another upgrade, another disaster

Neal Becker ndbecker2 at
Tue May 29 20:42:30 UTC 2012

Basically the same kind of failure as the last several times I did updates.  
This time f16->f17.  Used preupgrade.

It seems to have all gone wrong when cpio failed, because a python package had 
been installed using pip into the (default) system dirs.  The conflict IIRC 
happens because pip installs a dir where cpio expects a file (or vice-versa).

I've since learned to use pip install --user instead - but there was still a 
leftover package.

I was happy (temporarily) to see that I could still reboot the machine.  Remove 
the offending package.

Then IIRC I restarted the upgrade.  It seemed to complete OK.  I was pleased to 
see it appear to continue from where it left off.

On reboot, I found a huge mess.  Duplicate packages (f16/f17) all over.


1) Could I have actually recovered from this mess without a complete re-install?

2) Can't we make the install fail more gracefully?

3) Would it be possible to continue an failed install, and have it actually 

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