How To Upgrade To Fedora Core 3, Part 1 - InformationWeek

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How To Upgrade To Fedora Core 3, Part 1

Here's the latest on upgrading Linux systems while enabling them to run Windows applications.

This Recipe is a sequel to Teach Linux to do Windows, Part 1 and Part 2, in which I described how to build a Linux workstation, based on Fedora Core 2 (FC2), that could run Windows legacy software as well as Linux via W9.x running in the Win4Lin virtual environment.

I have revisited the topic because a user who does installations and upgrades is likely to have problems; FC2 is that out-of-date. So if you want to run Win4Lin with Fedora Core 3 or 4, these instructions should work for you. You'll simply do an installation instead of an upgrade, and you won't have to worry about previously installed applications breaking. Note: The patch for FC5 is not available yet.

The good news is, anyone running a Linux FC2-based appliance installation—as described in my earlier Recipes, Building a Linux Appliance, Part 1, and Part 2—probably has no compelling need for the upgrade.

Like some other Open Source distributions, the Fedora Core upgrade cycle is only a few months out. So staying on top of this isn't like trying to keep up with the comparatively leisurely pace of Windows.

Red Hat's Fedora Core Linux desktop distribution has recently been upgraded to version 3, or FC3 for short. The FC2 to FC3 upgrade is basically the equivalent of going from Windows 95 to Windows 98SE, not from Win98 to Win2000. In other words, this is an incremental upgrade, not a radical change. Having said that, FC3's new features include an upgraded GNOME/KDE windows managers, a compiler upgrade, larger pool of drivers, and the Evolution 2.0 mail client.

That may not sound like much, so why bother to upgrade? For starters, Fedora Core 2 was legacy long ago. It's basically on life support via the Fedora Legacy project. New applications won't support FC2, and updates will be spotty at best. Personally, I've had continuing problems caused by my attempt to get a Palm PDA running with Linux. I was getting hundreds of iterations of an error message that occasionally interfered with an orderly shutdown.

Plus, I don't think we'll see a radical change in Linux desktop capability until at least Fedora Core 8 or so, when Xen/Windows emulation should be available on enhanced CPUs. I'm hoping that by then, GUI installers can be used by Windows power users—that is, people who install their own OS and apps instead of asking friends, relatives or tech support to do it for them—without external support.

If you're up for the challenge, be aware that it took me roughly 12 days to upgrade to Fedora Core 3, install the Win4Lin-enabled kernel, install Win4Lin, and clean up the mess afterwards. With this Recipe helping you, the same job should take you only about two days. Much of that, you can spend away from the computer while the system does what you've told it to do.

Win4Lin, if you don't know, is a virtual machine environment running on Linux that makes it possible to run a Windows session in a Linux window. Win4Lin works well enough to run the majority of Windows applications with far more stability than Windows running in native mode on the same computer.

Finally, the Fedora Core Project has made Fedora Core 4 legacy, and there is even a FC5 now available. But for me, the major consideration with respect to upgrading is downtime. I considered upgrading directly to FC4. But I didn't, because the bigger the jump between versions, the more problems can be expected. Since I'm upgrading my workhorse workstation, I had to keep downtime to an absolute minimum. Sound familiar?

If you're feeling more adventurous, what's here should also work on FC4. But the price could well be a greater number of broken applications, which you'll have to fix. As for FC5, my recommendation is that you forget about it for now, as a working patch to make the kernel Win4Lin 9.x-compatible is currently unavailable.

FC3 Installation

Before you begin the installation, it's important to do a complete image backup. Actually, you should do such a backup before you start any major OS change—no matter which one you're upgrading from or to.

For backup purposes, I recommend using the either the rsync (mirror drive) or dar (C/DVD archive) scripts you can find in my older TechBuilder Recipe: Cloning a Linux Hard Drive. When you write your user/data files back—which you'll have to do if your files are in the Win4Lin /home/username/win tree—copy them back using rsync (mirror drive) or dar if you've one backed up to DVD-Rs. If you're using a mirror drive, simply mount it and rsync /home/username/win back to the drive.

Below, I've provided a revised version of the rsync script, slightly rewritten to add top-level directories that don't exist in FC2—and which have been added to FC3. These directories have been added to the script below. Note: My drive setup is probably different from yours. On my system, hda is the windows drive; hdb is the Linux drive I actually boot from; hdc is a DVD burner; and hdd is the backup drive. Change the script to match your system before running it. Finally, note that in this context, a line starting with # means "comment line, computer must not read as part of program script." The comments add context for the user who might want to do different things with the script than I did.

echo "Mounting backup drive."
mount -t ext3 /dev/hdd2 /mnt/linux_backup
#change ext3 to match the backup drive filesystem
#if not ext3 
#change /dev/hdd2 to match your actual backup drive
#/ partition assignment if different
#change /mnt/linux_backup to match your actual mount
#point (directory)
#delete or comment out mount line above if backup drive
#permanently mounted.
echo "Executing incremental backup script"
echo "copy java symlink"
cp / /mnt/linux_backup/
echo "Backing up /bin"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /bin/ /mnt/linux_backup/bin/
echo "Backing up /dev"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /dev/ /mnt/linux_backup/dev/
echo "Backing up /etc"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /etc/ /mnt/linux_backup/etc/
echo "Backing up /home"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /home/ /mnt/linux_backup/home/
echo "Backing up /initrd"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /initrd/ /mnt/linux_backup/initrd/
echo "Backing up /lost+found"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /lost+found/ /mnt/linux_backup/lost+found/
echo "Backing up /lib"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /lib/ /mnt/linux_backup/lib/
echo "Backing up /misc"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /misc/ /mnt/linux_backup/misc/
echo "do not back up /mnt"
echo "Backing up /media"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /opt/ /mnt/linux_backup/media/
echo "do NOT back up /proc"
echo "Backing up /root"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /root/ /mnt/linux_backup/root/
echo "Backing up /sbin"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /sbin/ /mnt/linux_backup/sbin/
echo "Backing up /selinux"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /selinux/ /mnt/linux_backup/selinux/
echo "Backing up /srv"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /srv/ /mnt/linux_backup/srv/
echo "Backing up /sys"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /sys/ /mnt/linux_backup/sys/
echo "Backing up /udev"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /udev/ /mnt/linux_backup/udev/
echo "Backing up /usr"
rsync -aHlv --exclude *.dar --delete-after --progress /usr/ /mnt/linux_backup/usr/
echo "Backing up /var"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /var/ /mnt/linux_backup/var/
echo "Backing up /win4lin-data"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /win4lin-data/ /mnt/linux_backup/win4lin-data/
#e2fsck /dev/hdb2
#the -c, (--checksum) option provides better security, but takes
#several times as much time to run - recommended if the mirror drive
#is your ONLY backup or if you don't have a lot to back up. 
#see rsync man file for more information (type man rsync from the
#command line    
# remember to add /mnt/temp /mnt/temp1 /mnt/temp2 if bare metal restore
echo "mounting /boot partition"
mount -t ext3 /dev/hdb1 /mnt/temp 
mount -t ext3 /dev/hdd1 /mnt/temp1
echo "backing up /boot partition"
rsync -aHlv --delete-after --progress /mnt/temp/* /mnt/temp1 
umount /dev/hdb1
umount /dev/hdd1
echo "backup complete"

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