Upgrading Fedora 17 to 18 with FedUp is elegant, but …

Now that Fedora 18, aka Spherical Cow, has been released, users of Fedora 17 will likely be gearing up to upgrade. Before this latest release, upgrading an installation of Fedora requires a procedure that’s not very elegant.

With Fedora 18, the recommended upgrade tool is called FedUp (FEDora UPgrader). It is, by design, a lot more elegant than what it replaced, but how well or error-free it works is another matter. Bear in mind that it is not recommended for upgrading versions of Fedora earlier than Fedora 17, so if you are still running Fedora 16 or earlier, FedUp is not what you want to use.

After reading the official Fedup documentation, I decided to give it a try just to see if it will work as advertised. The process goes like this:

A. Update the system you want to upgrade. And to make sure that you are running on the latest kernel for your installation, reboot.

B. Install and run the FedUp client (it is not installed by default). The client can be run by pointing it to a local ISO file, to a network source or to an optical drive or other mountable storage device. The network source is recommended.

C. Reboot and execute the upgrade.

Very simple, so I followed the script and started by running:

1. yum update. Rebooted.

2. Installed FedUp with yum install fedup.

3. Ran fedup-cli – -network 18 – -debuglog fedupdebug.log. Checking the log file after the command had completed showed no errors, so I was happy. Rebooted.

Note. Before I ran the above command, I tried pointing FedUp to a local ISO file, but that failed. I didn’t bother to troubleshoot anything, so I moved on to the recommended option.

4. At the boot menu, I selected System Upgrade (fedup) and let the upgrade run.
Upgrade Fedora 17 to 18 FedUp

This just shows part of the terminal as the upgrade progressed.
FedUp client running

I went to bed after I decided that I was not going to be able to wait for the upgrade to complete. I awoke a few hours later to find the login screen waiting for me. Did the upgrade work as advertised? To a point. Everything seemed to work except logging into the system. Every attempt to log in gave the error shown in the screen shot below.
 Fedora 18 FedUp ksmserver error

I logged into the console, tried a few things, but nothing worked. Actually, the above error was taken care of, but the login screen crashed at every login attempt. This screen shot shows one of the errors I got in the process of trying to fix the issue.
Fedora 18 FedUp Display not set error

This looks like one of those issues that’s going to take a lot more time that I have to spend on it. I will revisit it first thing tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m filing a bug report and also hoping that another person will find a fix by the time I get around to it.

In spite of this, how do I rate FedUp? Elegant.

So I finally got around to this. Since I could not even get past the login screen, and selecting Console Login from the login Menu fails, I followed this process to get to a console:

1. From the login Menu, I selected Remote Login.
Fedora 18 KDE Login

2. Then selected Console Login from this window’s menu. Don’t ask me why Console Login would work here but not from the main login screen, because I don’t know.
Fedora 18 Remote Login

3. Clicked OK here.
Fedora 18 KDE Console Prompt

4. Here, I used the Alt and F2 keyboard combination to get to a console login.
Fedora 18 KDE Console

Once I logged into the system, typed, as root, yum -y distro-sync. The command completed after a few minutes. Then I followed that up with yum update, but the system reported that there was nothing left to update. That was expected, so I rebooted and was able to login.

That’s my experience with FedUp. It’s definitely better than the old method of upgrading.

Please share:

We Recommend These Services

Register now for Big Data & AI Conference, international Big Data and AI conference in Dallas, TX (USA), June 27 - 29, 2019

Reasons to use control panel for your server

Register for the End-to-end Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Platform workshop. It will be conducted by the manager of Google's Cloud AI Advocacy team

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).


  1. Just did a 2 stage upgrade: first from 16 to 17 using preupgrade and then stepped up to 18 using fedup. Pretty smooth overall, but then I am using xfce which is fairly minimal.

  2. Michael Jordan

    I did the upgrade from F17 to F18. I am having one issue. The dbus server is crashing. I am able to log into kde, but plasma crashes and I just have a blank screen. I hit alt-F2 and run a console, then restart the dbus server with ‘service dbus restart’. Then I log out and log back in and everything is golden.

    I tried cleaning out tmp and obliterating my ~/.kde directory, but no joy so far.

  3. I gave it a try on the update. NO problems.
    I ran the process to remove orphan packages first.
    I had no need for the ‘yum -y distro-sync’ operation.
    It updated and booted to KDE with no issues at all!
    Now, the only issue is what to do with the other computer still running Fedora 16. Upgrades to 17 did not work. Fedup only works on 17 to 18. About they only way to try 18 would be fresh install.
    I guess I’ll back it up, download a DVD, and try it once, but one crash and burn and it is going over to Kubuntu.

  4. That is a good name for the tool because that just about sums it up! My desktop went to 17 with loads of problems to work through. My wife’s machine died on every try of 17 and I just stayed at 16. My laptop got a larger drive and I never could get 17 to run again. I went to Kubuntu 12.04 on the laptop. I see the 16 machine has to go to 17 to Fedup to 18. I look at the steps to get my Fedora 17 KDE setup running and I think I’m to the point where I am fed up! The Fedora 16 machine is going to Ubuntu and when I get that running, this Fedora 17 machine is going over. I have used Redhat for many, many years, but this is a joke. I run VM’s of Ubuntu 12.04 at work and those things never have this pile of junk update problems. Sometimes I just need to get work done on these machines without all this fooling around trying to make it boot and run. Fedora updates used to go perfect. Somewhere after about 15 things started to slide downhill. This looks like they landed with a thud. Fedup? you bet I am!

  5. Yes, you got that right! I was FedUp with Fedora 17. I do not see why anyone would want to us a Operating System that does not come with a good selection of apps. I found Ubuntu to be so much further ahead than Fedora with a better selection. I personally think Fedora is releasing new versions too often and need to focus more on supporting their releases longer and spending more time on improving the releases that they have. This is and has been a major problem with Linux for many years.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *