Fedora 33 to 34/35 upgrade - worth a reinstall? What to look out for?

I need a tip/help, sorry this is a long one…

So Fedora 34 has been out for a while now, and Fedora 35 released recently, but I’ve been putting off upgrading from Fedora 33 until now because there’s some major changes I’m not sure about.

My original installation was Fedora 27 and has only been upgraded since. Over the years I have had a couple annoyances, no major issues though, so I’m going to stick to Fedora since I know how to handle it reasonably OK at this point.

I’ve been contemplating whether to upgrade or reinstall the system for a while now but I’m probably just going to reinstall because I’ve got some time on my hands and it has been a while. I’m usually an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of guy which is why I put it off for so long, but gotta take a risk some time right. I just hope it’s not going to introduce issues I didn’t have before.

Fedora 33 and newer comes with btrfs as boot partition by default, which seems appealing with snapshots and other stuff, but I don’t know enough to know if there’s any downsides. Anything I should look out for?

As of Fedora 34 it now also comes with Wayland and Pipewire by default. While Wayland is not an issue since I can just change to an X session if needed, Pipewire might be more tricky if issues arise.

That point is an important one for me because I have been streaming from this setup for about a year and so I just want this to work. I have a couple virtual audio devices set up in PulseAudio (from what I gather they should carry over to PipeWire).
Thing is just that I don’t want to fiddle around with this for days and not be able to stream. I’m not making any money off it, but it would still be annoying.
I know I will have to run on an X session because Browser docks don’t work yet on Wayland and I’m fairly reliant on them. That’s not an issue, but what about PipeWire? There are some documented issues with it, but they don’t seem to happen for everyone. In case I need to go back to PulseAudio, how would I do that?

One last thing about packages. What’s the easiest way to get a list of packages I installed myself?

Theoretically there is dnf history userinstalled/dnf repoquery --userinstalled, but this lists various packages that I definitely didn’t install myself (but might have been dependencies, although man dnf says these shouldn’t be listed).

My DNF seems to have lost track of user-installed packages (see here), so I guess just saving dnf history, and grepping for installs then?

Are there any other directories I might want to back up before nuking?

My settings should be safe, since my /home is separate from root (same drive, but separate partition). I also have a handy-dandy markdown document with a couple system-tweaks I had to do over time, in case I need them again.

I don’t really like doing this buuuttt… bump

Any hints at all? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I started out with F27 and have done in place upgrades.

Always backup your home dir just in case… but i havent had any issues yet.

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Personally, I’m a big fan of starting fresh every once in a while for a desktop OS

I basically always just treat it like a chance to do spring cleaning and re-evaluate what I have installed, why, and how.

It’s doubtful you’ll have any problems with an in-place up grade though given that it’s Fedora, after all; never seen or heard of that breaking something.

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When you say in place upgrades, I assume you are referring to dnf system-upgrade, right? That’s what I’ve been doing since the original installation and it’s been great.

One thing I’m wondering though is if an upgrade from 33 to 34 and then 35 will also automatically get me PipeWire, where I’d have to potentially solve the same issue of going back to PulseAudio.
Do you know what happens during the upgrade regarding that?

In addition, I’m just wondering if btrfs alone would be worth the reinstall (since obviously I won’t get that when doing an upgrade). But I really don’t know enough about the pros and cons of filesystems to make a judgment there.

yes i believe it changes to pipewire in f34 unless you revert it back

and theres a diff pipe something when going to F35

i just updated two of my systems to F35 today… havent had time to play with it much, but i havent noticed anything wrong yet.

idk im fine with xfs
up to you


Short pro vs con of each I skimmed Comparison Between Btrfs and XFS Filesystems

Honestly, aside from Snapshots, not sure I see a reason why you’d want to upgrade if without a specific issue holding back in xfs

And even with snapshots…ehhhhh~ that’s never been my preferred way of backing stuff up, so I wouldn’t even use that feature


This is basically me… Except I’ve been doing this since Fedora 23.

An in place update is basically dropping down to multiuser.target and doing dnf -y upgrade --releasever=35 using rpmconf -a and MERGE=vimdiff to negotiate any configs… (I don’t have much so I ignore that step.) I can’t do dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade because I do not use grub. I installed systemd-boot and haven’t looked back.

