From Fedora Project Wiki

This page contains information explaining how to upgrade Fedora using yum.

Upgrading Fedora using yum directly

Version updates without using anaconda - such as the yum method described here - is unsupported and not recommended!
The recommended installation method is with a boot media with the Anaconda installer as detailed in the Installation Guide or use PreUpgrade. PreUpgrade is a slightly different upgrade method where all the packages are downloaded before the system is rebooted into the Anaconda installer. Although upgrades with yum do work, they are not explicitly tested as part of the release process by the Fedora QA and are not documented in the Fedora installation guide. If you are not prepared to resolve issues on your own if things break, you should probably use the recommended installation methods instead.

When upgrading with yum you don't get any help from Anaconda, but with a typical system it might be able to upgrade systems remotely over ssh and with limited downtime. (You will still need to reboot to get the new kernel and system libraries/services running).

A live upgrade with yum usually works well with a typical installation and when following the advice below.


If you are upgrading using Yum and it shows any general dependency issues, please file them in But please read this page, all references pages and search the mailing list archives before filing bugs. And of course, please help keep this page updated.

If you want to help make live upgrades work smoothly, join the Live Upgrade Special Interest Group.

Instructions to upgrade using yum

1. Backup your system

Backup any personal data to an external hard drive or to another machine. If there is some unrecoverable error that requires a fresh install, you don't want to lose any data.

2. Read about common problems

Further down in this page there is a list of common problems specific to yum upgrades for specific versions. Some of them require attention before the upgrade.

General advice on upgrading Fedora can be found on the Upgrading page. You should also read the Installation Guide and Release Notes for the version you plan to upgrade to - they contain important information regarding upgrading issues. Finally, check the list of Common bugs.

3. Clean Stuff

Review and remove all .rpmsave and .rpmnew files before and after upgrading. (And if you have selinux enabled then remember to check security context if you move config files around.)

Find unused config files
Merge and resolve the changes found by the following script: yum install rpmconf; rpmconf -a Now find and remove old config which nobody owns: find /etc /var -name '*.rpm?*'

Now is a good time to remove packages you don't use - especially non-standard packages.

Find and review "unused" packages
You can find packages not required by other packages with the tool package-cleanup from the yum-utils package: yum install yum-utils; package-cleanup --leaves. These packages could be candidates for removal, but check to see whether you use them directly or if they are used by applications not backed by rpm packages. Remove them with yum remove package-name-and-version.
Another useful tool for cleaning up unused packages is rpmreaper. It's an ncurses application that lets you view rpm dependency graph and mark packages for deletion. Marking one package can make other packages leaf, which you can see immediately, so you don't have to run the tool several times to get rid of whole sub-tree of unused packages. Install with: yum install rpmreaper.
Find and review "lost" packages
You can find orphaned packages (ie packages not in the repositories anymore) with: package-cleanup --orphans. This will also show packages which have been partially uninstalled but where the "%postun" script failed.

4. Do the upgrade

If you have 3rd party repositories configured, you may need to adjust them for the new Fedora version. If you switch from one Fedora release to another there is often nothing that needs to be done. If you switch to Rawhide from a standard Fedora release (or vice versa) then most of the time you will need to install the Rawhide release RPMs from the 3rd party repository as well (or the standard ones, if switching back).

Note that the upgrade is likely to fail if there are outdated dependencies from packages not backed by a yum repository or backed by a repository which isn't ready for the new version.

It is a good idea to do the upgrade outside the graphical environment. Log out of your graphical desktop and then

Go to a text console

ctrl + alt + F2


log in as root, and go into runlevel 3

init 3

Update yum to latest version available in your Fedora version

yum update yum

Install the new fedora gpg key for the version you are updating to

Keys you may find and verify at

or see a version specific update instructions at the bottom.

