Mandriva 2008 to 2010 upgrade … er, install

mandriva_logoI had another little used, but in this case rather more important, computer in a basement running the no longer supported Mandriva 2008. I had planned to get another hard drive and install Mandriva 2010 on it, then copy all my data from the old drive to the new and retire the old drive as backup. Time was not on my side though and I worried about the un-updated machine being connected to the internet. So I threw caution to the wind and started an update on the existing drive.

WITH NO BACKUP!

You shouldn’t do that.

Fortunately I didn’t have any disasters, however I did find that in-place upgrades may be still flakey. I had quit doing upgrades years ago and always went with new installs because I had found that upgrades tended to be troublesome in various annoying ways. This upgrade was no exception. There were a bunch of errors near the end of the upgrade with reference to conflicts between packages. On reboot I couldn’t start X.

Too impatient to track down the problem(s), I just put the DVD back in and rebooted to do a fresh install. The install proceeded as expected and I warned the process that if it formated my home partition I’d kill it (an empty threat really, but the installer may not know that). Apparently the threat worked because at the end of the install I had a working Mandriva 2010 and an intact home!

The install was dead simple. Too simple for my liking. I miss the good old days when I got to pick individual packages. This install just asked if I wanted KDE, Gnome or Other. If there was a way to be more specific I didn’t see it. Though I’ll admit I wasn’t paying close attention.

A couple of gotchas;
– A guest account was created even though I was sure I had said not to do one. Deleted the guest user after.
– Only one monitor worked at first. I have an Nvidia card with one monitor plugged into the VGA out and another into the DVI out. Only the VGA one came up after the install. If there was a graphical way to set up the dual monitors I could not find it, which lead to finding …
– Emacs was not installed! Fedora was the same. Good grief, shouldn’t Emacs be in ANY default install? Then for some reason letters where spaced w a y o u t in Emacs when I did install it. Setting the default font in Emacs cleared that up. Ah well, back to the dual monitors …
– Edited xorg.conf manually by comparing to a backup copy and soon (after a bit of fine-tuning with vi when X coughed up errors) had dual-head xinerama again. It was a little weird at first until I realized that on the left monitor I was looking at a full-screen Plasma folder view of /home/Desktop while on the right monitor I was looking at the actual desktop background.

Now I’m just waiting for 694 updates to be done and the rpm database to be unlocked so I can install sshd.
And 24 more updates…

OK, got sshd all set up. There’s a thing popping up telling me I can add another repository. When I click to do so it asks for my Mandriva login info, then fails. Found the answer on a Mandriva forum, as root do “mdkapplet-restricted-helper 2010.0”. Seems this is an old problem 😦

Still, I do like my Mandriva.

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