candidates for removal, but check if you use them directly or if they are used by applications not backed by rpm packages. Remove them with rpm -e package-name-and-version.

If you have packages from 3rd party repos installed then make sure that these repos are enabled and ready for the new version. The upgrade might fail if there are outdated dependencies from packages not backed by a yum repo or backed by a repo which isn't ready for the new version.

Find and review "lost" packages
You can find orphaned packages (ie packages not in the repositories anymore) with: package-cleanup --orphans. This will also show packages which have been partially uninstalled but where the "%postun" script failed.

Make sure you have the yum-fastestmirror package installed so that yum uses the "best" mirror.

yum install yum-fastestmirror

Then remove all traces of the version you are leaving from the yum cache in /var/cache/yum.

yum clean all

3. Switch repositories

Update the packages that decide which yum repositories to use.

rpm -Uhv<ReleaseNumber>/Fedora/<Arch>/os/Packages/fedora-release-*.noarch.rpm

For Fedora 9, as an example,

rpm -Uvh*.noarch.rpm

(The architecture doesn't matter for this noarch package.)

Make sure the new repo files isn't placed as .rpmnew files, perhaps by

mv /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-updates.repo.rpmnew /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-updates.repo
mv /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora.repo.rpmnew /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora.repo

Also make sure that all the 3rd party repos you normally use point to the repository for the new Fedora release.

4. Do the upgrade

If using selinux make sure it is in permissive mode - neither disabled nor enforcing.

It is a good idea to do the upgrade outside the graphical environment. Log out of your graphical desktop and then go to a text console

ctrl + alt + F1

log in as root, and go into runlevel 3

telinit 3
Once a live upgrade is started do not stop the upgrade by rebooting, killing the process, or by any other method until it is complete, doing so will cause the affected system to be in a mixed state. Partially the old release and partially the new release. In this state the system will not be reliable and will not operate as expected. The only way to recover from this is to reinstall if it occurs.
Update important packages first
You can start try to update the update machinery first with yum update rpm\* yum\*. Another idea is to start with glibc. In both cases dependencies might however expand it to an almost full upgrade anyway. And doing a full upgrade might be more safe. YMMV.

Upgrade all packages with

yum upgrade

yum might complain about conflicts or requirements. That is probably because you have used non-standard repositories or installed non-standard packages manually. Try to guess which packages cause the problem (or at least is a part of the dependency chain) - uninstall them and try again. Remember to install the packages again if they are essential.

Ensure that all (new) essential packages from the new version is installed with

yum groupupdate Base

You might want to update other groups too, see

yum grouplist

For example

yum groupupdate "GNOME Desktop Environment" \
"Development Tools" "Server Configuration Tools" \
"Hardware Support" "Sound and Video" \
"Graphical Internet" "Fonts" \
"Games and Entertainment" "Printing Software" \
"Administration Tools" "Office/Productivity" "System Tools"

5. Preparing for reboot

Before booting you should usually install the bootloader from your new grub by running

/sbin/grub-install BOOTDEVICE

- where BOOTDEVICE usually is /dev/sda (If you get an error '/dev/sda does not have any corresponding BIOS drive' from that, then try /sbin/grub-install --recheck /dev/sda.)

Also, the order of init scripts could have changed from the previous version. A command to reset the order is:

cd /etc/rc.d/init.d; for f in *; do /sbin/chkconfig $f resetpriorities; done

Again, run package-cleanup --orphans to find packages that hasn't been upgraded.

Version specific notes

Fedora 9 -> Fedora 10 Beta

  • Check the Fedora 10 Beta Release Notes
  • Get started with rpm -Uhv
  • X has become much better at detecting hardware and making configuration changes while running, so you probably don't need an xorg.conf. Your config file might not work with the new X version, and then you might see problems such as X hangs once you log into the desktop. So: mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.pre10. You can use system-config-display to create an xorg.conf - if it is installed.
  • Fedora 10 has a new rpm version, but that shouldn't cause trouble.
  • The new kernel modesetting has been problematic. You might have to add the kernel parameter nomodeset to disable it.
  • The new graphical boot stuff called plymouth is copied into the initrd together with drivers etc, so whenever it changes bild a new initrd - for example with v=$(rpm -q kernel --qf="%{version}-%{release}.%{arch}\n"|tail -n1); mkinitrd -v -f /boot/initrd-$v.img $v ... or install a new kernel. Graphical boot is enabled with the boot parameteer rhgb
  • Run grub-install to get the new grub version - and a new splash screen ;-)
  • Nobody stole your X session on Ctrl-Alt-F7 - it has just moved to Ctrl-Alt-F1

