Fedora Upgrade – Fedora 17 to Fedora 18

I use Fedoras built-in virtual machine facility. This uses KVM and QEMU. I’m not sure about all the specifics of the virtual machine engine. I know it works very well for my purposes though. My purposes are simply to test out new operating systems and new features of operating systems. To do this my base system is fedora running on a 4 core AMD system with 16GB or ram on an ASUS motherboard. I would not recommend anything less then 8GB and 4 CPU’s and eventually you will want 16GB. More is  better. That’s why it’s called Moores law and why Moore has two “o’s”. {insert cricket sound here}. Ok….moving right along then…..

The VM I am using has a 15GB disk slice and currently has 4.5 G of available space. Apparently I need to do some clean up or extend the disk space.




If you are new to creating a VM’s, check out this page. It might help.


I use the virtual machine manager that come with fedora. But it is incomplete and you have to know how to use the command line to do some things.

Upgrade the vm to fedora 17 if you have not already done so. I used an ISO image. Boot the VM off the ISO image and choose the install/upgrade option. After the upgrade to 17 you can begin your upgrade to fedora 18.

# yum update rpm 
# yum -y update

if necessary

# use yum -y --skip-broken update 
Once all the packages are updated and yum update returns with the 
“no packages to update” message.

# reboot

Note: Don’t try to delete a snapshot at the same time you are installing a new kernel. The following did not seem to hurt anything, but it was kind of scary while I waited for the kernel to finish updating.

Installing : kernel-3.8.4-102.fc17.x86_64
kernel:[ 595.413141] BUG: soft lockup - CPU#0 stuck for 51s! [sshd:1291]

You might get this error too. Apparently it is benign and may be referring to an empty grub.conf file.

grubby fatal error: unable to find a suitable template

Resolve any broken dependencies. I had to do “yum erase compiz” and then “yum install compiz”. YMMV.

Install the fedup program. I used the instructions at

 fedoraproject.org How_Can_I_Upgrade_My_System_with_FedUp

# Be sure to get the latest release, this may involve enabling updates-testing (in the command line)

# yum --enablerepo=updates-testing install fedup
# yum clean all

Now once all the packages are there, don’t upgrade until you get a snapshot of your system. This makes rolling back a “snap”.

Powerdown the vm and create a snapshot. You can name your snapshot anything you want. I used the kernel name. Make sure it is all one word. Don’t use spaces in the name.

# powerdown

The following just prints out the xml file.

# virsh snapshot-create-as  fedora_myhostname --print-xml kernel-3.8.4-102.fc17.x86_64 "fc17-patched"

The following actually makes the snapshot.

virsh snapshot-create-as  fedora_myhostname  kernel-3.8.4-102.fc17.x86_64 "fc17-patched"

Network method – This is the recommended method and the one that I used. It worked over an ADSL connection and was pretty fast. You really don’t need the sudo command if you are already root..

# sudo fedup-cli --network 18 --debuglog fedupdebug.log

and then it begins ….

setting up repos... 
default-installrepo/metalink | 20 kB 00:00 
default-installrepo | 3.7 kB 00:00 
default-installrepo/primary_db | 2.8 MB 00:10 
fedora/18/x86_64 | 4.2 kB 00:00 
fedora/primary_db | 17 MB 00:39 
updates/18/x86_64/metalink | 14 kB 00:00 
updates/18/x86_64 | 4.6 kB 00:00 
updates/primary_db | 8.3 MB 00:26 
getting boot images... 
.treeinfo | 1.1 kB 00:00 
vmlinuz-fedup | 4.6 MB 00:17 
initramfs-fedup.img | 26 MB 01:27 
setting up update... 
default-installrepo/group | 859 kB 00:02 
fedora/group | 1.5 MB 00:06 
updates/group | 1.5 MB 00:08 
default-installrepo/filelists_db | 3.4 MB 00:13 
fedora/filelists_db | 25 MB 01:00 
updates/filelists_db | 12 MB 00:49 
finding updates 100% [============================================================================================================] 
(2/1624): ConsoleKit-0.4.5-3.fc18.x86_64.rpm | 97 kB 00:00

Then I got this, so close…..

(806/807): boost-filesystem-1.50.0-5.fc18.x86_64.rpm | 62 kB 00:00 
Downloading failed: Errors were encountered while downloading packages. 
gnome-mag-0.16.2-5.fc18.x86_64: [Errno 256] No more mirrors to try.

Just try again:

[root@dumbo ~]# sudo fedup-cli --network 18 --debuglog fedupdebug.log 
setting up repos... 
getting boot images... 
.treeinfo | 1.1 kB 00:00 
setting up update... 
finding updates 100% [============================================================================================================] 
verify local files 100% [=========================================================================================================] 
gnome-mag-0.16.2-5.fc18.x86_64.rpm | 189 kB 00:03 
warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 Signature, key ID de7f38bd: NOKEY 
testing upgrade transaction 
rpm transaction 100% [============================================================================================================] 
rpm install 100% [================================================================================================================] 
setting up system for upgrade 
Finished. Reboot to start upgrade.

Apparently the warning message refers to a package that is not signed correctly. You can do some research on  this. This does not effect the upgrade. Although an incorrectly signed package is a little disconcerting. You can start here if you like:

rpmfusion-free-release-16-1 key problem

Ok! Lets reboot.

# reboot

When the VM returns you get a new option in the grub list on the console: (system upgrade (fedup) )

Choose the upgrade option and you get some yellow warning message about kernel options being deprecated.  It hangs for a couple of seconds and then I pressed the alt key or some other key and it started. I don’t know if that was coincidence or not. On my second VM upgrade it just hung for a while until I clicked the down arrow key. That make sense because that the arrow key get you out of the graphical  progress meeter when you are starting up fedora and allows you to see the actual text start-up messages. So I must have hit an arrow key on the first one and did not realize it. When I displayed it was already around 1000 of 1740 packages to install. so progress was being made…I just could not see it. It’s a bug in the installation. It may only be specific to a VM. I’ll find out when I upgrade my hardware.

Time passes, the console will show that the upgrade is occurring and list each package being upgraded. After awhile it was finished and I had a brand new fedora 18 installation.

I tried the upgrade first using the CD-ROM method, because in the past that has been very dependable and I was not subject to vagaries of the network and I did not need to have a lot of disk space on my VM. But Something went horribly wrong and rather then even try to figure it out I reverted to a snapshot. I then tried the network method and had little to no problems.

Here is a quick reference of some Virtual Machine commands. The man page is pretty good and you should start there if you are unfamiliar with the virtual machine set up on Fedora.

virsh list --all

I would shut down the system just to be sure.

virsh snapshot-create domain
virsh snapshot-create-as  fedora_myhostname --print-xml your-snapshot-name
virsh snapshot-create-as  fedora_myhostname  your-snapshot-name "your snapshot description"

virsh snapshot-list domain

virsh snapshot-current domainvirsh 
virsh snapshot-list domain --parent
virsh snapshot-revert domain snapshot
virsh snapshot-delete domain snapshot

virsh snapshot-dumpxml domain your-snapshot-name | less

Leave a Comment