There are instruction on how to do an in place update here:

and the typical update process is here:

I was intrigued at first by the BTRFS option for a new install. I upgraded on one machine through dnf and didn’t think twice. My LVM/XFS set up has not bothered me so why should I change it. I have 1 boot partition and an encrypted LVM container with / & /home. No reason for me to go with BTRFS. I do have 2 other machines to update, but I usually wait a month before updating those so… I will also do those like I always do.

I do have the benefit of not having much installed on the OS as is. Flatpaks and toolbox/podman solves all my software needs. So the OS is very clean.

xfsdump & xfsrestore :sunglasses:




Just so you know, this isn’t a “supported” way to update. but I will always use it :sunglasses:

You don’t happen to know how to do that easily?
I mean, uninstalling the pipewire-pulse package(s) would probably do it but I don’t know if that’s the “right” way to do it.

Well the current installation is on ext4, but it’s not like I know the differences there either.

As for snapshots, I don’t think they are meant as a backup anyway, more a failsafe when messing something up for a quick revert.

That’s the one I was following over the last releases. I never did the optional steps though because well… they’re optional and I’m lazy (probably not good, but it worked out so far).

From what I read that is a session manager, so it would replace sddm?

One thing I’m always wondering is how clean an upgrade really is and how much of a difference to a reinstall it makes. I mean, upgrading is bound to drag some old stuff and potentially messed up configs with it, no?


Depends how much stuff you have on your base install…
For example: I use flatpaks and toolbox/podman heavily. The only app in my system still on the OS natively is steam. I’m not running Silverblue, but I am Silverblue-like. Keep as much away from the Host OS as possible. My upgrades go through without a hitch.

Well I’m pretty much the opposite I guess, I mostly stay away from Flatpaks and Containers and I’d rather have native binaries.

Upgrades always went through without issue as well and I only had one time a package couldn’t be upgraded (because Inkscape wasn’t updated in 800 years) and I had to uninstall it before.

But I don’t think the binaries will be an issue anyway, moreso the configurations.

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Honestly, you sure this isn’t a case of FOMO? Sounds like your current setup is fine really and there’s no real reason for you to care about the file system changes

I’m not one to talk considering how often I reinstall windows, but I always saw the reason to use linux as explicitly so I wouldn’t have to think about stuff like this on those machines :slight_smile:

Don’t see a reason to replace a perfectly well functioning tool without a compelling reason.


Haha while snapshots aren’t suppose to be actual backups, how much you wanna bet people use it as such?

Not really sure how much time it actually save though if you already sync all the important stuff

Lol I know this is a absolutely true on windows and, to a lesser, extent MacOS…but Fedora should be perfectly fine really; at most you may have some useless stuff floating around, but not like it will hurt anything, I think

I’d do it out of OCD and a desire to reevaluate everything p, but that’s all

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Mh IDK, not really? The reason I ask is because I don’t know, I got no issue with continuiing with ext4, it worked for 3 years and I don’t see why it would break now :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Which is precisely why I’m asking, I don’t know if there is one.

Hm well that’s what I’d hope as well.
It’s just always the nagging in the back of the head that something could be broken, kinda hard to explain :thinking:

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Just go for it then :slight_smile: sounds like me and windows updates; my ocd hits every major update (so about 6 months) and while I know it doesn’t matter 99% of the time, it does make me feel better

No need to justify it if you just want to do it for peace of mind, right?

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True, but then it’s also that other voice saying what if it brings new issues with it :stuck_out_tongue:

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So, Containers through toolbox are basically native because toolbox/podman is binding your /home etc to the container. and all software is installed in it. The cool thing is it’s rootless and GUI’s run as expected.

It’s really cool way to keep a system in a certain state, but also allows for cool stuff like running a debian install, ubuntu and an arch install through containers.

I read your OP back… If you are on F33 it’s best practice to do it in order to get to F35. so F33 > F34 > F35. You should be able to do this through the plugin upgrade so if you intend on doing so, I recommend doing that soon.

Can I do a single upgrade across many releases (i.e. 30→34)?



Oh yeah I was absolutely going to do that anyway if I just went the upgrade route. Will take 20minutes longer but at least it should come with less (potential for) issues.

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If your backups are good, ai don’t see the concern with snapshots unless you update software much or are just reckless. Keep your current partitions, encrypted volumes as is and keep :tophat:

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