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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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  • Professionalism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:29PM (#29969526) Journal

    Just imagine the amount of bashers if the news would had read;

    Windows 7 is causing outrage and frustration, with early adopters wishing they'd stuck with previous versions of the Windows. Blank and flickering screens, failure to recognize hard drives, defaulting to the old 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 Windows forums.

    This again comes from the fact that both Windows and Mac OS X releases are properly tested and maintained and tend to be in more professional quality.

    But why don't the Linux distros go to same lenghts? It shouldn't be impossible, unless of course, commercial projects are maintained more professionally.

    • Re:Professionalism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by db32 ( 862117 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:34PM (#29969602) Journal

      The irony is too good...

      Flagging this as "Troll" for being critical of how Linux distros don't get the same levels of QA testing isn't exactly demonstrating great professionalism...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        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.

        • 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 [].

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

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

          Rule 1: blame the user.

          I say this only 2/3rds jokingly. It's a problem in that it's often the first reaction we'll have upon reading something like this -- but there's also often a /reason/ it's the first reaction.

          That being said, it's been long established that most people don't read prompts in software. Perhaps (in addition to realizing the users are stupid for not reading) we should design with that limitation in mind, so that it does the "right thing" by default for stupid users.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by cptnapalm ( 120276 )

            "Rule 1: blame the user." /me sheepishly raises his hand.

            I had forgotten that I had started using Grub 2 at some point. The upgrade instructions did mention that, I think, update-grub had to be run manually.

            I passed right over it.

            There was some audio funkiness, though. All sorted out because of something I did. I have no idea what though. I think it is PulseAudio thing... it usually is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Just imagine the amount of bashers if the news would had read;

      There'd be almost exactly the same number of bashers that Vista had.


      I installed Karmic from the RC, didn't upgrade though. Backup, clean install, restore. No complaints. Didn't use the disk encryption

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      part of the reason is that community are the testers. you never should move to using a new release as soon as its out.

    • Re:Professionalism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:43PM (#29969816)

      But why don't the Linux distros go to same lenghts?

      Debian does go through great lengths, and people complained that the time between releases was too long.

      Then they switched to Ubuntu.

      • Re:Professionalism (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Korin43 ( 881732 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:47PM (#29970958) Homepage
        And then I thought Ubuntu was too slow, so I switched to Arch (rolling release) and it's more stable. That may seem strange to you, but only if you don't know how Ubuntu/Debian defines "stable". Stable on Debian and Ubuntu means old. If it was release a year ago, it's stable. Who cares if sound doesn't work on your computer, at least it's stable! Who cares if pidgin-facebookchat crashes every couple minutes, in Debian-land it's stable (this is a particularly interesting case because pidgin-facebookchat was added right after the project started, and then Ubuntu arbitrarily stopped adding new versions to the repos even though the plugin still isn't done, so every release adds to the stability). Mozilla release are remarkably stable and always contain security updates.. but sorry, Firefox 3.5 wasn't old enough until this release. Every version of the nvidia drivers add more stability, but I think we'll stick with the old versions.. you know.. because they're old.

        And that's not to say that sticking with old versions is always bad, it's just that the method of deciding what's stable is literally "is it old?". Why not test things and then update, instead of arbitrarily picking a version and declaring it to be stable? Or keep track of projects that release safe code and give them 2 weeks to make sure there's no horrible bugs, and then update (like what exactly is the reason for holding back Firefox and Pidgin?).
        • "stable" (Score:3, Informative)

          by XanC ( 644172 )

          Why not test things and then update, instead of arbitrarily picking a version and declaring it to be stable?

          "Stable" means it doesn't change. It doesn't mean it works perfectly. If you update something, it's not stable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by migla ( 1099771 )

      Check out Debian.

    • Re:Professionalism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shotgun ( 30919 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:52PM (#29969982)

      How much did those users pay for their copy of Karmic?

      Yes, it does make a difference. If I pay for a finished product, I expect it to be finished. If someone hands me a CD and says try this, I will try it, but not get upset if it doesn't work out perfectly.

      In this society that we call open source, we fully understand that Canonical doesn't have the resources to run large test labs. We also know that we get the product for free, and can ban together with a large cadre of like-minded folks to fix problems that we do find. Most Ubuntu releases are initially full of problems. They tend to dissipate much quicker than your first Service Pack that you'll get from the behemoth that HAS charged you enough to do some proper engineering and testing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Locke2005 ( 849178 )
      Just imaging if the news had read,
      PC users upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 have run into a variety of hair pulling problems since last Thursday when Windows 7 launched. Complaints range from endless reboots to refusals by Windows to accept Microsoft's assigned product keys. As of Monday morning, Microsoft had answered about 2600 questions that poured into support forum regarding upgrades. At last count, around 1400 questions remained unanswered.
      Oh wait... it does [] Not to pick favorites, I'd sa
    • Re:Professionalism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:30PM (#29970666)

      Right. That's why I'm still running XP on the Windows side of the box and have no plans whatsoever -- nor really any motivation -- to upgrade to Windows 7. And the next box will likely be running XP under virtualization. Odds are that it will be quite some time before there is any significant Windows software that won't run under XP.

