I had to install Fedora 33 from scratch to have the Btrfs as my default file system. Such reinstallation is not easy for me. I would like to know if there are any more breaking changes comping to Fedora that require users to have a fresh installation in the future.
I am just a home user of Fedora.
I guess you can have a look on the approved change list for the next version to have your own conclusion.
I am aware of this change list. I am asking about breaking changes in the longer run.
I would like to learn more about Fedora’s future directions as well.
Technology changes/evolves constantly and people/products adapt to it, this is not specific to Fedora or Linux, this applies to life in general. I wouldn’t want to use Fedora if it had a constant set of features which will not change during its lifetime. As for changes, some of them are seamless across version upgrades but some requires fresh installation, you need to decide yourself if you want that new feature and can do a fresh install. You can follow discussions about +1 version’s change list in the devel mailing list:
Perhaps you should consider another point of view, that many of the system changes are optional, so it’s up to the user whether to accept them or not.
Some of the features can be safely utilized long before they become the default, and others may not really worth time wasted to reinstall the system.
For anxious person and Sorry for that! which is not bad because you are looking to try new things and learning new stuff, and this is always a good habit,
Why is Good Habit?
Like all systems, errors can appear and the more people use the functions, more bugs we can caught and will be better for everyone and for the distribution.
But in this specific case there is a magazine post under the HUB talking about How to convert my existing Default System to BTRFS wihtout re-installing.
Another thing we can’t consider this as [Future Breaking Changes in Fedora], works with LVM+Ext4 or With BRTFS or wharever will be the filesystem, is only a change of what is the best file system?.. , fedora always seeks the best of the best and to be the spearhead in technology, and what is the value of this new technologies contribute to the distribution?.
There are not any planned at this time. Fedora generally does not plan on a timeframe longer than about 18 months, because it’s just too hard to predict what’s going to happen in the technology landscape. In fact, most of our changes are planned on a 3-9 month timeframe using our Changes process (documented in detail at that link). If something is too big for that, we use Fedora Objectives, a framework for change over a 12-18 month period.
You can see the accepted changeset for Fedora 34 at Releases/34/ChangeSet - Fedora Project Wiki, and a history of such changes at Releases - Fedora Project Wiki, and Objectives at the link to the Council documentation above.
In the specific case of Btrfs, reinstalling is the recommended way to change your filesystem, just because it’s the most fail-safe — and, the old-school sysadmin in me wants to add that although this is a pain, it’s also a way to show yourself that you have working backups and can do this, which is better to know on your own schedule then when a hard drive dies. But, as @hhlp has linked above, you can actually convert on the fly if you want. Or, you can choose to not change filesystems. I don’t think we would have accepted a change which forced everyone to reinstall, so in that sense, this isn’t a “breaking change”. The previous LVM/ext4 or xfs configurations are still supported and valid ways to run your system.
In the entire life of Fedora ( >15 years) I only recall 2 changes that could (potentially) force a reinstall.
- Legacy boot switched to UEFI boot. Reinstall there is at personal choice because you can still, even after several years with UEFI in use, install and run in legacy boot mode. This would not be forced until the BIOS no longer supports legacy boot. Bios changes are not in the control of fedora developers.
- Switching from (default) install of ext4/LVM to BTRFS. Again, a reinstall is personal choice because an upgrade does not force a change to BTRFS, and even a new install to already partitioned devices will use the existing ext4 file system. It only changes the default new install filesystem to BTRFS when doing automatic partitioning on a clean install.
Thus your concerns about “forced” changes seems misplaced and not a real issue since everything to date has been entirely up to the user to accept the changes or not.
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