How to Upgrade from Fedora 38 to 39 (CLI + GUI Methods)

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Last night, Fedora unveiled its highly anticipated release, Fedora 39, featuring incredible enhancements like Linux Kernel 6.5 support, GNOME 45, and updates for various packages, including gcc 13.2, binutils 2.40, glibc 2.38, gdb 13.2, rpm 4.19, Python 3.12, and Rust 1.73.

Unfortunately, we have not written any dedicated articles on the features offered in Fedora 39 (which is out of the scope of this site), but you can check out this well-written blog or YouTube video.

In this article, you will learn how to upgrade from Fedora 38 to 39 using your terminal or desktop environment in a matter of seconds.

Tutorial Details

DescriptionUpgrading from Fedora 38 to 39 using Terminal or DE
Difficulty LevelModerate
Root or Sudo PrivilegesYes
OS CompatibilityFedora 38
Prerequisitesdnf
Internet RequiredYes

A Note for Readers

Now, before you impatiently launch your terminal and execute the following commands, I just want to notify you of a few things to avoid any system crashes or data loss.

  • Execute the following command only in Fedora 38 (stable).
  • If you are already using Fedora 39 beta, then simply execute the “sudo dnf update && sudo dnf upgrade” command.
  • If you are using the two-step older version of Fedora 39, such as Fedora 36 or 37, then avoid using the step to directly upgrade to Fedora 39 (unless you are a deviant).
  • In this situation, you can go in order to upgrade your system, like if you are using Fedora 36, then first upgrade to 37, then 38, and then 39, or you can directly perform a fresh installation.
  • And also, make sure to take a backup of your system (or at least your files) before performing any system-level task like upgrading (just do it if you’re a newbie).

Keeping all that in mind, let’s move on to the required steps to upgrade Fedora 38 to Fedora 39 from your command-line or desktop environment.

Upgrading from Fedora 38 to 39 in Terminal (CLI)

1. First, open your terminal and upgrade your pending updates using the following command:

$ sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

The above command will upgrade all the packages to their latest version, including those essential for supporting Fedora 39.

2. (Optional) Remove the residual packages, libraries, or dependencies that are no longer required by any other package, thereby indirectly freeing up some storage space.

$ sudo dnf autoremove

3. Install the DNF upgrade plugin package that is required in the upgrade process.

$ sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade

4. Execute the following command to download all the required packages for Fedora 39.

$ sudo dnf system-upgrade download --releasever=39

Note that if you have installed a bunch of packages from the source code, then you need to ensure that they do not create any issues. For that, use the “--allowerasing” flag with the above command to allow the removal of conflicting packages to resolve dependencies.

5. Once the above process is complete, execute the following command to start the upgrading process:

$ sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot

Note that the download size will be in GB and might take a good amount of time. So, you have to wait until the upgrade process is completely done (I recommend you not perform any task at the given time).

Once the installation process is done and your system is upgraded, you can check your current Fedora version by executing the following command:

$ cat /etc/os-release

Output:

Checking the Fedora version via the CLI

Upgrading from Fedora 38 to 39 via DE (GUI)

Of course, this article will be incomplete without showing you the update process in your desktop environment. So, for that, you can simply perform the following steps:

1. Open ā€œSettingsā€ by searching for them or from your notification area.

Opening the Fedora settings

2. Navigate to “About” -> “Software Updates” as shown.

Navigating to the Software Updates tab

3. Now, if your system is eligible for the update, you will see the following window: You just have to click on the ā€œDownloadā€ button to start the upgrade process.

Upgrading the Fedora using GUI

Note that if your system is not eligible for the update, then you might not see the above window. In that case, you can wait for 2 or 3 days or follow the command-line method.

After the installation is complete, you can navigate to “Settings” -> “About” and check your current version next to “OS Name“, as shown.

Checking the Fedora version via the GUI

Post Upgrade Tips (Optional)

Once the upgrade process is complete, you are ready to use your Fedora system as usual. However, there will be some temporary files and cached data associated with the system upgrade ā€” specifically, the downloaded packages and files used during the upgrade process.

To remove them, just execute this command:

$ sudo dnf system-upgrade clean

This helps free up disk space by getting rid of unnecessary files, ensuring a cleaner and more efficient system after an upgrade.

While removing unnecessary packages, there could be broken symbolic links (or symlinks) pointing to deleted files that might be removed during storage cleanup.

To get rid of broken symbolic links, just execute this command:

$ sudo find /usr -type l -xtype l -delete

#OR

$ sudo symlinks -r /usr | grep dangling             #It will list them for you to manually review before deletion.

Wrap Up

I already upgraded my system to Fedora 39, and Iā€™m having a great experience. You can also share your experience with this latest release and tell me what you really liked about this version of Fedora.

If you have any questions or queries related to this topic, then feel free to ask for help in the comment section.

Till then, peace!

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