      You can bandy the word "professionalism" around with all of its varied meanings and hope that no one here is literate enough to call you on it -- this is Slashdot, after all -- but the fact of the matter is that the only relevant aspect of professionalism here is the amount of money involved. When you're running a multi-billion dollar company, you can afford to test your software on a wide variety of machines with a large QA staff to run the whole exercise. Microsoft and Apple have the billions; Canonical does not.

      All that said, there are any number of free software packages out there that are polished and refined and blow away their commercial competitors, so it plainly can be done. On the other hand, an operating system and all of its associated software is a lot more complicated than any single application, so testing it thoroughly has got to be a daunting task. Moreover, the risk and effort involved in downloading the latest Firefox beta is much less than downloading and installing an operating system beta, so there are probably a lot more testers for apps than OS distributions. Still, the last couple of Ubuntu releases have had non-trivial problems, and for a distribution that prides itself on stability, this definitely should serve as a wakeup call to the folks at Canonical.

      In the end, though, I'll take a rough start on an Ubuntu point revision over the "professionalism" of Windows Vista and, for that matter, the rough start that many people have reported with Windows 7. And while I'll grant you that OS X is a polished product, several OS X releases have had noteworthy issues, and that doesn't even begin to cover the primitive suckware that passed for the MacOS pre-OS X. Modern operating system development is hard. Neither commercial nor free OS producers do it as well as we'd like. Even so, how much do you want to bet that there are fixes for the problems with Ubuntu 9.10 a good six months to a year before Microsoft issues its first service pack for Windows 7?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by euxneks ( 516538 )

      Just imagine the amount of bashers if the news would had read;

      Windows 7 is causing outrage and frustration, with early adopters wishing they'd stuck with previous versions of the Windows. Blank and flickering screens, failure to recognize hard drives, defaulting to the old 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 Windows forums.

      This again comes from the fact that both Windows and Mac OS X releases are properly tested and maintained and tend to be in more professional quality.

      But why don't the Linux distros go to same lenghts? It shouldn't be impossible, unless of course, commercial projects are maintained more professionally.

      I doubt it's less professional on Linux than it is on Mac or Windows. The real fact of the matter is, Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows all have hiccoughs on the first day of release. How they deal with those hiccoughs are what really matters.

  • Bad Karma (Score:5, Funny)

    by johnthuss ( 1495677 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:31PM (#29969560)
    It's Karma - your deeds are finally coming back to haunt you!
  • indeed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pele ( 151312 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:31PM (#29969564) Homepage

    me being one of the early adopters that got stung
    I haven't seen so many bugs and reboots since the days of windows 95

    • Re:indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Eil ( 82413 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @09:05PM (#29971928) Homepage Journal

      *sigh* We see these kinds of articles on every major new release of Ubuntu/Fedora/Windows/OSX. This is NOT news. When you're swapping out major parts of your OS and applications, things are bound to break. I'm not an Ubuntu fanboy or anything, but this kind of stuff gets on my nerves. To everyone who claims they were "stung" by this update, I have two questions:

      1) Did you bother to test the new release at any point during its 6-month development cycle? The alpha and beta builds are available as a Live CD well ahead of the final release, it's a trivial matter to burn a copy, stick it in your machine, and give it a test run.

      2) If stability is important to you (and I assume it is by the use of the word "stung"), why did you upgrade anyway? If I'm not mistaken, Karmic is not even an LTS release.

      To provide a counter-example, I have 5 machines under my control that have been running Ubuntu for years. Out of those, NONE have ever had a problem upgrading to any version of Ubuntu, even Karmic.

  • Wifi works (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dwedit ( 232252 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:33PM (#29969600) Homepage

    I found that the Edimax WiFi card finally survives sleep mode without breaking.

  • My experience (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:36PM (#29969642) Homepage

    Blank and flickering screens: No
    Failure to recognize hard drives: No
    Defaulting to the old 2.6.28 Linux kernel: No
    Failure to get encryption running:
    Sorta, but only because my computer took a dive in the middle of the live upgrade. I had to remount / read-write from an emergency console and run apt-get again. Or actually it told me to run "dpkg --configure -a" to correct it. That installed most things, but I had to reboot into the normal recovery console and run last updates. Rebooted and...

    Working flawlessly with full disk encryption and everything. No problems with anything so far, that's my anecdotal evidence at least.

    • by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:06PM (#29970262)

      That's what you call working flawlessly? When it kicks you into an emergency console in which you had to remount your hard disks manually in read-write mode and run the package reconfigure command?

      Clearly 2009 is not yet the year of Linux on the desktop.

