[LON-CAPA-admin] Re: Upgrading OS to fedora

Matthew Brian Hall hallmat3 at msu.edu
Wed Jun 2 08:35:12 EDT 2004


I've been working on the Fedora installation over the last week,
including package updates for the upcoming 1.2 release in August.  Our
intention is to only support Fedora in the future, so you should
consider upgrading before the fall.  We hope to discontinue support
for RedHat 7.3 by next year.  Fedora Core 2 was recently released and
I have been testing it.  I have installed LON-CAPA on it a number of
times.  I do not currently use it on my development system, but I will
begin to soon.  See http://fedora.redhat.com/download for download

As I recall, your system is set up with the /home directory as a
separate partition.  This will make your upgrade easier.  The first
thing to do is to make a backup of your /home directory and put it on
a different machine or burn it to CD.  Log in as root and execute the
command "df -k".  This will show you how large each partition on your
system is.  Change to one of the directories which has enough room in
it to hold all of the /home directory.  Then execute 

tar cvf home.tar /home --exclude home.tar 

This will create the tar file which you can move to another machine or
burn it to a CD.  Contact me for further details if you need help with
either of those tasks.  Hopefully you will not need to use this
backup, but it is better to be careful. 

You should also backup /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, /etc/gshadow, and
/etc/group to another system. 

When you follow the instructions in
http://install.loncapa.org/fedora_install.html, install a new system
(do not use the upgrade option).  When you come to the partitioning
step, do not auto-partition.  Use disk druid to partition your system.
For each partition, set the mount point to be what it was originally
(it will be listed in the edit box).  For all the partitions except
the /home partition, set it to be formatted (another option in the
same edit box). 

Follow the remaining instructions in the fedora_install.html document.
Omit the step of creating a domain coordinator. 

Using the backups of /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group, you
should add the lines for the domain coordinator (and all other
filesystem authenticated users) to each of /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow,
and /etc/group.  Using vipw and vigr to do this is pretty
straightforward, but the consequences of messing up can be
significant.  Give me a call when you get to this step so I can walk
you through it.  Once we get the domain coordinator and all the other
filesystem authenticated users back into the passwd file, you can
delete the backups you made. 

That should pretty much be it - you will have your old LON-CAPA data
on the newly installed Fedora Core 2 system, with the latest version
of LON-CAPA installed.  If your home directory ended up getting
destroyed during the installation process (which shouldn't happen, but
it's possible), you will need to use the backup you made to restore
the data and run the ./UPDATE script in the LON-CAPA installation
directory again. 

Please let me know when you do your upgrade so I can be available for
phone calls.  I imagine the password file updates will be the most
difficult part for you, but you should let me know if you have any
questions during the installation - I'm certain the instructions could
be clearer. 


Matthew Hall           hallmat3 at msu.edu
LON-CAPA developer
Michigan State University

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