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Upgrades Bug Linux

Some Early Adopters Stung By Ubuntu's Karmic Koala 1231

Norsefire writes to mention a Register piece reporting that early adopters are having a tough time with Karmic Koala, Ubuntu's latest release. "Ubuntu 9.10 is causing outrage and frustration, with early adopters wishing they'd stuck with previous versions of the Linux distro. Blank and flickering screens, failure to recognize hard drives, defaulting to the old 2.6.28 Linux kernel, and failure to get encryption running are taking their toll, as early adopters turn to the web for answers and log fresh bug reports in Ubuntu forums." What has been your experience if you've moved to Karmic?
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Some Early Adopters Stung By Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

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  • by Patman ( 32745 ) <pmgeahan-slashdo ... g ['ave' in gap]> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:36PM (#29969654) Homepage

    I've had a fairly painless upgrade from Jaunty on two laptops and a desktop. What is weird for me is how it interacted with VirtualBox; after the upgrade, my username was missing from the vboxusers group and my XP VMs no longer saw the USB hub; easy to fix once I figured it out, but really frustrating.

  • Re:Professionalism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:36PM (#29969660) Homepage

    The original article was itself a troll worthy of comp.os.linux.advocacy and not really terribly impressive.

    Old kernel? What a tragedy! Did you not pay attention to the prompts during the upgrade?

    One wonders how much of this stuff is self-inflicted in some fashion or another.

  • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:37PM (#29969676)

    My primary desktop at home, a 2nd desktop at work, and before release, I had the beta and then RC running in VM's for a few weeks. None of these had problems. Then again most of this is on older hardware (p4's with similar era video cards, etc).

    Ubuntu needs to put a YMMV disclaimer :P

  • I got a bit stung (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brietech ( 668850 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:38PM (#29969698)
    I upgraded from 9.04 to 9.10, and everything went smoothly except for the following: 1. My sound hardware is no longer recognized for some reason. I have a Dell Dimension computer with integrated audio, and it had worked fine after installing 9.04, but stopped working when I upgraded. It now claims I have no sound hardware installed, and I'm not entirely sure how to correct it. 2. After rebooting, the screen now goes blank (video card stops outputting) when X should start and bring up the login screen. I'm also not sure what caused this. I dropped down to a console, tried to kill the running X process, and then things seemed to miraculously work. I actually had to get something done, so I just went with it, but I'm not sure exactly what happened (or what I did to fix it). Maybe this is related to the proprietary Nvidia drivers I'm using? Everything else seemed to work just fine as far as I can tell. When I have a few hours to dig through forums, I'll try to fix the sound and the screen blanking thing.
  • Pretty smooth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SkankinMonkey ( 528381 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:38PM (#29969708)
    I upgraded my wife's system - which is on a Japanese laptop and everything seems to have gone fairly smoothly. I was concerned when it asked me for the keyboard settings, but it seems to have respected my original settings nonetheless. Boot times seem a bit nicer and she hasn't complained of any stability issues. It's definitely gone a lot smoother than past upgrades which were extremely unstable on her system, X often crashing, windows becoming unresponsive, or the arty completely bombing out for no reason.
  • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:40PM (#29969752) Journal

    Canonical has made no secret of the fact that deadlines are more important to them than milestones. They shoot (ostensibly) for "usability", not stability.

  • by jackb_guppy ( 204733 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:40PM (#29969758)

    It runs better than 9.04 on this machine that I am using. This is a K6-3D/400 with 256M and 10G drive. It was upgraded from 7.04 - 16 hours per release.

    Issues since 9.10...

    Failure during boot get Xwindows/gnome to start. On new log on screen is now a choice of gnome and safe gnome. Just change to the other one and boots OK.

    During first boot Netscape kept kicking errors about xorg. Those when a way on second full boot.

    Do not like new update apt just showing up with a click. Liked better the icon in tool bar.

  • Only Use LTS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by peterindistantland ( 1487953 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:42PM (#29969806)
    Both Intrepid and a brief trial of Jaunty hurt me badly, now I just stick with 8.04 LTS, the only Ubuntu version that can be trusted. Fortunately backports are plenty out there. 6 months releasing cycles are a joke. Just look at how long Windows 7 has been tested before release.
  • FUD? On my slashdot? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:44PM (#29969832)

    Have had Karmic Koala since release and have not had any problems, unlike 8.04 which broke my sound drivers. This release has been flawless.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:45PM (#29969866) Journal

    My experience upgrading 9.04 to 9.10 Kubuntu:

    I needed to make room to upgrade, because the 4 Gb SSD in the EEE was close to full. I have my /home partition on the 12 Gb SSD, so I needed to clean out things like the apt cache. Eventually, I had to remove some bigger packages like Picasa (with Wine) and Open Office to free up enough space on /.

