Aurora Linux 1.92 (Tangerine) Install HOWTO

Adam Kropelin <>

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Last Updated: 8/22/2005

1.0 Overview

Aurora Linux is a port of RedHat Linux (now Fedora) to Sun SPARC processor based machines. Rebuilding the distro and fixing platform-specific bugs is a lot of work, so there is not a 1-to-1 correspondence between RedHat/Fedora releases and Aurora releases. To date there have been nine or so Aurora releases, the most relevant of which are:

Aurora Release RedHat/Fedora Release Release Format
1.0 (Ansel) RedHat 7.3 RPMs, Anaconda installer, ISOs
1.91 (Wombat) Fedora Core 2 Test 2 RPMs only
1.92 (Tangerine) Fedora Core 2 RPMs only

Since the two most recent Aurora releases are in RPM format only you must begin with a 1.0 installation and upgrade it to 1.91 or 1.92. Thankfully, the "Yellowdog Updater, Modified" tool (aka "yum") can be used to automate the process. There are some complications, though, due to the fact that essentially every package on the system will be replaced with a new version.

This HOWTO walks though the upgrade process. Since it is not possible to anticipate every possible package conflict, especially on aged 1.0 installations, you may encounter issues not addressed here. I have performed the upgrade starting from an "Everything" installation of 1.0 in order to ferret out as many details as possible.

2.0 Base Installation

As mentioned above, you must start with a Aurora 1.0 installation. I highly recommend beginning with a fresh installation consisting of the minimum number of packages necessary. It is much easier to add packages later than it is to resolve conflicts when trying to upgrade them.

2.1 Install Aurora 1.0

The 1.0 installation process is very reliable and is nearly identical to RedHat 7.3, so I will not spend any time documenting it here. Basically, download the ISOs, choose the packages you want to install, and come back in an hour.

Since you will be upgrading nearly every package on the system, do not spend any time configuring services. Configuration file formats often change between versions and you'll end up having to merge your old settings into the new config files, which is often much more painful than it sounds. If you already have some services configured, you might want to re familiarize yourself with the config details before you perform the upgrade in order to ease the burden of reconfiguring later.

2.2 Set Default Boot Environment to Text Mode

The new Linux 2.6.x kernel and (the replacement for XFree86) are still fairly young, especially on the SPARC platform. Various problems such as kernel crashes, blank screens, and inoperative mice have been encountered when trying to run X. Not everyone has problems, but issues are common enough it is wise to configure your machine to boot up in console text mode instead of graphical X11 mode. If your system is already so configured, skip ahead to the next step.

To change the default boot environment, you need to edit /etc/inittab and set the default runlevel to '3' instead of '5'. Here is a snippet showing the modified line in bold:


# Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are:
#   0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
#   1 - Single user mode
#   2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking)
#   3 - Full multiuser mode
#   4 - unused
#   5 - X11
#   6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)


2.3 Enable Remote Login

In some cases even the framebuffer console does not work in Linux 2.6.x. As a safety measure, consider enabling a remote network login such as telnet or ssh. I recommend ssh as it is very easy to install and quite reliable. If you don't have it already, you can wait until after step 3.2 and install openssh-server and it's dependencies using yum. In either case, be sure to test that your remote login works after a reboot.

3.0 Upgrade

The upgrade instructions below assume you are logged in with root privileges. You can log in directly as root, su from a mortal user, or use sudo.

The following issues are covered in the Troubleshooting section

  • switchdesk-gui-4.0.3-1 conflict