Clean the cache

Then remove all traces of the version you are leaving from the yum cache in /var/cache/yum.

yum clean all

Upgrade all packages

Once a live upgrade is started, do not stop the upgrade by rebooting, killing the process, or by any other method until it is complete. Interrupting an upgrade will cause the affected system to be in a mixed state -- partially the old release and partially the new release. In this state, the system will not be reliable and will not operate as expected. You can try running yum distro-sync and package-cleanup --problems to try and fix the problems.
yum --releasever=<release_number_you_want_to_sync_to> distro-sync
If you experience any dependency problems, you are at your own and you have to solve them manually. If you are not able to, use preupgrade! Most often it is enough to remove several problematic package(s). Be sure to not remove half of your installation.

Note: While it is recommended to upgrade to intermediate releases if upgrading from an older release (for example upgrading from Fedora 12 to 13, then 13 to 14), depending on what version you are upgrading from, this step may fail with an error about GPG keys being in the wrong format. To overcome this, you can add the "--nogpgcheck" switch to the above yum distro-sync command.

5. Make sure Fedora is upgraded

Distro-sync will usually take care of upgrades for the third party repositories you have enabled as well. Confirm with

 yum repolist 

after the upgrade process is over. yum might complain about conflicts or requirements. That is probably because you have used non-standard repositories or installed non-standard packages manually. Try to guess which packages cause the problem (or at least is a part of the dependency chain) - uninstall them and try again. Remember to install the packages again if they are essential.

Ensure that all (new) essential packages from the new version are installed with

yum groupupdate Base

You might want to update other groups too, see

yum grouplist

For example

yum groupupdate "GNOME Desktop Environment" \
"Development Tools" "Server Configuration Tools" \
"Hardware Support" "Sound and Video" \
"Graphical Internet" "Fonts" \
"Games and Entertainment" "Printing Software" \
"Administration Tools" "Office/Productivity" "System Tools"

6. Preparing for reboot

Before booting you should usually install the bootloader from your new grub by running

/sbin/grub-install BOOTDEVICE

- where BOOTDEVICE is usually /dev/sda (If you get an error '/dev/sda does not have any corresponding BIOS drive' from that, then try /sbin/grub-install --recheck /dev/sda). For Fedora 16 and later, use /sbin/grub2-install instead of /sbin/grub-install. See below first for important information about upgrading to Fedora 16 from prior releases.

Also, the order of init scripts could have changed from the previous version. A command to reset the order is:

cd /etc/rc.d/init.d; for f in *; do /sbin/chkconfig $f resetpriorities; done

Again, run package-cleanup --orphans to find packages that haven't been upgraded.

Version specific notes

From pre-release

If you are upgrading to a final release from an alpha, beta, preview, or other Rawhide release, please see Upgrading from pre-release to final.

To development version

yum update yum
yum --releasever=rawhide distro-sync --nogpgcheck

Fedora 16 -> Fedora 17

There is a general warning about upgrading via. yum being unsupported at the top of this page. However Fedora 17 is very special. You should seriously consider stopping now and just using anaconda via. DVD or preupgrade, unlike all previous releases it's what the yum/rpm developers recommend. Continue at your own risk.

First install the new Fedora 17 gpg key

rpm --import

Fedora 17 will locate the entire base operating system in /usr. The directories /bin, /sbin, /lib, /lib64 will only be symlinks:

/bin → /usr/bin
/sbin → /usr/sbin
/lib → /usr/lib
/lib64 → /usr/lib64

Some reasoning behind this change is outlined here:

Currently installed systems need some manual steps to convert the current system to match the layout of Fedora 17. After that, the system can continue to be updated with YUM as usual.

Some RPM packages in Fedora 17 are carrying an RPM dependency guard, which will make sure, they can only be installed when /bin, /sbin, /lib, /lib64 are symlinks and not directories like in Fedora 16 and older.

The installed system’s base filesystem layout can not be safely altered, while the system itself is running on top of it. Dracut, the initramfs used to find and mount the root filesystem, can be instructed to convert the filesystem to match Fedora 17’s expectations.