    With 50 Mb more than it claims it wanted, it finally started.

    Halfway thru the upgrade, it froze and I had to reboot. Packages had been downloaded, but not all installed.

    I had to reboot using a rescue USB stick and chroot over to the main disk. I tried an apt-get dist-upgrade and it said the system was hosed, and suggested a dpkg -a something rescue command. I did that and it finished processing the files it had. I then rebooted into "recovery mode" on that version, and did the dist-upgrade again and it finished. Another reboot and it was successfully in a normal login.

    I logged in and immediately did and apt-get update, apt-get upgrade, apt-get autoremove to get the half-dozen updates and clean things up. I then added back in Open Office and a few other missing packages that I cleaned out to make space.

    The only thing I can say is in the end, it worked. I've had upgrade horrors like this before with Slackware -- which I have *NEVER* successfully upgraded. They *ALL* had to be re-installs, which is one of the big reasons why I no longer use Slackware. In the past, upgrades have gone smoothly with (K)Ubuntu, as well as my CentOS, Fedora and Red Hat systems. This one was one of the worst.

    It is nice, one running. Very slick, and I am mostly quite happy with the way it operates. The only bug I've bumped into that is new is if I'm running on battery, and the battery gets low enough for the system to issue a warning, kicker dies. No, I haven't reported it, yet. Probably later tonight I'll see if I can get a backtrace and send it over.

    My experience would have really stumped a Linux noob. There needs to be a bit more Q&A. I got the feeling there was a bit of "let's push out on the Windows 7 day, no matter what" going on.

  • Re:Professionalism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:47PM (#29969888) Homepage Journal

    I upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 and it is quite buggy. Much more than previous releases. I have had to go back to the NDIS wrapper to use my WG511 PCMCIA wifi adapter. I haven't had to do that in years.

    My observations [].

  • by selven ( 1556643 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:47PM (#29969890)

    The upgrade was a bit rough - the GUI system update tools are very prone to breaking, often freezing to the point that only a forcequit can put things back to normal (I almost always use the command line because of that). Unfortunately the only way I knew of to update to 9.10 was using a GUI tool, which naturally broke, forcing me to restart the upgrade (although it was called a "partial upgrade". As for the finished product, booting time is abysmal, pushing past 100 sec. and the wireless doesn't work without a driver (it worked flawlessly in 9.04), and even with the driver whenever I move around any new wireless networks I come across aren't recognized - I need to suspend/unsuspend to restart the wireless system and get the new access points recognized. And the monitor randomly shuts off once in a while. And the mouse (trackpad) moves erratically sometimes.

    Either I should switch to some other distro or I need better hardware.

  • Upgraded 3 computers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tthomas48 ( 180798 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:51PM (#29969956) Homepage

    All 3 to Karmic. All 3 work great. None are even remotely similar hardware wise. As an added bonus the power saving on my laptop works better than my wife's Vista machine now which is definitely a great upgrade.

  • My Experience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Das Auge ( 597142 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:53PM (#29970016)
    I've been using it since the morning it came out (before it showed up on the home page, but was on the mirrors).

    I haven't had any show stopping problems. I've found it to be waaay better than 9.04. The sound works far better (it used to not work for some apps), as does compiz.

    Oddly, the only thing that didn't work about Ubuntu One. It complained that I had a version too new for the servers. *shrug*
  • by Vancorps ( 746090 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:54PM (#29970036)
    It's also important to note the difference between LTS and 10 release. If you want stable you stick with LTS. This has been the case for at least as long as I've been an Ubuntu user. The thing that pisses me off to no end is that pain you have to go through to get a xen kernel on Ubuntu which makes it a pain in the ass to install in VM on XenServer. Ended up creating PV VM, using a Debian kernel, and then creating a VM template. So when I create a new VM I resize the disk to be what I need. Of course there are other errors, tcpdump and dhclient on my Ubuntu server installs seems to error on bootup with Debian but fortunately for me, it's a server so I just removed dhclient. Probably just going to remove AppArmor too since that seems to be causing the tcpdump error. A lot of effort just for a PV setup when it all works by default with Windows. Of course SUSE, Fedora, CentOS all work fine with their regular installers.
  • Re:Release cycles? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cmdr_tofu ( 826352 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:20PM (#29970488) Homepage
    I wish I could mod you up. For the record, I love Ubuntu, but I tend to run only the LTS releases. They are the ones that Canonical and the community put all their effort into for running production systems. I have never had a problem upgrading dapper (6.06 LTS) to Hardy (8.04 LTS), but I have had small problems with some of the intermediate releases.

