Fedora 14 -> Fedora 15 upgrade notes

By | July 7, 2011

For some reason lost in the mists of time, I decided at about 7am yesterday that I just had to upgrade my Fedora 14 desktop to Fedora 15. Sometimes I get these weird ideas…

I followed the instructions on the Fedora Web site for upgrading using yum, and 2,978 downloaded packages and several hours later, I had a Fedora 15 system. But the fun was only beginning. Here, for the benefit of others who follow me, are the problems I encountered after the upgrade and what I did to fix them. Much of this I learned from other helpful people on the web, but some of it I had to figure out for myself.

  • First and foremost, my network performance went totally to hell immediately after the upgrade. With the F14 kernel, I was getting about 7 megabit/s on my cable-modem connection, while after the upgrade, I was getting around 500 kilobit/s, i.e., 1/14th of the pre-upgrade speed. It appears to be a problem with kernel support for my network adapter, a Realtek RTL8168c/8111c NIC that uses the r8169 kernel driver. I filed a bug about it, and then went out today and bought a Netgear GA311 PCI network adapter (RTL8110s using the same r8169 kernel driver), which so far appears to be working just fine.
    Note that before I replaced the network adapter, I was able to improve network performance a bit by reducing the MTU on the ethernet device to 1000 (“sudo ifconfig eth0 mtu 1000”).
  • Grub no longer lets me hit ESC or any other key while it’s doing its boot countdown to bring up a menu of kernels to choose from. If I want to boot a different kernel, I have to edit /boot/grub/grub.conf and reboot. I still haven’t figured out how to fix this, but I did file a bug about it.
  • The files in my desktop folder weren’t showing up on my desktop. To address this I had to run gnome-tweak-tool (you may need to “yum install gnome-tweak-tool” if you don’t have it) and enable “Have file manager handle the desktop” in the “File Manager” settings panel. While I was at it, I made some other settings changes in gnome-tweak-tool:
    • I reduced the default fonts from 10pt to 11pt, since things got a little bigger after the upgrade and I wanted to fit more text on the screen.
    • I enabled “Show date in clock” in the “Shell” panel.
    • I changed “Arrangement of buttons on the titlebar on the “Shell” panel to “All” because I wanted maximize and minimize buttons in addition to the default close button.
  • I wanted the Delete key to delete files, but alas, the default Nautilus binding for deleting files changed from Delete to Ctrl-Delete in F15. I found these instructions for fixing this, but I had to tweak them slightly. In particular:
    • Run gconf-editor, not dconf-editor as the other web page suggests.
    • Find org > gnome > desktop > interface > can-change-accels and check the checkbox next to it.
    • Open a Nautilus window, e.g., double-click the “home” icon on your desktop. Note that it took me a while to figure out that you must do this in a window, i.e., you can’t do it by right-clicking on a file on the desktop. Yes, this is counter-intuitive.
    • Select a file in the Nautilus window.
    • Open on the File menu and move your mouse down to “Move to Trash”.
    • Hit the Delete key to remove the old Ctrl-Delete key binding. Hit it again to create a new key binding, just for Delete.
    • Uncheck the check-change-accels checkbox and close gconf-editor.
  • For some reason I’m not sure of, I had nfs-utils and ypbind, neither of which I need or use, installed, and after the upgrade, systemd was trying to start ypbind and idmapd from nfs-utils. I removed both packages with “yum remove”.
  • For some bizarre reason, a bunch of my contacts in Pidgin moved from the groups they were in before to “Orphans” at some point during the upgrade. I had to move them all back into their correct groups one by one. Ugh.
  • No weather applet! Must have weather applet! A little googling led me to:
    • run “git clone https://github.com/simon04/gnome-shell-extension-weather.git”;
    • follow the instructions in README.md for building and installing the extension;
    • run “python weather-extension-configurator.py” to configure the extension settings described in README.md, which is easier than using the gsettings commands there; and
    • type Alt-F2, “r”, Enter to restart the GNOME shell and activate the extension. Thanks very much to the authors of this wonderful extension!
  • I had a launcher file (i.e., a “*.desktop” file) created in GNOME 2 that I wanted to add to my GNOME 3 favorites. Unfortunately, it appears that to add a launcher to your favorites it has to be in /usr/share/applications (well, actually, I probably could have put it in ~/.local/share/applications, but I didn’t think of that at the time). So I copied it into /usr/share/applications, launched it by moving my cursor to the “hot spot” in the upper left corner of the screen and typing the name of the launcher; and then when it was running, right-clicked on it in the favorites bar and selected “Add to Favorites”.
  • I wanted to be able to easily clear my desktop, like the “Show Desktop” button I had in my GNOME 2 panel. I found these instructions for fixing this.
  • The MySQL daemon wasn’t starting up properly after the upgrade. Apparently one of the ib_logfile* files in /var/lib/mysql was truncated or something. I did “sudo rm /var/lib/mysql/ib_logfile*” and then “systemctl start mysqld.service” worked just fine.
  • The ddclient program which I use to update my dynamic DNS record with OpenDNS.com and DynDNS.org was generating an error on shutdown because it was failing to create its PID file properly on startup. I fixed its init script to address this and submitted a patch here.
  • I desperately wanted an old-style dock visible all the time with my running applications in it. Fortunately I’m not the only one… I did “sudo yum install gnome-shell-extensions-dock” and then logged out and logged back in, and presto, I’ve got a dock.
  • In F14, I used the mail-notification program to generate notifications about new email. It stopped working after the upgrade so I thought it wasn’t supported in F15. Turns out I just had to weak it a bit.
    • launch gnome-session-properties;
    • select “Mail Notification” and click “Edit”; and
    • remove “–sm-disable” from the command field.
  • The cron daemon wasn’t starting properly after the upgrade. I’m not sure why, but I fixed it by doing “sudo systemctl enable crond.service” and “sudo systemctl start crond.service”.
  • I had an old-style init script in /etc/init/foo.conf that looked like this:
    start on runlevel 5
    stop on runlevel [!5]
    exec /home/jik/scripts/foo.pl

    I had to replace it with /lib/systemd/system/foo.service which looks like this:

    Description=Foo server

    Then I did “sudo systemctl enable foo.service” and “sudo systemctl start foo.service”.

  • In F14, you could rely on the GNOME session launching script to execute the contents of your .bash_profile file, so that environment variables you set in .bash_profile would be inherited by all child processes. This doesn’t work in F15, so you have to set environment variables in .bashrc.

I’ll continue to update this list as new things come up.

It took a day or so to get used to, but I think the GNOME 3 UI is growing on me.


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