If your system has a split-off /usr, a separate mount point, the dracut /usr mount conversion logic might not work. If /usr resides on the net, then you should add "rd.neednet=1" and the network settings like "ip=dhcp" on the kernel command line. /usr on iSCSI, FCoE, NBD also is supported, as long as “netroot=...” is specified on the kernel command line for these disks (see man dracut.kernel(7)). If you have /usr on LVM, MD raid or DM raid, make sure the kernel command line has either all settings like "" to ensure the /usr device is accessible in dracut or just remove all restrictions like "rd.lvm...", "", "". Either way, you should probably use anaconda to update, if you are experiencing problems with a separate /usr.

Here are the steps to prepare your system, to convert it, and to be able to continue updating your installed system with yum:

Download and install the most recent dracut packages:

# yum update dracut

You should at least have dracut-009-15.fc15 for Fedora 15 or dracut-013-22.fc16 for Fedora 16.

Turn off any "hostonly" settings in /etc/dracut.conf*, if you turned on "hostonly".

Update the installed initramfs image for your current kernel, and instruct dracut to include the dracut module to convert your current filesystem:

# dracut --force --add convertfs

If your system has a split-off /usr, a separate mount point, and you don't know the kernel command line parameter to add, you can also try (dracut tries to generate them internally):

# dracut -H --force --add convertfs

If dracut detects ‘rd.convertfs’ on the kernel command line at bootup, it starts the filesystem conversion of the root filesystem. If it is already converted, it will just do nothing.

dracut will by default update the initramfs for the currently running kernel. Make sure that no new kernel has been installed since last boot and that you really will boot into the updated initramfs.

Change the following kernel commandline parameter directly in the bootloader menu, which is shown during bootup, or edit the line in /etc/grub*.cfg to remove ro and rhgb and append rw rd.convertfs enforcing=0

Explanation of the options:

- remove “ro” (read only)
- append “rw” (read write) to let dracut mount your root filesystem writeable
- remove “rhgb” (Red Hat graphical boot) to disable the graphical bootsplash
- append “” to get a more verbose output from dracut
- append “rd.convertfs” to enable the /usr-move conversion script in dracut
- append “enforcing=0” to disable SELinux enforcement

During bootup, dracut will now convert your filesystem, and /lib, /lib64, /bin and /sbin should then all be symbolic links to the corresponding directories in /usr.

After the conversion, the system needs to be immediately updated to Fedora 17. No packages from Fedora 16 or Fedora 15, or older rawhide packages must be installed anymore. Make sure to disable any Fedora 15 and Fedora 16 repositories in yum!

Any files with conflicting names, which the conversion could not resolve, will be backed up to files named *.usrmove~ residing in /usr/lib, /usr/lib64, /usr/bin and /usr/sbin.

Verify that dracut really completed the conversion. The log messages, which dracut has generated during bootup, can be retrieved with:

# dmesg | grep dracut

After a successful conversion, revert the changes made to the kernel command line in the bootloader config file /etc/grub*.cfg.

Then run,

# rm -f /var/lib/rpm/__*
# rpm --rebuilddb
# yum --releasever=17 update rpm
# rm -f /var/lib/rpm/__*
# rpm --rebuilddb
# yum --releasever=17 --disableplugin=presto distro-sync
# fixfiles onboot  

After upgrading, all should be set and done.

Have fun with your system and say “Good bye” to /bin, /sbin, /lib, /lib64 and meet them in /usr.

Fedora 15 -> Fedora 16

First install the new fedora 16 gpg key. You may wish to verify this package against and the fedora ssl certificate.

rpm --import

Next run chkconfig --list and note the enabled services; you will need to re-enable these with systemctl enable xxxxx.service after you reboot, as the Package-x-generic-16.pngsysvinit settings aren't propagated into Package-x-generic-16.pngsystemd. See release notes for more details.

