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Using Fedora Rawhide

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What is

Fedora Rawhide is what the next Fedora will become and it and contains the latest build of all Fedora packages updated on a daily basis. These packages are lightly tested or not tested at all. Bugs are are luckily to occur. Some bugs will make your system totally un-bootable.

Use it with caution

If you are using Rawhide with dual boot with another system (ie Fedora 18) make sure you will use Fedora’s 18 boot manager (Grub) and not Rawhide’s. In my case, I have a second SSD that I run Rawhide and so far I haven’t notice any issue with Grub. But no need to risk it, and if you do, you should be able to rescue your system with a live Image.

What is not

You can assume that Rawhide is kinda like an unstable Rolling Release. Fedora 19 Alpha will come out from Rawhide at some point. However Rawhide is different from Alphas or Betas versions. When you will have Fedora 19 Beta, Rawhide will probably be at version 20.

You can sync a Rawhide with an Alpha, even with a Beta but I reckon to don’t do that. Instead, is better to install a clean Fedora Alpha. I tried to downgrade one single package  -XServer + dependencies. It was impossible for my skills. Imagine if you need to downgrade 1000 packages ;)

How to install

To install Rawhide you need either a Fedora 18 or a nightly build.  Then run:

$ sudo yum install fedora-release-rawhide

This will add the Rawhide Repos under


Although not necessary is good idea to disable the Fedora 18 Repos. Open the Fedora Repos and set “enabled=0”. For example

$ sudo gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora.repo

Do that also for “updates” and “testing” repos. If you have some complains about missing keys also set to 0 the gpgcheck. This is similar as

$ sudo yum update --nogpgcheck

Before you upgrade your system to Rawhide is a good idea to update your yum

$ sudo yum upgrade yum

And then just update your system

$ sudo yum update

That will upgrade about 1200 packages, so you have to wait a bit. That is all, you are done ;)


Rawhide as today has mostly a GNOME 3.7.4. However it stays behind the GNOME development around 10-15 days -sometimes more. And many many things have changed in this time in GNOME.

Rawhide is slow

Fedora development versions sometimes come with debug kernels. This will significantly decrease the performance of your system. To test if you have a debug kernel

$ grep DEBUG_SPINLOCK /boot/config-xxx(tab here for auto-complete)


CONFIG_DEBUG_SPINLOCK is not set //This is a no-debug kernel
CONFIG_DEBUG_SPINLOCK=y //This is a debug kernel

If you want, you can install no-debug kernels from Koji. You can further improve the speed of the system (UI) by installing proprietary drivers from RPM Fusion that gives builds for Rawhides installations. My NVidia works fine.

Use Systemd

I had made a post about Systemd with some sources. You can check it here. I refer it here because for 2-3 days the GDM is bugged in my Rawhide. What I did was to install the lightdm and make it default with systemd.

Install lightdm

$ sudo yum install lightdm

Disable GDM

$ sudo systemctrl disable gdm

Enable lightdm

$ sudo systemctrl enable lightdm

That will make lightdm your default login manager in the next boot. GNOME lock screen won’t work with lightdm. So you need to check when GDM will be again working. In a console “Ctrl+Alt+F2” stop lightdm

$ sudo systemctrl stop lightdm

Then start GDM

$ sudo systemctrl start gdm

If GDM works you can set it again as default Login Manager with the previous procedure. Systemd will be your friend for lots of things!

Rawhide and JHBuild

The other cool thing about Rawhide is that it works terrific with a JHBuild installation with GNOME. It works better than JHBuild with Fedora 18. By the way Gnomers have update a lot the JHBuild instructions so you might want to check it again, if you weren’t satisfied the first time.

I believe that Rawhide+JHBuild is a very nice way if you want to submit some GNOME and Fedora bugs. Both projects need more testers. And in my opinion testing is the biggest contribution you can make. Also the easiest. So if you have some time, don’t skip it ;)


That was just a quick intro. I think is silly to make step by step tutorials (do this, do that) when the official documentation exists. So before you try Rawhide check a bit the sources bellow.


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