March 2006 Archives

MS150 Update and THANKS

Two entries ago, I wrote about and asked for donations for the MS150. Last night, I surpassed my goal of $200. Please accept my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have contributed to the cause of Multiple Sclerosis. It is a worthy cause and many of you have been extremely generous in giving. THANK YOU!Plus, now that I'm thinking of raising my goal, you can still feel free to donate (and know that the money goes straight to the MS Society, not me) by clicking here:
i_sponsor_me.gifThanks again.

Upgrading FC4 to FC5

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I think it was Monday when the new Fedora Core 5 (FC5) came out. For those who aren't familiar with Fedora Core, you can read about it here. It's basically an open Linux distribution that usually has a lot of the latest technologies. Anyway, I've been running FC4 and wanted to go to FC5. For kicks, I thought I'd try just doing a software upgrade through yum (yum is RedHat's online package update tool). I usually do not do "upgrades" when I upgrade because you're left with old files, rather I generally wipe clean and reinstall. But agin, I wanted to see what happened. I first tried a simple yum upgrade. That didn't do much - just pretty much did what a yum update does - update existing packages in your existing distribution version. So, I went to the all-knowing oracle called Google. I found and then tried to follow this page. I installed the release package for FC5, and did another yum upgrade. It didn't really do anything but print out some standard messages about sources and said there were no packages to change. Or so I thought. I looked closer and saw there was a problem connecting to one source. That usually shouldn't stop things, but I went and moved that source to a different directory. Then I tried the upgrade again. This time it didn't give errors about connecting to sources, but still said there were no packages to update. Or so I thought. Looking a couple more times, I saw that it was saying there were multiple sources for an "upgrades" keyword, or something like that, although they looked fairly benign. I'll mention here that I had several external sources besides the standard Fedora ones in order to get some other packages. I moved all of these to my backup directory and then tried the yum upgrade yet again. I looked close this time and there were no errors, for real. But there were also no packages to update. That couldn't be right I thought, so I started reading more about yum. I learned there was a way to clean it's cache. I tried that, but no change. I tried a couple other "clean" arguments, but still no luck, until I tried yum clean all. When I did the yum upgrade after this, It started finding thousands of packages to update.This took a long while - downloading headers for new packages and then resolving dependencies on them. Turned out at the end it complained about conflicts with packages initscripts, kudzu (conflict with a kernel), and xine (conflict with something else). I got around the xine problem by just uninstalling it, but it wasn't so simple with the other two. I tried numerous things, including the hint from the page above to go to the latest FC4 kernel. Problem was, I was already there - running a 2.6.15 kernel. Basically, one of the packages was complaining about a conflict with kernel < 2.6.13 and the other about a conflict with kernel <2.6.12. I tried manually downloading and forcing the install of those two packages, but that still didn't work. I tried some other things, and then received an epiphany. There were a number of old kernels installed on my machine and it turned out these were the ones causing the problem. I did a yum remove ... on all my old kernels and voila! the dependencies were resolved and it started to download some 1700 packages at just under 1GB. I let it go for a while, but then noticed it hung after installing package 156 (which happened to be grep). I let it sit for a while but it became clear it wasn't doing anything and wouldn't respond to ^C or ^\ either. So I killed it. Dead. Yes, Linux gives you some evil powers (hehe). Anyway, I restarted and let it run through the night. In the morning, it had completed and I rebooted.When it came up, it only came up to a text console and not the default graphical. I did a startx and X started, but just gave me a blank blue screen - no session. I played around and found out it had set my default init level to 3 but couldn't find out why it was failing on creating a session. I tried on multiple users: same problem. Logs said it couldn't run the Xsession binary, but I could run it manually (and get a blank screen again). Then I got curious and found out I couldn't ping anyone - not even localhost. That means somethings typically whacked. Long story short(er), I found out selinux was causing the problem and I disabled it in /etc/sysconfig/selinux and rebooted. Problem solved!

It looks like these are common problems and there is now a Fedora wiki that lists these exact two problems, along with a fix for the latter one.


It's been a long time. In fact it feels like it's been longer than the 3 weeks since I last posted. But anyway, I wanted to mention the MS150. This is a 100 mile bike ride I was persuaded to ride in on June 24th. I've now become more exited about it, and that means I need to beg. You see, this is a charity ride and I have to raise at least $200 to do the ride. I signed up yesterday, and as of this point, I'm 1/8 of the way there, thanks to a guy a work. While I won't go into details, I'm intimately connected with MS, or Multiple Sclerosis, which can be a crippling and debilitating disease. Unlike such scourges as AIDS, MS appears to be unpreventable, but doesn't get all the attention for research grants. All the money raised for this ride goes to the MS Society of Utah to help with research and the care of those with MS. So I need your help! Any donation would be very welcome, and if you're wondering where to donate, you can visit my page here and click on the "Sponsor Me" image in the upper right or just click here:

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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