The stickyness of Fedora 8 (despite my better intentions)

May 28, 2011

Pete Zaitcev:

[...] - I wanted to bash CKS for [still running] Fedora EIGHT, but then my wife has *XP* on netbook...

Yes, it's true, I'm still running Fedora 8 on my home machine. It's clearly reaching the edges of viability; I live in fear of the day when some sufficiently important precompiled binary package stops working because it needs, eg, a more recent version of the core C++ ABI.

(This has happened with both Firefox 4 and Google Chrome for exactly that reason. Fortunately they are not quite sufficiently important.)

I'd like to say that I have good reasons for staying on Fedora 8, but the truth is that it has just been too much work when the existing solution limps along (and I've had distractions). In the best case I'm looking at a solid day's work to put my machine back together, and I always have something better to do with that time. I'd like to be upgraded, but I dread going through the process of upgrading.

In theory the rational thing to do at this point is to buy a modern machine where all the pieces actually work (however annoying that is), install the current Fedora on it, and copy over all of my data (although this still leaves the work of reapplying all of my machine customizations, which is not something that I'm really looking forward to). In practice, one of the issues is that my Fedora install is a very old one and is thus carrying around a number of old shared library RPMs that aren't in any modern Fedora. I was going to say that I wasn't looking forward to finding out what programs required them and then where I could find the ancient RPMs, but it turns out that I think I have local copies of everything that might matter, and some of the other ancient RPMs are likely not functional any more anyways.

(For example, in news that will probably horrify Pete Zaitcev even more, I discovered that I had an RPM installed. This is the dynamic linker for libc5-based programs, and mine dates from 2000. While I do have a libc5-based binary or two still lying around, I don't have the actual shared library so those binaries can't have run for years. Whether they would run even with a is an open question; I suspect that the answer is 'no'.)

Of course, the next question is what customizations I've done to my home machine's setup. In theory as a wise sysadmin I should have nice notes and instructions. In practice, well, I was in a rush at the time, or at least that's my excuse. Next time for sure.

PS: in the original entry I talked about going straight from Fedora 8 to Fedora 13 via the Fedora 13 CD. As it turns out, that doesn't work; I believe that PreUpgrade is being entirely accurate when it told me that I could only go to Fedora 10. So that would be at least three full upgrade steps (8 to 10, 10 to 12, and then 12 to 14 followed sometime with a 14 to 15 upgrade via yum).

You know, that crazy upgrade scheme is looking more and more attractive all the time.

Written on 28 May 2011.
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Last modified: Sat May 28 00:19:14 2011
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