Book Review: Heads You Win

Upgrading to Fedora 11 from behind the proxy

Fedora 11 was released on June 9 and it was time to upgrade the linux PC at work. This PC had started with Fedora Core 6 (as the installation was called at that time) and I had kept upgrading it, each time Redhat released a newer version. I had written about one such upgrade.

I did not have an install CD, nor did I want to go that way. I wanted to upgrade using yum if that was possible. The official page had this tentative instructions. It appeared that things may not be so rosy.

This and this suggested it was better to go the "preupgrade" way. Earlier preupgrades did not work since the new OS did not show up in the list of OS available for upgrades.

I did the following as instructed.

yum -y update
yum clean all
yum install preupgrade

I switched to run level 3, as one of the instructions said and ran


To my joy, it listed Fedora 11 (Leonidas). So the next step was

preupgrade-cli "Fedora 11 (Leonidas)"

After downloading about 2GB worth of updates, the system decided to reboot.

One of the grub boot options was "Upgrade to Fedora 11(Leonidas)". I chose this.

And then came the fun. It showed the message

Cannot connect to http://some.linux.mirror/os/fedora/11/.../install.img

The install image had not been downloaded and it was now trying to do this.

In normal cases, this would have been a non-event, except here, my office PC is behind a proxy server.

I had no clues how to specify the proxy server in the grub.conf to enable this download.

So I decided to manually download and put it in the file system and specify the path in grub.conf.

I rebooted and now it asks me, choose the device where the image is. It could read the boot partition alright, but I would need to specify UUID or some such information for it to read from other locations.

The boot partition did not have enough space for install.img - this was a 110 MB file and the boot partition itself was only about 100 MB.

I then put the image on a web server on my intranet and specified this URL to grub.conf.

This was good enough. The image got downloaded and the upgrade began.

This went off uneventfully and after the reboot I was on Fedora 11.

yum update hung though, as this blog said. Replacing https with http did the trick.