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Fedora plans formal upgrade leapfrog scheme

Support for version X to X+2 upgrades coming in Fedora 24

Red Hat senior quality assurance engineer Adam Williamson has revealed that the Fedora community is trying to deliver what it's calling “N-1” upgrades whereby it becomes possible upgrade from version X of Fedora to version X+2 without having to first install version X+1.

Williamson writes that Fedora's release cadence makes the N-1 scheme a good idea.

“The Fedora release process is expressly designed such that each release does not go EOL until a short time after the next-but-one release comes out (so Fedora 22 will not go EOL until a month after Fedora 24 comes out),” he writes.

That arrangement means “you always have at least a couple of Fedora stable releases to choose from at any given time (so you have the previous one to fall back on if the current one turns out to be a complete lemon for your purposes)”. But it also means that for those who don't adopt every new release - and that will be lots of people for the usual reasons of stability, resource levels and so on – upgrades to the newest version require rather a lot of work.

Which is not to say that N-1 upgrades are impossible, or that Fedora discourages them. It's just that they're not planned for in the distro.

Until now.

Williams says with version 24 the Fedora team is “trying to put this on a bit more of a formal, supported basis.”

Things have even progressed to the stage at which Fedorans are “discussing making N-1 upgrade support ‘required’ in a couple of senses: adding it to the release criteria and packaging guidelines.”

Fedora 24 is due to land on May 31st 2016, with an Alpha on March 15th and a Beta on April 26th along the way. ®

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