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RedHat 7.2 Upgrade Process Has Trouble with Some "Third Party" RPMs

Dave Aiello wrote, "Earlier this week, I reluctantly concluded that I needed to upgrade my laptop from RedHat Linux 6.2 to 7.2. I say 'reluctantly' because I knew from previous experience how complicated a Linux upgrade can be."

"I ran into a problem almost immediately when the RedHat 7.2 installer failed to upgrade my XFree86, Gnome, KDE, and related packages. It did not do this because it detected that I had upgraded these packages myself with non-RedHat versions of these packages (probably when I installed the original version of Nautilus from the now defunct Eazel). The big issues I had with this were:"

  1. the installer provided a cryptic message about third party packages being installed and warned me that there might be some instability if I continued the installation, and
  2. X Windows was almost totally inaccessible after the upgrade was completed.

Read on for a bit more explanation of the problem and the eventual solution.

Dave Aiello continued:

The behavior of X Windows after the upgrade was a real head-scratcher. After successfully displaying the graphical login screen, both the Gnome and KDE desktops could not be rendered at all. In their place was a single graphical UNIX shell window stripped of its title bar. Neither the mouse nor the keyboard seemed to provoke any response from this window.

I spun my wheels for about 2 hours searching Google and reading the printed RedHat 7.2 documentation. This is what you get for beginning the upgrade process at 9:45pm, Eastern Time.

In the morning, I used one of the telephone technical support incidents I got when I purchased the RedHat Linux 7.2 Professional Edition. The support person I spoke with concluded that none of the X Windows, Gnome, or KDE RPMs had been touched during my first upgrade attempt. He told me to perform another upgrade and to select all of the X Windows, Gnome, and KDE packages explicitly. This ended up working.

There are still several annoying problemes with the new RedHat configuration that I am trying to work out:

  • the Enlightenment Window Manager configuration is messed up, and
  • the new Nautilus desktop is not configured properly, so it is only displayed within a portion of the machine's virtual desktop space.

Undoubtedly, I will have more to add about this operating system upgrade process in later articles.

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