yum upgrade

Having a bit of spare time at work, I decided it was time to upgrade my Linux box to the latest version of my favorite distro: Fedora Core 9. KDE4 in FC9 holds a very slick and professional look whereas KDE3 on FC8 looked quite hobbyist.Rather than going the old proved way, I decided to try the yum upgrade method. By using yum upgrade, you don’t need to download an iso image, burn it and boot from the DVD. Instead you just let yum downloading all the new packages while you can continue working… at least for a while.
Everything starts by yum’installing the preupgrade package:

This is an handy GUI tool that helps you throughout the upgrading process. Just go through the wizard and let it download what it needs. Well apparently not everyone had such a smooth experience, if something fails you may want to look up how to do it manually.
Preupgrade ends its activity by changing the /boot/grub/menu.lst so that next boot will load the anaconda system configuration tool to perform the latest setups.
In my case it didn’t fully worked – I had to change manually the default property setting it to point to the preupgrade boot entry.
The next step has to be performed at the computer console, since it requires a reboot. You will go through the usual anaconda Linux setup, again follows the wizard path and pray your favorite divinity.
At the end of the configuration another wealth of bytes are downloaded from internet for quite a long time. During the download I got an error (likely I didn’t pray enough my favorite divinity) – the system was unable to found the kernel package. Luckily enough the system had the network configured and I could log in another console. At this point I looked for the specified file (kernel-2.6.25-14.fc9.i686.rpm) and downloaded it via wget.
To find where to put the rpm file, I just issued a system-wide:

And I put the kernel where most rpm files were. Then I got back to the GUI and hit the “Retry” button. Anaconda looked satisfied and continued to download stuff.
After downloading the universe and a couple of parallel ones, anaconda told me that it was configuring and it could take a couple of minutes. Likely because of the mass of the download some time warp occurred and anaconda kept crunching for a couple of hours of my biological time. Eventually it asked for rebooting the machine.
At the next reboot I got a black screen with a laconic grub prompt. Apparently all this procedure has something against the grub loader. Well, if it happens, it is not hard to get out – just use the tab key for completion of both commands and files. You have to set the kernel file, the root and eventually boot the system.

At this point you should be greeted with the standard FC9 boot sequence that ends in the login manager.
Everything’s fine? Well not quite. I switched to FC9 mainly for KDE4, so I was quite disappointed to find myself in gnome desktop environment.
After yum’installing the switchdesktop utility and run it, nothing happened. I had to manually create the file

with the single line:

Then, as root, I did:

Et voilà, the new system was, not only up and running, but tailored to my taste.

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