Fedora 8 -> Fedora 9

  • If you are running as a xen Host (Dom0) you should not upgrade to Fedora 9. [1]
  • Upgrading the thunderbird package will fail . The current workaround is yum remove thunderbird; yum install thunderbird>.
  • If you are upgrading to Fedora 9 and use emacs, you must upgrade to the latest version of emacs for your prior release to ensure a clean upgrade. Fedora 8 users must have emacs-22.1-10.fc8 or later, while Fedora 7 users must have emacs-22.1-7.fc7. Bug report here .
  • Due to the switch from sysvinit to Upstart , it is recommended that users who do a upgrade on a live filesystem to Fedora 9 reboot soon afterwards. If you do not reboot, you may want to take careful note of any '/etc/inittab.rpmsave' or '/etc/inittab.rpmnew' files. When rebooting after an upgrade then be aware that sysvinit that was used to start the system can't be used to shut it down.

Fedora 7 -> Fedora 8

  • New pulseaudio and flash support packages must be installed manually:
yum groupinstall sound-and-video gnome-desktop (if you are using Gnome)
yum groupinstall sound-and-video kde-desktop (if you are using KDE)
yum install libflashsupport paman padevchooser
  • The Fedora 7 avahi packagage fails to uninstall; remove it manually with
rpm -e --noscripts avahi-0.6.17-1.fc7
  • On 64 bit machines (x86_64) you may have to remove some 32 bit libraries. For example dbus:
yum erase dbus.i386
  • You may find it easier to use the yum shell to stack these commands in a single transaction:
yum shell
> erase dbus.i386
> update
> run
  • A lot of KDE packages are no longer multilib in F8. If you are on x86_64, you will need to erase the i386 versions of these packages by hand, like so:
yum erase kde{accessibility{,-devel},base,edu,graphics,multimedia{,-extras},network,sdk,utils{,-devel},webdev}.i386
  • Various other packages including Beryl are no longer in F8 and not obsoleted:
yum erase beryl\*

Fedora Core 6 -> Fedora 7

  • Fedora 7 replaces the old IDE subsystem with libata. Drive device names which previously started /dev/hd.. will become /dev/sd.. after the upgrade. /dev/hda1 will usually become /dev/sda1, although there may not be a direct relationship between the old and new device names (for example hdd does not necessarily become sdd). Before you reboot be sure to change all references to /dev/hd.. in your config, especially /etc/fstab - where it however may be simpler to refer to filesystems by label (check out the programs blkid, tune2fs, and mlabel). LVM Volume names are not affected. In /boot/grub/ change /dev/hd.. to /dev/sd.. before running grub-install - and don't change (hd0). Changing /boot/grub/grub.conf may also be required.
  • The libata layer represents all hard disks as SCSI disks, which are limited to 15 partitions in the kernel. IDE hard disks with more than 15 partitions are not supported in Fedora 7.
  • On a system which has been upgraded from releases prior to FC6 you may need to remove up2date and rhnlib rpm -e rhnlib up2date
  • If you see the message package gpm-1.20.1-84.fc6 (which is newer than gpm-1.20.1-83.fc7) is already installed when performing a yum update uninstall and reinstall the gpm package.
  • If you had installed Suns jre it might be removed during upgrade. Be aware that jre-6u1/jre-1.6.0_01-fcs requires compat-libstdc++-33.
  • If you get Error: Missing Dependency: python(abi) = 2.4 is needed by package libxml2-python and/or Error: Missing Dependency: python(abi) = 2.4 is needed by package rpm-python during your yum upgrade ensure you have done a yum clean all and check that both the base and updates repositories are available from your mirror. You will need the updates repo for the upgrade to succeed.

Fedora Core 5 -> Fedora Core 6

  • After upgrading, you cannot use the DVD ISO loopback mounted as a repository directly (e.g. no baseurl=file:///mnt/fc6/) because the repodata files contain URLs of type media:// which yum can't handle. You can use the loopback-mounted DVD for the initial upgrade from FC5 -> FC6, just not thereafter. After removing the baseurl=file:/// option from your fedora-core.repo file, remember to yum clean all.

