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

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6/23/2006
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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.

Obtaining Fedora Core 3

If you haven't done so already, I strongly recommend you get a DVD drive, preferably a burner. It's just another IDE drive, so simply replace your CD-ROM with it. Once you do, you can simply start the installation and then go do something else. The computer should be able to download and install the upgrade files unattended. Otherwise, you'll need to sit around waiting to change CDs.

You can buy a decent CD or DVD set with FC3 for roughly $10. Two good sources are Cheapbytes and xplinux. If you don't have anything faster than dialup access, buy a disk or find somebody willing to make a copy for you (legal, since FC3 is open source). With a faster broadband connection, you can download the CD or DVD isos from here and burn it as .iso files for a set of CDs—or for a single DVD iso. If you don't know how to burn C/DVD iso images, read this LinuxISO.org page first. It explains the various ways to burn isos to C/DVDs, including how to do it from Windows.

Once you've got FC3, I recommend an upgrade installation, not a fresh install/copy over. If you simply install the program and copy your old FC2 install back over it, configuration files that work with FC2 are very likely not to work with FC3.

Next, open your BIOS and tell your computer to boot from the CDROM drive. Then do the media check to make sure your installation media is okay, if you haven't already. Assuming the installation media passes, go on to the upgrade. Simply follow the on-screen instructions once you've booted, then go on to install. Choose upgrade mode.

Possibly, the installation may blow out at this prompt: "The following files are absolute symbolic links, which we do not support during upgrade. Please change them to relative symbolic links and restart upgrade

/usr/tmp
". If so, you'll have to set up a relative symbolic link between your nonexistent usr/tmp to var/tmp. Creating /usr/tmp doesn't help, and the ordinary
ln "s target symlink
method of creating a symlink doesn't work. (Note: A symlink, or "symbolic link," is a file that points to a file or directory somewhere else in the computer directory tree. For example, a symlink showing as /home/filename in the home directory can point to a file that's really at /home/username/win/filename. For more information, open a terminal and type in
$ man ln
where ln is the program that creates symlinks.) In other words, instead of doing this
ln -s /var/tmp /usr/tmp
you have to do this:
# cd /usr
# rm -f tmp
# ln -s ../var/tmp 

Why do FC2 and FC3 have a problem with a /usr/tmp directory which doesn't exist in an FC2 installation? I don't know. An evil leftover from FC1 or the Red Hat Linuxes, perhaps? Whatever the cause, this was the only actual problem I had with the installation part of the upgrade.

In fact, the FC3 installation was the easy part. The hardest part was getting a Win4Lin-enabled kernel working, mainly because there are preconfigured kernels that don't work out there. Unfortunately, I tried them first, under the delusion that they'd be easier to work with.

Since your upgrade will be based on your old configuration, you should be able to simply step through the installation screens and select the defaults. Having said that, be sure to take a look at each of the installation screens as they display during the installation process to make sure there are no surprises.

Once the installer starts pulling files off the DVD drive, go away for an hour. When you return, you should have the final installation screen up. Follow the instructions, and you're done. If you're installing from CD media, check your computer every 20 minutes or so to change discs.

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