Updating PCLOS to 2007

by pmbasehore

While prowling the forum recently, I have noticed that many of you have been asking about updating PCLOS to the current Test Release, or even to the final. After reading several posts by various members of the development team, I believe it wise to consolidate the answers to this important question.

That being said, let's get started, shall we?

PCLinuxOS 0.93a

Can you update 0.93a to a test release or to the final? The short answer is, "No." PCLinuxOS 2007 uses a different version of the GNU C Compiler (gcc) and C Library (glibc), which is incompatible with the kernel used in 0.93a. The updated C utilities forced the development team to design PCLOS 2007 to be re-installed, rather than updated.

Another related question that has been asked is:"What will happen to PCLOS 0.93a once PCLOS 2007 is released?" To put it bluntly, 0.93a will be unsupported. So many applications require the new C utilities that there would be few applications that could run on the previous versions. According to Sal, "you don't have to ditch your P.93a or earlier install if you don't want to, it is just now static." http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php?topic=14695.msg116493#msg116493

PCLinuxOS Test Releases

There are two questions about updating a test release: Can I update to a future test release? And, Can I update to the final?

Test Release to Test Release

Updating from test release to test release should be possible, but is not recommended by the development team. Each test release of PCLOS 2007 is intended to detect and fix bugs; it is not yet ready for production use. This means that even if you could update, say, Test Release 2 to Test Release 3, any bug report you would give to the development team would be worthless because no one would be sure if the bug came from TR3 or if it was a product of the update.

Test Release to Final

Again, it should be possible to update from a test release to the final, however, it is not recommended. As stated before, each test release is intended for bug fixing, while PCLOS 2007 Final will be stable. Any updates made from a test release may keep some bugs in the system. For the most stable, secure Linux system, a fresh reinstall of PCLOS 2007 Final is the best way to go.

How to Reinstall

Previous to the release of 2007 RC1 the status quo has always been to reinstall the operating system files and leave your home partition alone. This is NOT recommended when reinstalling from PCLOS .93a to a test release, or a test release to the final release, due to the nature of the files kept in the home directory.

Every program that has specific settings keeps a folder in the user's home directory that stores these settings. These folders are hidden to reduce unwanted edits that may break the system. Since most applications will be using the new C utilities, they may be incompatible with configuration files left by their predecessors. If the home directory is kept for PCLOS 2007, these applications (including KDE or GNOME) may not load at all! See this forum post: http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php?topic=14695.msg116497#msg116497

The best advice is to backup only the files you need. These files could include contacts, email, calendar, bookmarks, themes (KDE, KDM, SuperKaramba, etc), and a list of extensions to download for Firefox. http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php?topic=14695.msg116827#msg116827

Bottom Line

So, what's the bottom line? Don't update. Even though updating might work, it is still a bad idea. Back up all your important files and reinstall when 2007 Final is released. Your computer will thank you, I promise.