Upgrading to Fedora 23 was a bad idea

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As I planned previously, when Fedora 23 was released a few weeks ago I didn’t upgrade right away. This time I waited a bit more. Specifically, I waited until RPM Fusion for Fedora 23 was released. It was still too soon.

Fedora 23 shipped with a release candidate of the X.org server, which is a bit weird. Fortunately, it has already been upgraded to the stable 1.18 release. The bad news is that the ABI for X drivers has changed and NVIDIA has not released a compatible new version of their proprietary drivers yet. This means you need to downgrade the X.org server to the one shipped with Fedora 22 for the time being. It’s not the first time such a thing happens in Fedora, from what I’m reading online, and other distributions like Arch are also affected.

This situation may last several more weeks. I’m still adapting to Fedora and I’m happy with the distribution so far. And, to be fair, this situation only affects Fedora users with an NVIDIA card and wanting to use the proprietary drivers. However, that’s my case. I will now adopt a new fully conservative policy: I will be one release behind, so as not to run the bleeding edge version. In practice that means I’ll be 6 months behind the software ecosystem, which is not much. And, anyway, some specific packages like Firefox are always at the latest release due to security fixes. And my custom packages will always be at the latest release too. I don’t think I’ll miss anything and I’m sure I’ll avoid many problems that way. Other boxes I own will continue to run Fedora 22 until the beta for Fedora 24 is announced. At that moment, more or less, I’ll switch them to Fedora 23.

Note Fedora supports versions for 18 months, and releases a new version every 6 months. This means you could even be running Fedora 21 as I’m writing this and it’s still supported, but in that case you should be preparing for migration. Being one version behind is probably a sane policy I should have adopted sooner.

Edit: On 2015-11-16 NVIDIA released new driver versions with support for X.org 1.18. I’m now using version 352.63. My former distribution, Slackware, was also affected for a couple of days as the new X.org version made its way to -current.

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