Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 800316
Bootloader upgrade options description is misleading
Last modified: 2012-06-05 12:02:09 EDT
Description of problem:
While upgrading from fully updated Fedora 16 to Fedora 17 Alpha Rc4 with "Skip bootloader" option selected, Anaconda seems to delete all the entries from GRUB while "Skip bootloader" option suggests that GRUB should be left untouched.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Install clean Fedora 16
2. Do full update of Fedora 16
3. Run Fedora 17 Alpha RC4, choose upgrade and then "Skip bootloader" option
Entries in /boot/grub2/grub.cfg are removed
/boot/grub2/grub.cfg is not touched
Created attachment 567884 [details]
Created attachment 567886 [details]
Created attachment 567887 [details]
I propose this as a beta blocker per criterion "The installer must be able to successfully complete an upgrade installation from a clean, fully updated default installation (from any official install medium) of the previous stable Fedora release, either via preupgrade or by booting to the installer manually. The upgraded system must meet all release criteria" 
Note: I see this also when upgrading F16 -> F17 Beta TC1 (Anaconda 17.12).
Anaconda is not touching your grub config.
The changes you are seeing are from grubby, which is invoked by the kernel's post-installation script.
There isn't really any way to make the system install a new kernel rpm without configuring your bootloader to be able to boot that new kernel. The "skip bootloader" option is intended for people who are using some non-linux bootloader and literally have no bootloader installed on their linux system.
(In reply to comment #6)
> Anaconda is not touching your grub config.
> The changes you are seeing are from grubby, which is invoked by the kernel's
> post-installation script.
> There isn't really any way to make the system install a new kernel rpm without
> configuring your bootloader to be able to boot that new kernel. The "skip
> bootloader" option is intended for people who are using some non-linux
> bootloader and literally have no bootloader installed on their linux system.
It actually does not matter what changes the configuration at all, the point is that it is changed despite the fact that anaconda says:
"This option makes no changes to boot loader configuration."!
I know that it also says:
"If you are using a third party bootloader, you should choose this.",
but that does not imply that it changes your bootloader configuration if you use e.g. Grub. The description of the option is completely misleading and should be changed IMHO.
Sigh, we deal with these issues every single release. The description of these options is so misleading, that _even Fedora QA members are confused by it_.
See also bug #800376.
Current state is:
1. 'Update bootloader' option is missing.
2. 'Skip bootloader' updates bootloader if it is grub. That means its description ("this option makes no changes") is not true.
3. Anaconda fails the QA test cases as they were documented for the previous release:
(not present, fail)
("The previous bootloader configuration should be left completely untouched, even if it is now invalid (unbootable)", fail)
This is not a problem in code. It is a problem in failed assumptions, in documentation.
Here's my attempt to fix it (language correction needed of course):
(o) Install new bootloader (recommended)
Removes any previous bootloader (if any) and installs a new one with default configuration. It will try to automatically detect any other operating systems you might have in your computer and list them together with Fedora.
( ) Try to update existing bootloader
For any supported bootloader this will attempt to add all the configuration items required to boot Fedora, but won't touch the bootloader otherwise (replace or upgrade it). Unsupported bootloaders will be ignored completely. Currently supported bootloaders: GRUB, GRUB 2
( ) Don't touch bootloader
The bootloader and its configuration will be ignored completely. You'll need to manually adjust them to boot Fedora.
Do you think it's more readable and valid?
If you really want to remove 'Update bootloader' option and merge it with 'Skip', and you also can't prohibit grubby updating grub.conf, just remove the last option. Then it reflects current Anaconda behavior (at least I think so).
The new description can also be re-used in the new Anaconda UI.
I'll leave F17Beta blocker tag active on this bug, because till Beta we need an explanation from Anaconda team about the currently supported ways of bootloader upgrade (especially how exactly should they work in all the aforementioned cases). We need this information to update our test cases (linked above).
Can you provide that description here, David (or someone else)? Thanks.
After we have the exact knowledge how Anaconda should work, we can then discuss whether this bug itself should be a blocker or not (how much the labels are misleading and whether we see it as a problem). We can remove the blocker tag then.
Discussed at 2012-03-09 blocker review meeting. Agreed this bug is not a blocker as the impact is fairly small (it affects only the rarely used 'skip bootloader' option). We have other bugs for more serious problems with bootloader handling on upgrade.
Fedora Bugzappers volunteer triage team
Brian, can you append a short explanation why you've closed this bug as WONTFIX? Thanks.
newui is going to change how this works/is presented to the user.