Upgrading to Fedora 25

Every upgrade is a little easier, as my restore scripts get better. This was probably the easiest in more than a decade.

This earlier post describes how I put the persistent parts of the system onto btrfs subvolumes, so that on a new system I only need to symlink most of the stuff.

I created a usb stick, containing the resore script, a keyfile for the encrypted drive containing the btrfs subvolumes (the drive is encrypted), and the Nvidia driver installer (which I didn’t need). Halted the system, changed to a different boot ssd drive in the 2.5″ removable drawer, and installed onto it from the downloaded Fedora 25 installer.

This time I made the /boot partition much larger, so that I’m not having to clean up old kernels so often.

I also, experimentally, changed the connection to my big 4K monitor from displayport to hdmi. When I got this monitor I had seem some information suggesting that displayport was required, and have always used that. However, it has been the case for the last year or so that with this setup, the nouveau driver fails, and I have to use the Nvidia proprietary driver, which is a giant pain in the butt, because often I have to rebuild the driver when there are new kernels released. DKMS is supposed to take care of this, but I’ve never gotten that to happen. Plus nvidia taints the kernel. I’m not such a purist that I’d refuse to run a tainted kernel, but better if I can avoid it. I found after changing to hdmi that nouveau worked. Now it is also true that this was on F25, so it is possible that there were changes to nouveau and it isn’t the connection at all. I don’t care enough to experiment, I’m just glad to be back on nouveau.

(Update) I subsequently found out that by using HDMI I am actually limiting the refresh rate on the monitor to 30Hz, instead of 60Hz. It is curious to me that this hasn’t bothered me more, but I haven’t noticed it at all.

After F25 came up, I ran my restore script. It went quite well. The issues were:

  • In the list of software to reinstall, I had unrar, which isn’t in the standard repo, Had to move this to be loaded after rpm-fusion repo is installed;
  • the restore of users needs to be changed to copy /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow and /etc/group instead of rebuilding them. I also had a problem because I was using the -p option on useradd to restore passwords, but this is intended for encrypted passwords. An awk script now copies uids/gids > 1000 from passwd, shadow, group, and gshadow;
  • I had added some new shares on cinnamon, but hadn’t put them into the restore script rebuild of /etc/fstab;
  • I lost the configuration for the VPN. Fixed the script to copy over /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections;
  • I lost some dconf information, including the profile in the terminal app, and the larger mouse cursor. Fixed that in the script for next time;
  • Synergy wouldn’t work, because of the move from X to Wayland. I had to go back to X, because I really need synergy so I can share mouse and keyboard on the three computers. Nothing I can do about this in the script, just have to wait for Symless to fix Synergy;
  • The restore of certificates hadn’t been updated to reflect the new scheme I adopted for certificates and keys;
  • The apache active_sites.d had a bunch of extra stuff in it, owing to the fact that my rsync backup of /etc did not have a –del parameter, so the backup had old things which had been removed from the main site. I added –del to the backup script;
  • smb password information was lost, because I wasn’t restoring /var/lib/samba; I fixed this by adding a new btrfs volume for /var/lib/samba and symlinking it in;
  • the media download stuff described in this post was restored, but the services were not enabled;
  • trouble with mysqld, which I’ve described in a separate post. Also the enable was trying to enable maria rather than mysql;
  • restore script copied over conf.d files for apache, which copied the old php.conf from php 5, and apache couldn’t start php (now php 7). Need to follow my own instructions to check the conf.d changes.

So far that is all I have found. I’m up on F25 and life is good.