Upgrade from FC14 to FC16 using preupgrade

My preupgrade system was a dual boot (linux/win7) x86_64 system with a couple of hardware RAID arrays running FC14 with grub as the bootloader.  Graphics hardware is fairly modern and should not by itself pose a problem for Gnome3.
There are separate partitions for /home, /boot as well as a couple of others. I mostly relied on the Fedora Project preupgrade Wiki.

  1. Used Software Update to update to latest FC14.
  2. Backed up /home, /etc, and some of /var to an external drive.
  3. sudo yum install preupgrade
  4. su; preupgrade (choose FC16 Verne as the upgrade dest) ---At this point everything seemed to go well as many new packages were downloaded etc. but significantly there was no /boot/upgrade directory created and /boot/grub/menu.lst did not have an entry for the upgrade kernel. 
  5. Ran preupgrade again --- now things are good.
  6. Reboot and boot into the upgrade kernel -- this takes a while as more stuff gets downloaded and the system is modified to support the new distro.
  7. Perform the "common post upgrade tasks" specified in the preupgrade Wiki.
    • package-cleanup --orphans (worth reading this for a note of caution).
    • find / -print | egrep "rpm(new|save)$" (bash shell only) - merge any conflicts found.
    • sudo yum distro-sync (no actions taken in my case).
  8. Restart again - now get a warning message that hardware won't support Gnome3 and is reverting to Fallback Mode. You know you're in Fallback Mode because in the top left corner instead of "Activities" you have "Applications" and "Places".
  9. Seems like the problem is likely that /usr/libexec/gnome-session-check-accelerated fails. If I run this by hand I get "Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "pk-gtk-module". Same message if I run gedit. The fix apparently is to 
    • sudo yum install PackageKit-gtk3-module
    • sudo yum install gnome-tweak-tool
    • log out and log back in - Now Gnome3 working with "Activities" in top left.
  10. Repeated Google Chrome warnings (yellow ribbon at the top) about outdated flash player - two fixes
    1. Best: Grab latest Flash by using this excellent guide. Still this was not quite enough for me. Looking at the output of the ps command I was able to determine (at least on my machine) that libflashplayer.so was being picked up from ~/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so. So I created a symlink to the common file which in my case was /usr/lib64/flash-plugin/libflashplayer.so. After doing this if you go to about:plugins you can see that the version is now 11.1 r102 whereas before it was 10.something.
    2. Second Best: Disable the warning by passing the --allow-outdated-plugins command line switch to google-chrome. How to do that with Gnome3? I did a cp of /usr/local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop to ~/.local/share/applications and then edited my local copy to add the needed switch to the "Exec" line of that file.
  11. Final problem (at least so far). Spotify under Wine has no sound (no supported sound card). If launch winecfg "test sound" fails and there is no audio driver selectable. Fix was to edit ~/.wine/user_reg and replace
[Software\\Wine\\Drivers] 1318895848


[Software\\Wine\\Drivers] 1318895848

Few more points:
  1. Preupgrade is very much one of those "your results may vary" type of things and apparently jumping two versions even more so (Saw a post where a Red Hat representative said that if a double version preupgrade breaks that will not hold up the release). As always, the safest course is a fresh install. On the other hand if preupgrade breaks, you'll be doing that anyway!
  2. Apparently with Gnome3 the compiz window manager is no longer an option. You're pretty much roped into using the Gnome3 WM which is apparently named mutter.
  3. The new Gnome Search window seems nice to me - just mouse over "Activities" and the search window will pop up in the top right - type a few characters of a file or an application and chances are it will find what you are looking for.
  4. I almost hate to put this in writing but I have to say that Spotify under Wine is much more stable than was the case with FC14 - Wine version 1.3.33, Spotify version
  5. Booting into win7 after the upgrade (using grub2 bootloader) works fine.

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