Upgrading Fedora using yum

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Warning (medium size).png
Although upgrades with yum or dnf do work, they are not explicitly tested as part of the release process by 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.

This page contains information explaining how to upgrade Fedora using yum or dnf: in general the instructions apply equally to both tools, you may substitute one for the other at any point. Dnf is the default tool for Fedora 22 and later, Yum for Fedora 21 and earlier.


Upgrading Fedora using yum or dnf directly

When upgrading with yum or dnf you don't get any help from the recommended upgrade mechanisms, but with a typical system you 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 or dnf usually works well with a typical installation and when following the advice below.


If you are upgrading using Yum or Dnf and it shows any general dependency issues, please file them in Bugzilla. 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 or dnf

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 or dnf 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


A small script named fedora-upgrade is available which aims to automate the process outlined below. To run it, do the following

$ sudo yum install fedora-upgrade 
$ sudo fedora-upgrade

When performing upgrade via remote shell, it is good idea to use screen or tmux utility to be able to get back to running transaction in case your connection drops.

Alternatively, follow the manual steps:

Go to a text console

ctrl + alt + F2


log in as root, and go into multi-user.target

systemctl isolate multi-user.target

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

Warning (medium size).png
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
Warning (medium size).png
If you experience any dependency problems, you have to solve them manually. Most often it is enough to remove several problematic package(s). Be very careful when doing so however.

Note: While it is recommended to upgrade to intermediate releases if upgrading from an older release (for example upgrading from Fedora 19 to 20, then 20 to 21), 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 'Minimal Install'

You might want to update other groups too, see

# yum grouplist

For example

# yum groupupdate "GNOME Desktop" \
    "Development Tools" "Sound and Video" \
    "Games and Entertainment" "Administration Tools" \
    "Office/Productivity" "System Tools"

6. Preparing for reboot

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

/usr/sbin/grub2-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 /usr/sbin/grub2-install --recheck /dev/sda).

It might also be necessary to update the grub config file:

cp --backup=numbered -a /boot/grub2/grub.cfg{,.bak} # create backup copy
/usr/sbin/grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg # update config file

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 [ -x $f ] && /sbin/chkconfig $f resetpriorities; done

7. Cleanup your system

Again, cleanup your system as described in section 2. Also you might want to remove some cache files that are no longer used, for example files from older Fedora releases in the following directories:

  • /var/cache/yum
  • /var/cache/dnf
  • /var/cache/mock
  • /var/lib/mock

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 rawhide

Warning (medium size).png
Rawhide is the development branch of Fedora. It is meant to be used by developers and testers to provide feedback to the Fedora Project.

See the Rawhide release page for more information on Rawhide.

# dnf install dnf-plugins-core fedora-repos-rawhide
# dnf config-manager --set-disabled fedora updates updates-testing
# dnf config-manager --set-enabled rawhide
# dnf clean -q dbcache plugins metadata
# dnf --releasever=rawhide --setopt=deltarpm=false distro-sync --nogpgcheck

## Optional: it is generally advised to do a selinux autorelabel and reboot
# touch /.autorelabel

Fedora 22 -> Fedora 23

# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-23-$(uname -i)
# dnf upgrade
# dnf clean all
# dnf --releasever=23 --setopt=deltarpm=false distro-sync --nogpgcheck

Fedora 21 -> Fedora 22

# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-22-$(uname -i)
# yum update yum
# yum clean all
# yum --releasever=22 distro-sync

Fedora 20 -> Fedora 21

# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-21-$(uname -i)
# yum update yum
# yum clean all
# yum --releasever=21 distro-sync

Fedora 21 split into different products. Execute one of those commands:

# yum install system-release-workstation
# yum install system-release-cloud
# yum install system-release-server

or this one if you want to have non-productized Fedora

# yum install system-release-nonproduct

If you change your mind, you can easily switch between products.

# yum swap system-release-cloud system-release-workstation

Swapping to workstation sometimes may require you to use yum shell as it may require multiple packages to be swapped.

Many people report (e.g. bugs 1035326, 1044184, 1002331) that after upgrade some files have incorrect SELinux context. It is recommend to run:

 # restorecon -R /

Appear to be enable to shutdown/reboot gracefully afterwards:

# shutdown -h now
Failed to start poweroff.target: Connection timed out
Failed to open /dev/initctl: No such device or address
Failed to talk to init daemon.

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