Upgrade all packages with

yum update yum
yum clean all
yum --releasever=16 --disableplugin=presto distro-sync
Bootloader change
After the upgrade, you will have the Package-x-generic-16.pnggrub2 and Package-x-generic-16.pnggrub-efi packages installed and the Package-x-generic-16.pnggrub package removed. However, grub will still be installed to the MBR and booting should still work. You can follow the instructions below to switch to grub2 if you choose. If installed, the Package-x-generic-16.pngfirstaidkit-plugin-grub package may prevent the upgrade; do simply remove that package if that is the case.

If your system uses a BIOS, or you installed Fedora via BIOS emulation mode on an EFI system (not native EFI mode), you can switch to Fedora 16's supported grub2 bootloader with the following instructions. If your system was installed by native EFI boot, do not switch to grub2, as its EFI support is still unreliable. Fedora 16's supported bootloader for native EFI installations is still grub-legacy, so you should simply continue to use the system without making any special changes to the bootloader configuration.

To switch to grub2, run the command su -c '/sbin/grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg', then proceed as described above with reinstalling the bootloader, but call grub2-install /dev/XXX instead of grub-install /dev/XXX.

Known you upgrade -specific issues (for common problems, see references above):

  • Bug 743022 - F15->F16 yum update fails with IMSM (BIOS) raid

Fedora 14 -> Fedora 15

First install the new fedora 15 gpg key. You may wish to verify this package against and the fedora ssl certificate.

rpm --import

Upgrade all packages with

yum update yum
yum clean all
yum --releasever=15 --disableplugin=presto distro-sync
  • Do not run this from within an X terminal. Testing shows that X might hang while updating bitmap font packages.
  • There exist .drpms, but they don't match, due to a format change, so better disable the presto plugin by adding the option "--disableplugin=presto" (without quotes) when running yum.
  • The F15 screen client is not capable of attaching to F14 screen sessions. Thus, if you want to run the upgrade under screen, you should either upgrade screen itself in a separate operation or make a separate copy of screen to use throughout the process.
  • mysql 5.5.20 shipped with F15 uses InnoDB as default storage engine. After upgrading, mysqld could refuse to start-up with error Unknown/unsupported storage engine: InnoDB if argument skip-innodb is given on command line or configuration file /etc/my.cnf. Workarounds are removing the line (InnoDB will be run as default engine), or adding default-storage-engine command options specifying some other storage engine.

VirtualBox guest upgrades

The steps above work perfectly for upgrading a Fedora 14 guest to Fedora 15, but you also need to remove the Guest Additions. If you forget, F14 -> F15 upgrades will seem to fail after the first reboot. If that happens, log in to the console with CTRL+ALT+F2 and reinstall the guest additions manually:

mount /dev/cdrom /media
# if /dev/cdrom does not exist, try:
# mount /dev/sr0 /media
/bin/sh /media/

Fedora 13 -> Fedora 14

First install the new fedora 14 gpg key. You may wish to verify this package against and the fedora ssl certificate.

rpm --import

Upgrade all packages with

yum update yum
yum clean all
yum --releasever=14 distro-sync
  • If using VirtualBox from the Oracle repository, you must remove the VirtualBox-3.1 package before upgrading. After the upgrade is finished, install VirtualBox-3.2.

If you are running SELinux you may be locked out of your machine and required to boot to single user mode to fix up your machine. Redhat bug 702865 describes a fix as:

  1. setenforce 0
  2. yum remove selinux-policy selinux-policy-targeted
  3. rm -rf /etc/selinux/targeted

If, after upgrading you want selinux back:

  1. yum install selinux-policy selinux-policy-targeted
  2. fixfiles restore
  3. reboot

Upgrading from legacy end of life (EOL) Fedoras

Yum upgrading from older versions
Upgrading from older versions of Fedora is archived here: Upgrading from EOL Fedora using yum