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Open Source: Live Migration of Mandriva to Mageia

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I took the plunge to migrate my personal / business desktop PC from Mandriva 2010.2 to Mageia 1 today (Sunday, 4 September 2011). I used the instructions from this page: Migrate from Mandriva Linux. Specifically the section titled, “b) Upgrading inline, using urpmi (CLI)”. The migration is roughly three quarters done as I type this. I decided to try to use the PC while I ran the migration from console 1 (Ctrl Alt F1). In preparation for this I closed programs I suspected would be most affected. Such as:

  • Firefox 3.x – which will be replaced with Firefox 4.x
  • OpenOffice.org – which should be replaced with LibreOffice
  • Gnucash – which has my accounting data I do not want to risk
  • Kopete – which is being upgraded

To access our company site and begin this article I kept Opera open. I did try to print a page from Opera and crashed Opera once while running this migration. I forgot about the migration running, or I would not have tried that. I also am able to use light applications such as gedit, but still cannot print from those. I do still have access to the LAN and the internet so the system is usable. But the system is not as useful with not being able to print while the migration runs. Of course, problems like that were not unexpected.

The system has not gotten to the point that X is unstable or anything like that. Which is pleasantly surprising to me. I had a 50/50 expectation that X would crash while this migration ran. I am only continuing to try to use the system so I can report to our readers about the experience. Otherwise I would close X, switch to runlevel 3 – which can still be done as I am not yet forced to use systemd, then run the migration at the console without running a GUI at the same time.

I am about to close X since I see X stuff being migrated. I will reboot following the migration. I am interested to see if everything “just works” or if I will have to fix something before I can get back to using the PC. I will be back to report more …

It is about 1.5 hours later and I’m back. Here are some interesting items about this migration:

  • Migration began at 11:30 AM CDT and finished installing all the packages at 6:00 PM CDT.
  • In total there were over 2600 packages migrated.
  • The average download speed from my chosen mirror over my broadband connection was around 400k.
  • The 16 GB /usr partition got to 94% full due to having several old kernel-source packages installed. These were all removed following the migration.
  • There were several hundred “orphaned” packages after the migration. These were removed with the command: urpme –auto-orphans.

My use of the proprietary nVidia driver was picked up and followed through to the new system because I enabled the ‘tainted’ repository (see Edit below) prior to migration. I did notice several old game packages being migrated that I have been running from source builds. So, I do not need those packages. These took up time and space and had to be removed following the migration. In hindsight, I should have gone through and removed unneeded packages before migration.

I did have to restart the migration with a specific mirror at the beginning. The mirror chosen for me by the command -

# urpmi.addmedia –distrib –mirrorlist http://mirrors.mageia.org/api/mageia.1.i586.list

- was a mirror that was across the Atlantic from me and very slow. So I instead used the command -

# urpmi.addmedia –distrib (mirror_url)

- to choose a faster mirror closer to me. Where (mirror_url) is replaced with the HTTP address of the mirror I chose. In all, the migration went very smooth following the directions given by the Mageia people.

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Edit Mon Oct 10 21:28:08 CDT 2011: I discovered later this was actually due to using the ‘nonfree’ repository, although I did have ‘tainted’ enabled for the migration.

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3 comments to Open Source: Live Migration of Mandriva to Mageia

  • I will follow up with comments if I see anything else I believe needs to be reported.

    Added: Ah! Firefox is upgraded to 6.0.1 instead of 4.x as I had thought. Sweet!

    Added Tue Sep 6 11:48:06 CDT 2011: The migration is not “perfect”. I use Evolution for e-mail and it kept crashing. I finally figured out Evolution was crashing on libpixbufloader-jpeg.so and there was a mismatch between gdk-pixbuf2 and libgdk_pixbuf2. The migration had left libgdk-pixbuf2-0.22.0-16mdv2010.1 (note the “mdv” for Mandriva) and installed gdk-pixbuf2.0-2.22.1-3.mga1. I got it fixed by hand using ‘rpm’ to force remove libgdk-pixbuf2 with no dependencies, then installed libgdk_pixbuf2.0_0-2.22.1-3.mga1 from the Mageia repository. Note the underscore in the new Mageia rpm. My guess is that being different from a dash in the old Mandriva rpm caused “confusion” for the package manager.

  • [...] When I found that information and added it to the other disappointing news coming from Mandriva I decided to move on along to Mageia Linux. After that move was completed I decided to take a look at the other desktop options available. [...]

  • [...] in the Fall of 2011, September 4th to be exact, I decided it was time to migrate from the sinking ship of Mandriva to the new Mageia distribution [...]

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