    I had been playing with Karmic-server on VMs for about a month now, but nothing production. Finally I popped a liveCD onto my laptop, played around in Karmic, realized everything worked beautifully, and bit the bullet and a few dist upgrades from Hardy to Karmic. I have not regretted it, but if someone does have problems with the newer possibly less-stable software, they should be sticking with the LTS releases. If you want to push the limit, try new software, you can run the newest release whether or not it's LTS. If you would like to try before you mess with your production system, use the liveCD or make a BACKUP that you know how to restore from. Sheesh....

    Sorry to the people who have problems, but I'd have to say my system feels a lot faster now. Boots faster, and compiz with all its 3d effects are a lot smoother with on my builtin intel card than they ever were with previous releases. I am a happy karmic user :)
  • Re:Release cycles? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by msclrhd ( 1211086 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:20PM (#29970496)

    Exactly. I have been using Karmic from a clean install without major issues, but upgrade killed my sound. Note that I did have OSS4 configured on 9.04 before the upgrade.

    One thing I have noticed (and I haven't used other distros to see if this is a common phenomena) is that upgrading Ubuntu is temperamental when it comes to non-standard configurations/customisations (e.g. removing pulseaudio or totem).

    Windows: Don't adopt until Service Pack 1
    Ubuntu: Don't adopt until 1-2 months after release

    Microsoft, Canonical, et. al. are in an interesting position. You need a large number of testers running on a wide variety of hardware (intel, nvidia, ati, ...) with a wide variety of configurations (gnome, KDE, modified sound configurations, heavily modified/customised), needs and requirements (a DJ/sound studio will have different requirements to someone who just wants email). If people don't use the OS because it is 'buggy', the bugs are not found and no fixes are released. Hopefully, they will get good coverage over the alpha and beta phases, then a wider adoption with the enthusiasts and early adopters, followed later by your "average" "novice" user.

    Plus, Karmic and other Linux distros are not equivalent to Windows; they are equivalent to Windows, Office, Photoshop and a whole host of other applications, all updated and packaged every 6 months (for karmic, main is about 6.7 GiB and universe is in the 25 GiB mark, not sure about multiverse). That's a lot of stuff to ensure is working on everyones machines.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:35PM (#29970764)

    it's hard to please everybody...

    i had some problems with audio and video with 8.10 and huge problems with 9.04 (aopen mp945 minipc)... intel driver and pulseaudio were just not mature enough. i ended up using bleeding edge drivers from the x-edgers ppa all the time (and still had occasional problems, tearing, performance sucking, compiz crashes and huge font with too much overscan in the console on my 1080p tv) and wasted quite a few hours getting digital audio (or any audio for that matter) to work... and it took forever to boot and stopped the networkmanager taking down interfaces before unmounting cifs shares.

    karmic now boots in flicker free 25 seconds to X, has a beautiful 1080p console, stable audio so far and shuts down faster than i can grab the remote to turn off the tv.

    now that's what i call good karma.

    (also i tried pxe & netinstall this time and i am never going back to cds!)

  • No problems here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CAFED00D ( 1337179 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:40PM (#29970852)
    I installed it on my Dell XPS laptop, replacing Vista. My only complaint was that it took some work to get CPU scaling to work...but as far as functionality goes, cheers to them.
  • Re:Release cycles? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:40PM (#29970866)
    Is that why the last LTS had Firefox 3.0 beta 4 installed on it, as well as an unstable and poorly supported soundsystem? Im a fan of ubuntu too, but lets not try to claim that ANY of their releases are anything other than bleeding edge beta quality releases. Ubuntu tends to be most stable several months after the release, even moreso than other distros / OSes.
  • no issues here. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:42PM (#29970886)

    Dell mini-9 no problems, and had to suspend the upgrade half way through, and successfully completed later.

