There is a new version of this tutorial available for Fedora 18.

Upgrade Your Desktop From Fedora 8 To Fedora 9 With PreUpgrade

Version 1.0
Author: Oliver Meyer <o [dot] meyer [at] projektfarm [dot] de>

This document describes how to upgrade your desktop from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9 via PreUpgrade. PreUpgrade provides a frontend that allows the user to easily download all packages that are needed for the distribution upgrade, and then perform the distribution upgrade.

This howto is a practical guide without any warranty - it doesn't cover the theoretical backgrounds. There are many ways to set up such a system - this is the way I chose.


1 Graphics Card Driver

Fedora 9 comes with a pre-release of the upcoming xserver release 1.5 (Xorg 7.4). This pre-release is currently (when I was writing this howto) not supported by the proprietary NVIDIA and ATI drivers. So if you're using such a proprietary driver you have to deinstall it before you proceed.

Please note that you, if you need 3D support, should wait for the final Xorg 7.4 release. Shortly after the release there'll be proprietary drivers available.


2 System Update

First we have to apply the latest updates - use yum ...

yum -y update

... or your preferred yum-frontend. Please restart your system after the update process has finished.


3 Upgrade Part I

PreUpgrade is the new system to upgrade your system online. Only the needed packages to upgrade your system will be downloaded.

yum install preupgrade

Afterwards start it via command line.


This is the PreUpgrade wizard - click on "Forward".

Fedora 9 is already pre-selected - click on "Apply".

The needed information, packages and images are being downloaded.

Click on "Reboot Now" to restart the system.


4 Upgrade Part II

The upgrade will be completed by Anaconda. Please note that this will take a while... the whole upgrade process from step two till the end took about five hours within my Fedora desktop on VMware Server. Click on "Next" to proceed with the wizard.

"Upgrade an existing installation" is already pre-selected - click on "Next" to proceed.

Here you should choose the recommended option "Update boot loader configuration". Click on "Next" to launch the upgrade.

The upgrade is being accomplished.

Finished - click on "Reboot". If all went well the system will boot into your new system.


5 Livna

If you used the livna repository on Fedora 8, update the livna-release-rpm to the new version and update the packages.

rpm -Uhv && yum -y update


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7 Comment(s)

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I ran the "preupgrage" wizard last night and have run into a serious problem upgrading to Fedora 9. I'm a Dual Boot user with Windows XP 64 on drive HD0 and fedora on drive HD1.

 It looked like the process ran correctly but on the reboot I was left at a GRUB prompt. It took me some time to work out how to configure and get the GRUB bootloader corrected.

On starting I'm also discovering some issues with YUM not working correctly, it tells me what packages need updating, but it refuses to start the download process.



download took some hours and after a reboot...

i am unable to run anaconda upgrade :-(

i get some errors and the console debug messages goes something like "failed to mount loopback device /dev/loop0..."

and i get a message (in anaconda) "can read or find stage2 image on device /dev/sda1...please type in a new device..."

 i am currently upgrading with the FC9 DVD... hope it will run smoother :-)

By: neon

thank you very good

By: Charles Anthony

I have a dual boot too and this pre-upgrade was a GRUB foul-up.  You should NOT select "Update the boot loader configuration" at all.  Choose "Create new boot loader configuration" and all should work well.  It did for me after a few false starts. 


My dual boot is Fedora/WinXP.  After first trying this Preupgrade, I thought all was lost in my Windows install -- it was not.  I did not need to do any Windows rescue.  My solution was to re-install Fedora 8 -- which easily recognized Windows -- and then repeat the Preupgrade. 




Last nite I attempted to upgrade from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9 and it seemed a good way to try something different.

Following the howto is straight forward and soon my system was being upgraded.  Unfortunately there came along a power outage and when power resumed, my system started up and was booting Fedora 8.  Many errors as the system was being installed when this all happend.  Now I am upgrading via an install disc I had created awhile back.

I for one will not do the preupgrade thing again.  I will just get the source or the image and upgrade my system that way and know that it will be upgraded correctly and not tempt fate.


I tried the howto this morning and it failed. I guess the howto may work for a vanilla  desktop pc with ide drives, but I can attest to the fact that it fails completely for scsi drives. I have several rackservers spanning IBM x345 and Sun V20Z servers and the upgrade failed on both.

The Howto needs to address the inability to find the bootimage on scsi drives.

At least it was easy to terminate the failed Upgrade using Grub and that is a bonus. 


By: Tim

fwiw, I used this howto and the one on f9 to f10 with preupgrade-cli to do a headless upgrade from f8 to f10.  I can strongly recommend trialling on a virtual machine before doing the upgrade.

I found that there's an issue somewhere in the upgrade chain with the nspr rpm, which can leave you with an upgraded machine on which very little works. A workaround is to extract the missing 4 libs from the f10 base repo's rpm (nspr-4.7.2-2.fc10.i386.rpm) using rpm2cpio and drop them into /lib after running preupgrade-cli, but before rebooting. Then update f10 once installed. I also had to re-enable sshd before the reboot, as the upgrade disabled it, leaving an upgraded headless box that cannot be logged into.