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Re: Time to upgrade FC8->FC10

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 09:31:58AM -0500, Gene Heskett wrote:
> So, I'll ask it again:  Preupgrade wants to download the install image to 
> the /boot partition.  Unforch the F8 installer refuses to allow a /boot 
> partition of over 199 megs, and we all know that image has to be bigger than 
> that.  So the question remains: How do I tell preupgrade to use /tmp, or 
> even / as a scratchpad location for this install image download?

I'm not aware of any such limit, and asked a few knowledgeable folks
who weren't either.  What I suspect happened is you tried to create a
/boot partition in the existing space between the beginning of your
hard disk, and an existing partition (probably the extended area,
maybe swap) after it that you weren't blowing away.  There are a limit
to what even good heuristics will do to address this problem, and
having played with the installers for other distros, I don't think
it's unique to Fedora.

You can use parted -- or better yet, one of its GUI cousins -- to deal
with this problem, but it's not a simple exercise by any means.  If
you're reading this in an interface that uses a fixed-width font, this
diagram might make sense.  Otherwise, it might not:

.-- beginning of disk                                end of disk --. 
V                                                                  V
 /boot   swap      extended partition (maybe LVM?)
200 MB   1 GB      (rest of disk)
 sda1    sda2      sda3

Some of that 200 MB is taken up by the kernels, initial ramdisks, etc.
your system has installed.  You could remove extra kernels to make
more space; each set of files takes up somewhere in the neighborhood
of 8-10 MB, I believe.  Then you could try preupgrade.  If you tend to
keep lots of kernels that could be a problem.  I thought that the
amount of data that preupgrade downloads is under 150 MB, but not

If you reinstalled and chose to reuse that extended area and swap
as-is, you ended up with limited choices for resizing /boot.

On the other hand, if you did a whole bunch of partition-moving voodoo
-- and I promise you it's not for the faint of heart, I've done it
myself, only after a full backup -- you *might* be able to end up with

 empty    swap     extended partition
 300 MB

Now you've got extra space and when you run the installer, you can
keep the existing partitions and write a bigger /boot as well.

Really, in the interest of time and hair-pulling, in these cases I
simply tend to back up data and reinstall, setting up the partitions
in a more useful way for future-proofing.  Right now, I'd go for about
250-300 MB for /boot to ensure that future preupgrades fly without a

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
  http://redhat.com/   -  -  -  -   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug

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