    Dell 700m- no problems.

    Did the upgrades from 9.04 using the update manager over wireless.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:43PM (#29970892)

    OK I upgraded my main laptop, my daughter's laptop, my wife's laptop, and my server all within a couple days of the release and have not had any problems. I've resisted upgrading my work desktop only because it has an ATI video card and have had headaches in the past. Just my 2 cents worth...

  • Re:My experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:46PM (#29970946) Homepage

    From that point on, yes - everything works and everything boots normally now. It didn't handle an unexpected reboot in the middle of the upgrade gracefully, but I don't know any consumer OS that reliably does.

  • by oakbox ( 414095 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:48PM (#29970966) Homepage

    My laptop, which is picky and prone to weirdness, had no problems with the upgrade. I think I clicked a total of three on screen prompts, rebooted, and everything just worked. I haven't dug too deeply into all of the new improvements yet (no time), but I am once again impressed with how well the system operates.

    Past releases had clean graphical interfaces on top of a solid OS. Koala is really pretty AND is still a solid OS.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:52PM (#29971042)

    Everything is working as good and in some cases better. For example the Intel HDA audio is working now without any custom module parameters.

  • by woddfellow2 ( 803295 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:55PM (#29971082) Homepage

    First, I tried to do an upgrade normally with Update Manager. I stopped it because due to a slow Internet connection, it was taking too long. Then, I decided to do a fresh install. Before this, Windows XP was on the 35 GB hard disk, and GNU/Linux was on the 16 GB hard disk. I decided to move Windows to the 16 GB HDD and GNU/Linux to the 35 GB HDD, because I store my data on the GNU/Linux partition and I was running out of free space with the 16 GB HDD.

    I backed up my data to the Windows partition, installed a new installation of Windows XP on the 16 GB HDD, moved my backup there, then used UNetbooin to install Xubuntu 9.10 on the 35 GB HDD.

    It installed perfectly fine. The only major problem I had was that GRUB2 could not boot into Windows "out of the box". I eventually got it to boot into the Windows partition, but then I ran into problems with Windows itself booting. As of this writing I am still trying to fix it. Also, there has been a problem with the swap partition not activating automatically at boot (I must activate it manually with swapon), but I uncommented a line in /etc/fstab and I will see if it worked at next reboot.

    The improvements I noticed were:

    • It takes only about a minute to boot
    • Login/XFCE startup is faster
    • Halt/reboot takes only about 10–20 seconds

    So far, I am satisfied with Karmic.

  • Works for me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tillmann ( 859300 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:55PM (#29971086)


    upgraded, works for me.

    The best news is: PulseAudio no longer sucks. The audio system has been vastly improved.


  • Re:I got a bit stung (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hufman ( 1670590 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:58PM (#29971128)
    Make sure your GRUB shows the new 2.6.31 kernel. When I upgraded, the kernel installed, but it didn't run update-grub, and so my GRUB menu didn't show the new kernel. When it booted into the old kernel, I had the same problem as you, where it showed that no audio devices were installed. Merely booting into the proper new kernel fixed it.
  • Re:Release cycles? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:06PM (#29971246) Homepage

    Because when you go to download it, it asks you which version you want. It even explains the LTS thing.

  • Re:Professionalism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dissy ( 172727 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:13PM (#29971332)


    This is why nobody uses Linux.

    The vast majority of people just want a computer that WORKS.

    VERY few people are willing to tinker around *AT ALL*.

    Repeat after us.. Ubuntu is not all of linux.

    There are plenty of linux distros where the goal is stability.

    If you want to randomly pick one known for being on the bleeding edge and not supposed to be stable, then we get to do the same for "Windows".

    My choice is Windows 95.
    This is why no one runs windows. 20 reboots before you have a usable system, have to drop to dos to configure stuff, must make many registry edits for a usable system.

    No one would want to go through all that right? Except they did. And there are alternatives (now) for that, such as XP or newer (well maybe not Vista pre-sp)

    I currently have a Linux machine with a 1400+ day uptime. It is debian, which has the goal of stability.
    Try Windows 2003 or 2008 server. Those too are made for stability. Hell, if it wasn't for the fact windows updates still need reboots at times, those machines most likely could reach the same uptimes.

    You need to be more careful when lumping a whole WHOLE lot of very different things into one group, then flaming that group when what you say only really applies to a small subset.

