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Upgrading to Fedora 20, the version of Red Hat's community Linux distribution released this week, from version 19, at least, is broken and this fact does not seem to have been disseminated to many tech publications that have written about the release.

Fedora 20 was released with much fanfare this week, as it is also the 10th anniversary of the Red Hat-sponsored project.

The problem lies with the version of FedUp (Fedora Upgrader) that is in version 19 - version 0.7. When one issues the necessary upgrade command using this version, the packages get downloaded but after reboot, when the upgrade is supposed to take place, the process terminates.

Fortunately, one's existing installation is not gutted and one can get back into that and try again.

One needs to update to FedUp 0.8 and the re-run the upgrade command.

For some reason, from version 0.7 to 0.8 the location where the downloaded packages are stored has been changed. Thus, if one has tried to upgrade using version 0.7, one has to manually move the packages across, to avoid wasting a lot of space and bandwidth.

When the packages are moved, they are cleaned out after the upgrade runs to completion.

The information about this upgrade issue does not appear to have been communicated to ITworld, Engadget, InfoWorld, The Register, ZDNet, Tom's Hardware Guide, The VAR Guy, and LXer, all well-known sites that reported the release.

There is no mention of the bug in the release notes either; in fact, there is no topic titled bugs at all. Asked about the problem, Red Hat community representative Adam Williamson said the bug could be found in the release notes if one drilled down one level in section 1.5.1. But exactly who would go down to that level looking for important information is open to question.

There is a common bugs page for the release but there is no link to this page from the release notes. There is a link to the common bugs page right at the bottom of the official announcement of the release; arguably, such a show-stopper should merit a place much higher up and be displayed much more prominently.

Williamson said he had posted information about the upgrade problem with FedUp to various places - his personal blog, his Google+ site, and several locations on the Fedora wiki.

He added that the bug was mentioned on the download page - though exactly why people who wanted to upgrade from within an existing installation would go looking for a download is questionable.

Williamson said version 0.8 of FedUp would soon be available in the stable repositories for 19. Several tests using FedUp 0.7 to upgrade to version 20 before the release had not resulted in any problem, he added.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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