[Dextrose] upgrading XOs

Sascha Silbe sascha-ml-reply-to-2010-3 at silbe.org
Thu Nov 11 14:59:26 EST 2010

Excerpts from David Farning's message of Thu Nov 11 20:14:49 +0100 2010:

> > Others might provide more detailed information, but here's a summary:
> > Because - at least for Fedora 9 based builds - yum requires more RAM
> > than is available on XO-1. In at least some of the cases, it won't work
> > properly, but still continue (leaving the user to believe everything
> > went fine).
> Ahh, that is not good.

Yep. We should check what happens nowadays if yum encounters an OOM

There has been talk recently (not sure if on some mailing list or on
IRC) that the primary reason yum failed on OLPC builds was that some
yum cache directory was located on a tmpfs (i.e. in RAM). We should
deactivate that particular tmpfs for Dextrose for two reasons (both
detailed before, but I don't find the reference right now):

1. Putting it into a tmpfs will cause it to be downloaded over and
   over again. This can be quite expensive depending on how the XO is
   connected to the internet.

2. The tmpfs will fill up the already small RAM. AFAIK Dextrose doesn't
   configure any swap device, so any space taken up by a tmpfs means
   that part of RAM is not available for anything else.

If we eliminate this tmpfs, there might be a good chance updates
work as well as on Debian.

> > More recent versions of yum might be better in one of or even both
> > regards: Transaction support might fix the "go on as if nothing
> > happened" issue. Memory requirements might have improved as well.
> > Hopefully some of the Fedora folks will elaborate on this (all I
> > wrote is from my personal experience as a user).
> Could either you or alsroot look into this?

I'd prefer someone else to look into it as I don't have much knowledge
of Red Hat technology (rpm, yum, etc.). Managing patches insides rpms
is "interesting" enough for now. ;)

> I think Steven is shooting to do a test release every other Friday.
> Then we can have two deliverables. 1) An Image and 2) a target repo.

Sounds good to me. It would be great for testing if the image could
boot not only on XOs, but also inside KVM. That should be easy enough
to achieve by installing a regular kernel image and boot loader in
addition to the OLPC kernel image and olpc.fth. (This might already be
the case, haven't checked yet).


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