Upgrading Fedora 14 to Fedora 20 is always fun!

I’m upgrading my wife’s laptop from Fedora 14 to Fedora 20.  That’s plenty of fun!  I’ve done this before with other machines, but memory isn’t my strongest suit.  First, preupgrade fails complaining that there are no repositories anymore.  That’s to be expected, with even Fedora 18 being passed end of life.  The replacement for preupgradefedup – isn’t yet available for the releases that old.  Digging around I found a DVD with Fedora 19, which would work just fine, if only upgrade option hasn’t been removed from the recent Fedora releases.

So the only option that I see, except for a complete fresh install, is to follow the yum upgrade path.  Which is a bumpy ride, but it did get me to the destination before.  So here we go …

$ yum clean all
$ rpm -Uvh http://.../releases/16/.../fedora-release*rpm
$ yum upgrade
$ yum update
$ reboot

That’ll get me to Fedora 16. Try the preupgrade/fedup option to go to Fedora 18. If not there, repeat the above. Then go to Fedora 20. Jumping more than 2 releases at a time is not recommended.

Good luck!

Happy Sysadmin’s Day!

It is the last Friday of July once again, which means it is Sysadmin’s Day. Congratulations to all system, network, and database administrators.  Have a short day and a long pint!



Everyone else should take this opportunity to appreciate the work done by system administrators.  The nature of this profession is such that most people only notice the existence of system administrators when something is broken and doesn’t work.  If you network is running smoothly, if can’t remember the last time your computer gave you trouble, if your inbox is clear of spam and viruses – there’s a sysadmin somewhere making sure of that.  Things don’t just happen by themselves.

Validating website HTML, CSS, and links from the command line

When working on a long running projects, it’s easy to lose track of HTML and CSS standard compliance.  Also, link rot is a common occurrence.  Gladly, there are command line tools that can be executed on a regular basis (think weekly or monthly cron jobs), that would check the site and report any issues with it.  Here is one of the ways.

Installation on Fedora:

yum install linkchecker
yum install python-tidy
yum install python-cssutils

Example command line:

linkchecker -t20 --check-html --check-css http://mamchenkov.net

Obviously, check the manual of linkchecker for more options.

Useful Skype commands, roles, and emoticons

Just by accident I came across this list of Skype commands and roles.  I only knew two or three.  Apparently, there is much more.  For those of us who use Skype on multiple devices, checkout /showplaces and /remotelogout :

  • /showplaces – Lists other instances where this Skype name is currently signed in.
  • /remotelogout – Sign out all other instances except the current one. This will also stop push notifications on all other instances.

And while we are on the subject of not so well-known Skype features, have a look a the complete list of emoticons (smileys) that you can use in the chat.  These include some more additional icons and country flags.

Platforms trump products – an excellent view on the trend of vendors to create platforms rather than just products or services.  The world is getting larger and scalability becomes a problem fast – platform, it seems, is a viable solution for now.  Interestingly, lessons learned in the digital world can be applied to the real world.