Friday, January 18, 2008

Rawhide eats babies - Film at 11

So since moving into the new store, I haven't been doing as much Fedora work as I'd like (or need to). I thought I might kick myself in gear a little if I tried actually running rawhide on my personal desktop.

As an aside, I should note that the box in question has been hand-upgraded since Slackware 2.0 in July of 1994 when it was a 386SX/16. Sometime in 1995 or 1996, I converted the box from a.out to ELF by hand. Then a few months later I installed rpm so I could install some interesting applications that were available in Red Hat Linux. (By this point I was running RHL on all of my newer systems.) At some point, I converted my initscripts over to RHL-style SysVinit and ran almost entirely RHL packages. I never ran the installer for upgrades (doing upgrades by hand with rpm at first, with apt later) until I upgraded from FC1/i386 to FC3/x86_64. Since then, all my upgrades have been done with yum. (Oh, and the box that started life as a 386SX/16 is now a dual dual-core Opteron 265. I think it is on its 8th motherboard. I'm about due for the 9th, but that's another story...)

So, anyway, I was running Fedora 8, fully updated, so I tried just doing "yum --enablerepo=*development update" (the "*" so I'd get livna too). That didn't work for some reason I don't remember now, so I thought I'd try breaking up the upgrade into smaller, more managable chunks. I started by doing "yum --enablerepo=*development update yum* rpm*". That didn't exactly work.

At least rpm still worked. I manually updated apt. It was working fine for a little while (although dist-upgrade wouldn't quite work due to some confusion between packages being renamed/replaced, multilib weirdness, etc.) but then when I finally came up with a small transaction for it to run (hoping to get yum working again by upgrading python and a few other things), it complained about size mismatch on some packages on my local mirror. After holding some of them to try to get around the problem, all of a sudden apt-get would hang on any command and suck 100% of the CPU.

So, understandably a bit frustrated at this point, I decided to try smart out. The GUI crashed repeatedly. It filled up /var copying repodata off my NFS-mounted mirror. When I finally got around all that, it had the same problems "apt-get dist-upgrade" did.

So I gave up on smart and decided to try to get yum working. Obviously there was just a missing dependency somewhere, probably just on the newer python in rawhide, but unfortunately the newer python required a newer openssl, which means upgrading just about everything. So after cleaning up a bunch of unnecessary i386 packages, I cheated and installed the newer python, openssl, and a few other things with "rpm -Uvh --nodeps". (Note: Don't try this at home. I'm a professional.) Guess what? After all that yum blew up with the same error as before.

So back to apt. I uninstalled apt entirely, moved my /etc/apt/ out of the way, and reinstalled apt. I recreated the bare minimum configuration that I needed. After that, apt-get worked again! (Something finally worked right!) I did a "apt-get -f install", which sucked in most of the packages from rawhide, and it worked! And yum even worked! Next, I tried "apt-get upgrade". That worked, although it held back a lot of packages. When I tried "apt-get dist-upgrade", I started getting size mismatch errors again.

So I went back to yum. A yum update got me completely upgraded. Time to actually start testing...

I restarted X. Well, I tried to restart X. Guess what? The nvidia binary driver doesn't play nice with the newer Xorg server. So I tried nv and nouveau. Neither would drive my second monitor. (I run a dual-DVI 7800GT.) So I went back to the nvidia binary driver and downgraded X to the Fedora 8 version. Luckily, that actually worked.

I have a whole list of things that are messed up in KDE 4(.0.0, as I'm sure every KDE fan including myself would be quick to point out). In no particular order:
  • In general, things (panel, desktop stuff) aren't Xinerama-aware.
  • The panel won't auto-hide, resize, or otherwise not be in the foreground.
  • The Oxygen kwin theme doesn't seem to be configurable. It's nice and all, but the window borders are way too wide, and I'd really like a color change in the title bar or something else really obvious to let me know which window has the focus. That, or somebody needs to implement focus-follows-eyes.
  • Desktop effects don't work for me. I'm still trying to figure this one out. (Could be related to this. I'm still using version 100.14.19 of the nvidia driver from livna. The 169.07 driver made etqw crash.)
In other news, Firefox (or, as it refers to itself, Minefield) looks nice. It seems to run really well in fact. Unfortunately, the only extension I use that has been updated for Firefox 3 is Flashblock. Ironically, the flash plugin isn't actually working though. (In the process of upgrading, I ditched 32-bit Firefox for the 64-bit Firefox though, so I might just need to work a little to get nspluginwrapper working. At least I hope that's all it is...) (UPDATE: The applix-libs package installed in 1998 was mistakenly providing,,, and various other things it shouldn't have. Apparently I had removed the correct versions while upgrading. Reinstalling those libraries made flash work again.)

On another positive note, I ran (package naming guidelines-violating) not-quite-2.4.0 briefly to look at a resume someone sent me, and it looked nice and ran fast, so no complaints there.

Oh, and etqw hangs after a while, but it started doing that on Fedora 8 + updates a couple of weeks ago, so I expected that. (It crashed entirely with 169.07. Backing off just the nvidia update made it only hang. Good thing I still have an un-updated laptop I can run the game on... :-)


KillerKiwi said...

Is that a Seafort reference Innifo?

Unknown said...

Can you clarify something for me? I'm really fascinated by what you're saying in this post. Are you actually saying that what is now Fedora 9 Alpha was once Slackware 2.0? Not once reinstalled over the years but purely fixed and upgraded? Same with the hardware: is the hard drive the same one it started out with but everything else has been upgraded or what?

If you really moved from Slackware 2.0 to Fedora 9 Alpha over the course of 13/14 years without reinstalling the OS, I am in awe of you and I commend you. You are awesome :-P.


Gideon Mayhak

Steven Pritchard said...

That's right, not one re-install in 13.5 years and counting.

The hard drives have been changed out 7 or 8 times. I used to do something like "tar cf - | tar -C /new xvf -" to move from one drive to another. More recently, I've been using rsync.

I think I've been through something like 6 cases, 8 motherboards, 9 video cards, 3 sound cards (I had a GUS for a long time), at least 10 optical drives, etc., etc.

Unknown said...

That is awesome! You, sir, are an inspiration ;-).


Gideon Mayhak