  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:14PM (#29971336) Journal

    I can barely make out the network and audio icons any more in the taskbar.

    Gnome is just out of date. It's akin to XP when the competition has moved to Win7/SL. The UI is simply CRAP. This translates directly to Ubuntu.

    The upgrade seemed to go okay for me, but there were problems with PostgreSQL and VirtualBox-ose. Also the upgrade terminal was full of DBus errors. These are things that would terrify a normal user (granted they wouldn't have installed PostgreSQL probably). The upgrade process wasn't automated, so you couldn't leave it alone to do its thing.

    Firefox is updated, but has no options, and comes with an annoying default tab behaviour.

    Empathy seems to work, but it is a really primitive chat client. This is probably due to using Gnome.

    I think I'll wipe and try Kubuntu instead. KDE 4.3 is meant to be good.

    I've used Ubuntu with Gnome for around 30 months as well. Gnome is going nowhere though, and it's looking more and more dated to me (not in terms of looks, a nice theme isn't the problem, it's the design of UIs that seems rather archaic, or in Empathy's case you just need to compare it to Adium on Mac OS X to see how clunky it is.

  • Re:I got a bit stung (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) * < minus author> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:16PM (#29971384) Homepage Journal

    Haha, I was about to post something like that. For the vast majority of users it isn't that bad, but there does seem to be a certain acceptance among devs of the idea that something that worked before may not work now, which I think is a really odd way of thinking.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:42PM (#29971668) Journal

    Have had Karmic Koala since release and have not had any problems, unlike 8.04 which broke my sound drivers. This release has been flawless.

    You forgot to add "for myself". A brief read through comments on this very /. article will tell you that the story is quite different for many people.

  • Re:Professionalism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:44PM (#29971712) Homepage Journal

    LTS was bleeding edge and broken on release, too:

    1. Beta version of Firefox
    2. Pulse was introduced and was flakey, introducing all Ubuntu users to pulseaudio -k && pulseaudio.
    3. Flash sound interfered with Pulse, so libflashsupport was introduces, but wouldn't work for more than an hour, so was dropped a day before the final release, leaving Flash to tie up ALSA.
    4. F-Spot (the default photo manager) didn't launch on 64-bit due to a late change in Mono.

    Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Don't pretend that the LTS gets any more love than the regular releases do. It just gets supported longer.

    p.s. I think Canonical made its only sane choice in years by announcing that 10.10LTS will be based on GNOME 2, and not the then-to-be brand new GNOME 3.0.

  • by Techman83 ( 949264 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:47PM (#29971734)
    Indeed, that's how I tagged the Article. I mean if they were going to attack any release, why didn't they attack 9.04, it almost made me switch Distro's. As long as I've been using Ubuntu (since 5.10), the .10 releases always felt like testing grounds and the .04 always felt stable. They seem to have switched this time around and I hope the few little bits of Polish required will make 10.04 LTS a serious option for our corporate SOE.
  • Karmic's Karma (Score:2, Interesting)

    by skiquel ( 1670618 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:55PM (#29971808)

    Case 1.) Jaunty to Karmic beta. Went to sleep with laptop on, woke up. Couldn't read/write files. Rebooted. Ran a huge fsck. System was permanently borked.

    Case 2.) File system encryption brings you to emergency root shell. Running fsck solved it. Unsure what happened because who the hell monitors this stuff.

    Case 3.) 64-bit flash is fubar'd. You gotta go grab the 64-bit version from adobe and symlink to it.

    The truth is, Karmic was not a smooth upgrade in the big picture.

    Ubunteros can't gloat at Windows 7 being a bitch to upgrade.

  • Re:Release cycles? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RenQuanta ( 3274 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @09:46PM (#29972288) Homepage

    What is this 35% of which you speak?

    Let's take a full look of that poll as of 8:30 tonight...

    Upgrade - 15.06% - worked flawlessly
    Upgrade - 20.19% - worked but had few things to fix, nothing serious though
    Upgrade - 19.31% - got many problems that i've not been able to solve
    Install - 12.56% - worked flawlessly
    Install - 13.56% - worked but had few things to fix, nothing serious though
    Install - 19.31% - got many problems that i've not been able to solve

    So, if we count "got many problems that I've not been able to solve" as failed upgrades (a reasonable thing to say) then 39% of the users who went to that forum have had unsuccessful upgrades.

    By simple subtraction then, 61% of the users who went and voted in that poll had a working upgrade (I mean really ...who really upgrades their computer and doesn't expect at least 1 or 2 little issues? ;)

    It's worth noting that this post was made from a laptop running an upgraded Ubuntu 9.10 from 9.04 - with 0 issues. It was actually the smoothest and easiest FOSS upgrade I've ever gone through in 10 years. That includes upgrades through the FreeBSD 3.x line (phear make world ;), Redhat, Gentoo (emerge world - gah!), as well as from Ubuntu 6.x through now.

    Props to Canonical, Ubuntu is about the cleanest, easiest to use Linux I've ever seen. Keep those releases rolling! :)

  • Re:Release cycles? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by feranick ( 858651 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @09:48PM (#29972310)
    No. LTS releases are supported for longer, that's all. 9.10 is production ready even if it's not LTS. It's not a beta or a pre-release. In fact there is no sign of saying: "Use with caution because it may bork your system". It's prominently featured in the front page as the best of the latest stable. And even LTS have their issues too. The current "stable" version of LTS (8.04) had a great deal of beta software when it came out (including Firefox).

    So my point still stands, as proven by many other comments below. I understand it's nice and all to bash Microsoft when it's delivering sub-par uncooked software (Vista anyone?). But this doesn't mean that Linux should be not judged by the same standards.

    Disclaimer: I am an Ubuntu user since 5.10. Currently running 9.04 in my laptops and 8.04 in my netbook.
  • Re:Release cycles? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vintermann ( 400722 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @02:10AM (#29974324) Homepage

    Do you use the upgrade function or just reinstall and keep your home directories? I admit I've often done the latter in the past, since it's so easy to install packages as you need them anyway, and packages lying around from the old system have caused me trouble in the past.

    But this time it was a bit more serious. I tried to upgrade just using the handy little upgrade button, figuring, what's the worst that can happen, I can just do a full reinstall if it fails.

    Then the upgrade program met a package it couldn't uninstall (broken uninstall script returning an error, I think), panicked, and gave up. System was not very usable, so I rebooted.

    Or I tried to reboot. The boot process barfed at mounting the file system. Early enough that Ubuntu's "recovery mode" program didn't even get a chance to run.

    Let's just say fixing the mess was not something I would want to guide my mother through.

    Now that I've done it, though, I'd say the system itself is very nice. Encrypted home directory just works, as do a number of other little things you had to do manually two cycles ago (and yes, those manual changes were the kind that wreaked havoc on the automatic update process).
    Ubuntu is progressing nicely, but they need to do more testing on the update function. It just should not, never! leave the system in an unbootable state.

  • Drivers? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:02AM (#29978284) Homepage Journal

    Drivers are in the kernel or as modules aren't they? We already get regular kernel updates for kernels, about the only time you have to reboot, and video kernel modules just need to restart X. You can jump around and do that now if you want. But those don't require an entire new distro version. And none of the apps require a new distro version. Near as I can see (again, I am in no way an expert), only a new file system change should absolutely require an entire new upgrade (like happened here with those who chose it, extension 3 to 4). But that certainly isn't all the time, not every six months it isn't.

    Really, I am looking for more of a technical reason why the whole thing needs to be done at once, necessitating a ton of things to all be upgraded at the same time, leading to a lot of things that are close but no cigar, the subject of the whole article. It looks more just..dunno..politically driven or market-thinking driven than necessity driven. Whereas if it was incremental by design, only those apps/drivers/ whatever that really are ready get upgraded. Maybe it is all the shared libraries and linking, I just don't know...just mused on this over the years and never read an explanation for it.

    And if it was incremental by design, you would only have to wait for your new hardware to be fully supported as long as it took the devs to do it and test it, 12 months is just another artificial time limit. I would prefer, "exactly when they are ready", whatever that time period happens to be. And if the design had an automatic revert to last good working state, then you'd have a relatively painless way to fix any accidental whoopsies that occur. Give you a chance to really tryout this or that new incremental upgrade "thing", to see if it works for you or not, before a full committment and it wipes/replaces the old stuff fully then.

    I also noticed in the article thread that Arch linux [] does in fact use a "rolling release" incremental upgrade system, install once and that's it. So, technically it IS possible like I thought, so now I am wondering why they do it but no one else (?) does it that way?

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle