My latest crazy plan to upgrade my home Linux machine

February 17, 2011

My home Linux machine has a little problem in that it's still running Fedora 8 and I now really want to upgrade it. (I was quite enthused about Fedora 13, but I am now somewhat less enthused about Fedora 14.)

Now, I will admit that the real solution is to buy more or less all of a new machine to replace my now four and a half year old and slightly flaky hardware, install Fedora whatever on that hardware, take it home, and copy all of my data over. But, well, buying hardware for Linux is kind of a pain so I keep coming up with crazy upgrade plans so that I can avoid it.

The latest crazy plan relies on the twin facts that I have unused duplicate system partitions and that my home workstation is basically a clone of my office workstation in the first place. It goes like this:

  • buy a large hard drive in a USB enclosure; I need one for backups anyways.
  • dump my office workstation's system filesystems to the drive and take it home.

  • restore the office system filesystems to the unused system partitions. Since my office workstation is an up to date Fedora 14 system, this will give me the filesystems of an 'upgraded' system; it just won't have my home machine's customizations.

  • at my leisure, customize these filesystems to have the changes I need for my home machine.
  • when customization is complete, boot from the Fedora 14 filesystems instead of my existing Fedora 8 install. If it works, great, I'm done; if not, I can boot back into Fedora 8 and do more work.

This will give me a somewhat tangled machine, but it's not as if my current Fedora install is a beautiful clean thing; after all, it dates from 2006 and has been upgraded successively since then.

(I know that Fedora recommends reinstalling from scratch instead of upgrading, but I find that both infeasible and too annoying. If I was going to do that regularly, I would need a rather different system setup than I currently have.)

Written on 17 February 2011.
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Last modified: Thu Feb 17 00:59:44 2011
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