Fedora Core 4 -> Fedora Core 5

  • Before upgrading update your kernel first.
  • Make sure you have the latest kernel ABOVE 2.6.14 and uninstall all kernel versions before it, otherwise initscripts and a few other packages will conflict and prevent the ugprade. Use something like the command below
  • Install fedora-release in the Fedora Core 5 version. Check our mirror sites for a faster download.
  • Update your system
  • After upgrading, selinux permissions may be incorrect, causing interesting failures such as metacity not starting. As suggested below, to fix this, run touch /.autorelabel and reboot

Fedora Core 3 -> Fedora Core 4

  • make sure you're on the latest version of yum for FC3:

yum update yum

  • Download fedora-release for FC4:
  • wget http://yourmirrorhere/pub/fedora/linux/core/4/$yourarch/os/Fedora/RPMS/fedora-release-4-2.noarch.rpm
  • rpm -Uvh /path/to/fedora-release-4-2.noarch.rpm
  • yum update ( This will start the upgradation process to FC4)
  • Once you have updated, run: yum groupinstall "GNOME Desktop Environment" (change GNOME to KDE if appropriate). That'll get you some new packages that were added in FC4 like Evince and NetworkManager.
  • Some new groups were added - yum grouplist - check out Eclipse and Java Development in particular.


  • Postgres database in FC4 has a newer incompatible format from the previous versions. Manual dump and restoration is required if you using this database. Look at the postgres documentation for more details on this.
  • kernel requires kernel-utils (or vice-versa) run:
yum update kernel
yum remove kernel-2.6.11\*FC3\*
yum upgrade
  • Takes forever and a day and hangs at:

Reading repository metadata in from local files This means you have too much crap in your rpmdb and it's taking a while to go through it. Check out how many kernels you have installed: rpm -q kernel kernel-smp and remove the old ones you may also try running: rpm --rebuilddb and see if it helps any. I've found that removing old kernels and rebuilding the rpmdb helped this problem.

  • x86_64 upgrade requires removal of certain i386 packages before update
yum remove perl.i386
TODO: Add list of bonobo i386 packages to remove here
  • Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package koffice

koffice was removed from Fedora Core and not moved to extras - so there's no way to complete an upgrade to FC4 without removing it. run:

yum remove koffice

then your update should complete.

  • x86_64 systems seems to hang during "Running Transaction Test"

Seems related to Bug 155730 -- Maybe a update to the "rpm-4.3.3-3.0.fc3" (currently in updates-testing) might solve this. Ugly workaround (to be done as root):

: > /var/log/lastlog
  • GPG check fails with this message :
warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID db42a60e
public key not available for <some_package>
Retrieving GPG key from file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora

The GPG key at file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora (0x4F2A6FD2)
is already installed but is not the correct key for this package.
Check that this is the correct key for the "Fedora Core 4 - i386 - Base" repository.

Edit /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora.repo and replace the line



  • SELinux gets messed up. I had to redownload the selinux-policy-targeted RPM from my mirror, do a forced uninstall of the old package, clean out the .rpmnew and .rpmsave files then install the new policy. Then I had to run "/sbin/fixfiles relabel" and wait. If I didn't do that, I found I couldn't log in.
  • If SELinux does give you problems, it can be disabled on bootup by pressing "a" on the grub bootup menu, then adding "enforcing=off" to the arguments list.
  • RPM complains about missing diskspace, but there is a lot free. If you are really sure your diskspace is enough, set
</code> in <code>/etc/yum.conf</code>.
The RPM transaction will need a lot of diskspace temporarily (much more than one might think), so be careful.
Don't forget to remove that later after the upgrade.

* Yum complains about files conflicting in the GCC package.  This system was upgraded from Fedora Core 1.  Remove the gcc32 package:
sudo rpm -e gcc32
  • Some of your modules don't load after the upgrade. When you investigate modprobe doesn't work as expected. Run depmod:
sudo depmod -ae -F /boot/[your <code>uname -a</code> kernel version here] 
  • Yum has been reported to be hanging after upgrading. Updating the pysqlite package might fix it.

Fedora Core 2 -> Fedora Core 3

Go here for most of this info:

Fedora Core 1 -> Fedora Core 2

Just Upgrade using anaconda - save yourself a world of pain. But if you really want to try, there's these hints by Seth Vidal: