Fedora 11 Linux Upgrade

Summer 2009

This page is for sharing information regarding the Fedora 11 upgrade during summer 2009.

[ information about packaged software changes, differences from previous releases, and any associated issues that might effect the URCS user community will be discussed here]

gcc 4.4.0

Fedora 11 includes gcc 4.4, and with it, libgcc 4.4. This may require recompiling your programs.

The gcc compiler suite has been updated to 4.4.0 including gcc, gcc-c++, gcc-gfortran, gcc-gnat, and gcc-objc.

Some of the changes involve syntax changes that have the potential to break existing code.
Please review the NEWS files at http://gcc.gnu.org and test your code on the beta machines. Report any serious issues to lab staff during the beta test period please.


The version of gdb included in Fedora ( Archer) contains patches and modifications not in the upstream GDB. Notable changes from upstream include:

  • gdb can debug programs compiled with -fpie.

  • gdb can be scripted using Python. This is used to support the new type-specific pretty-printing feature.

  • gdb lazily reads debug info, resulting in faster startup when the debugee uses many shared libraries.

  • A new catch syscall command has been added. This will cause gdb to stop your program when a syscall is entered or exited.

  • C++ debugging support has been improved. The expression parser handles more cases correctly, and gdb can now properly handle exceptions thrown during an inferior function call.

Fedora advises to consider the Python API to be unstable:

"The Python API to gdb is still under development. We cannot currently guarantee that future revisions to the API will remain compatible."


Fedora 11 includes bash 4.0. This is a significant upgrade with new features.

kde desktop

This release features KDE 4.2.2. Compatibility libraries from KDE 3.5.10 are provided for the remaining KDE 3 applications.



Release 22.3 of emacs is primarily concerned with cleaning out old/obsolete features. Refer to the NEWS file (http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/NEWS.22.3) for full details.


User-visible changes in 1.5.5:

  • Allow prop commits on dirs with modified children.
  • Make Cyrus auth implementation always prefer EXTERNAL to ANONYMOUS.
  • Do not create mergeinfo for wc-wc moves or copies
  • Do not autoupgrade old BDB filesystems to 1.5 or 1.4 format
  • Return mergeinfo to prior state during reverse merges
  • Remove mergeinfo deleted by merge
  • Make proxy slaves pass through txn GET and PROPFIND requests
  • Merge can now use targets with inconsistent newlines2
  • Don't allow empty-string changelists
  • Remove false positive ra_neon mergeinfo errors
  • Improve performance of svn merge --reintegrate
  • Fixed: foreign merges keep UUID of foreign repository
  • Fixed: properly encode diff headers used in conflict resolution
  • Fixed: segfault in svn cp --parents
  • Fixed: mergeinfo for '...' maps to empty revision range
  • Fixed: segfault in BDB backend node-origins cache
  • Fixed: broken merge if target's history includes resurrections
  • Fixed: invalid mergeinfo created on a subtree during merge
Duplex Printing - Default

Effective with the upgrade to Fedora 11, the default printing will be duplex. Users wishing to receive single sided copies should use the /single queue (ie. shake/single, chaucer/single, dali/single). The "/duplex" queue will still exist and still print in duplex mode.

New /usr/grad hierarchy

If you support tools in the /usr/grads hierarchy it will be necessary to reinstall them under Fedora 11. The Fedora 7 /usr/grads disk partition was full and there was lots of cruft under /usr/grads. This will provide a clean slate moving forward for local installations.

Missing things people use (and should reinstall):

Staff Note on Missing Applications and Packages

Firstly, don't panic just let us know. Every effort is made to keep the base installation consistent with previous versions of the distribution. The staff performs core testing for major elements of functionality and usability when upgrades become available. Annual evaluation of fedora upgrades occurs to ensure the distribution is still meeting all department requirements.

Users are strongly encouraged to test drive the beta machines prior to the rollouts so that changes that may effect their common tasks may be uncovered and addressed before the rollout.

Why would a package be missing? Sometimes an open source package is obsoleted and removed from the distribution. Sometimes a decision is made to drop a little used, or no longer needed package. Sometimes the project name of an open source package changes and therefore the package name changes and it may be missed. In virtually all cases if you notice something you use to no longer be available the staff can assist you. If the package is still supported by the distribution (by it's original name or a new name) it can almost always be added. If the package has been dropped by the distribution the staff can usually either advise about an alternative or find a way to help you accomplish what you need so your work in not interrupted due to the upgrade.

Due to the procedural issues with upgrading the inventory of department machines it is always easier to add supported packages before we roll the upgrade into production.

Regardless, we are respectful of the fact that every inconsistency will not be discovered during the beta test-drives. Distributing additional or missing packages after the production rollout usually introduces some delay for availability of the package which is why the beta testing phase is so useful. As always, we appreciate your patience.

-- DaveCostello - 25 Jul 2009

  • inc, rmm, scan, dist -- JoelSeiferas - 22 July 2009
    These are part of nmh, which was installed in /usr/bin -- presumably it should be reinstalled there instead of in /usr/grads/bin? -- JonathanGordon - 24 Jul 2009
    You are right. It looks like nmh didn't make the package install list. This can be added. It doesn't need to go in /usr/grads. -- DaveCostello - 25 Jul 2009
  • slime (/usr/grads/share/emacs/site-lisp/slime) -- JonathanGordon - 20 Jul 2009
  • qwho-cpu and qwhere scripts -- JonathanGordon - 22 Jul 2009
  • links -- JonathanGordon - 24 Jul 2009
    dc: links was missing from the package install list. It can be added. When it goes in you won't have to support the grads copy. -- DaveCostello - 25 Jul 2009
    I removed it; thanks. -- JonathanGordon - 27 Jul 2009

Test machine

The machine f11beta1 is available for both remote testing and console login testing. The machine is located in the shake printer room (CSB602). There are many changes as we move the department from Fedora 7 to Fedora 11. Please take the time to test your environment and tools. Once we begin the conversion of machines, it will be more difficult to address problems. Any problems we can resolve before we begin the conversion will help to make everyones life simpler.

Problem reports

When I invoke ispell-word in emacs, it hangs. I have to ^G to get control back. -- MichaelScott - 26 Jun 2009

I can't reproduce this. It seems to work for me. Can you try it with a stripped down .emacs file to rule out problems there? What modes, if any, did you have turned on at the time. Any additional info would be helpful.-- DaveCostello - 29 Jun 2009

It's working for me now. No idea what the problem was. -- MichaelScott - 30 Jun 2009

Printing updates

It will be necessary to have the environment variable CUPS_SERVER set to the value "print" in order for printing to work. The default .cshrc and .profile files include this variable if you include these files in your shell startup. To improve printing reliability there will be no queues on the local machines. All printing will be through the print server. -- JamesRoche - 15 Jul 2009


Beginning Monday 7/20 I will start upgrading office and lab workstations. Stay tuned to this page for updates or to report issues. -- JamesRoche - 16 Jul 2009

Missing Package update

The following packages that were missing from the initial Fedora 11 install have now been installed and distributed to all of the current Fedora 11 machines:

  • cjkuni-fonts-compat
  • cjkuni-uming-fonts
  • uudeview
  • zsh
  • glibc-static
  • wget
  • ruby-devel

There are still several packages on the todo list as well as a significant # of patch updates. -- JamesRoche - 24 Jul 2009

The following packages have now been added to all of the Fedora 11 machines

page updates:

-- DaveCostello - 18 Jun 2009 -- created page.

-- DaveCostello - 18 Jun 2009 -- sections touched:: gcc, gdb, shell, kde, emacs, subversion

-- JamesRoche - 19 Jun 2009

-- DaveCostello - 25 Jul 2009 -- sections:: missing things: nmh, links

This topic: Main > WebLeftBar > TechTalk > SoftwareStuff > LinuxUpgradeSummer2009
Topic revision: r17 - 2009-07-27 - JonathanGordon
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