      • 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.

      • Re:My experience (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Daishiman ( 698845 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:09PM (#29971266)
        Guess you've never had a Windows install crap out of the blue or become noxiously saturated with garbage at book. I admit that the quality of releases in Ubuntu hasn't been as good as Windows during the timeframe I've used it. Nontheless, I've always been able to fix stuff in Linux, while I've had to reinstall Windows from scratch many more times.
  • by Patman ( 32745 ) <{pmgeahan-slashd ... {}> 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.

  • 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

  • netbook remix (Score:4, Informative)

    by feranick ( 858651 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:37PM (#29969684)
    I was looking to replace the default 8.04 in my dell mini 9 with the 9.10 netbook remix. I found out that the desktop-switcher is not included in the distro. So I need to stick with the default single windows window manager, instead of the full GNOME. Why you may ask? Well, the desktop-switcher application was too buggy on release time, and they decided to remove it from the distro instead of fixing it. So nobody can complain and more important, there is nothing to be fixed if it's not there in first place. I'll stick to the old but reliable 8.04, for the time being.
  • 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 solevita ( 967690 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:40PM (#29969744)
    In fairness, it does sound like the failure of a single individual to get their home folder encryption running was picked up by El Reg and blown up out of all proportion []. Flickering screens? Yes, I saw that, but it was fixed by a fresh install rather than an upgrade.

    There are some niggling bugs and lack of polish, but this isn't anything like Canonical Vista, despite what some people are hyping.
    • 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.
  • by quanticle ( 843097 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:40PM (#29969748) Homepage

    As long as we're trading unsubstantiated anecdotes, let me say that my experience with Karmic Koala has been perfectly smooth. I have it running natively on one machine and inside a VirtualBox VM on another, and in both instances both the install process and the system as a whole have worked very satisfyingly.

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trogre ( 513942 )

      Though that's not always the case. The 6.06 release was originally meant to be 6.04.

      Of course that's LTS so...

  • 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.

  • openSUSE 11.2 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:40PM (#29969760)

    openSUSE 11.2 : 8 days to go.

  • My problems with 9.1 (Score:3, Informative)

    by flyboy974 ( 624054 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @06:44PM (#29969828)
    Blank and flickering screens: Yes. I was running NVIDIA 180.29. The new kernel, being GCC 4.4 barfed. In fact, it caused screen flickers, which caused strangely Hard Disk read errors, keyboard input failures, and would lock up my computer if I couldnt' SSH in from another machien to do a "sudo service gdm stop"

    Failure to recognize hard drives: No

    Defaulting to the old 2.6.28 Linux kernel: Yep. Does not set the new 2.6.30-14-generic as default. So I have to keep arrowing up in grub. I'll reset this myself.

    I also am having a problem with X-Plane 9.40. I use to get 60FPS no problem. I get 20 now. Notably I upgraded to NVIDIA 190.42 as a result of the 180.29 issues. But, it doesn't matter on the NVIDIA version. Strangely I found a work around. If I go to Preferences/Rendering and exit out, about 1/3 of the time I get back to 60FPS. My guess is the OpenAL or pulseaudio as it's reinitialized.

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Techman83 ( 949264 )
      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.
  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by daffmeister ( 602502 )

      Hardly "let's push out on the Windows 7 day, no matter what". That date (certainly the month) has been set since Ubuntu began. With only one exception (if I recall correctly) they've released on schedule.

      Now, whether being beholden so tightly to a schedule is a good idea is another matter, but it definitely was nothing to do with the Windows launch.

  • 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 Tribbin ( 565963 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:01PM (#29970158) Homepage

    What features do these early adopters badly need that is made available through this fresh release?

    Even a fresh debian-stable release needs a cool-down period before running it on anything but hobby or non-mission-critical computers.

    You'd expect quirks to come up on anything that is released to a wide public for the first time, being it windows, linux, a media-player, an instruction manual, ...

  • Flash (Score:3, Informative)

    by nukeade ( 583009 ) <> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:27PM (#29970622) Homepage

    I installed this on my work and home PC with no obvious problems, and was really pleased with the responsiveness.

    It wasn't until later that I realized that Flash no longer responds to mouse clicks. It makes YouTube and Pandora hard to use, and other Flash apps nearly impossible to use. A workaround was recommended, which unfortunately causes Firefox to crash on loading a Flash app.


  • by musicon ( 724240 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:35PM (#29970758) Homepage

    Unlike previous releases where I jumped in fairly early in the beta process (beta 2 or 3), I waited to move to Karmic until the release. I also decided to do a clean install this time to ensure I wouldn't run into any upgrade issues.

    Unfortunately, despite the supposed "papercut" fixes, this release seems far more prone to problems. On my Dell Latitude 620 (with Intel graphics, mind you):

    1. Where Jaunty did great handling my laptop display and external monitor, Karmic has had no end of problems; problems that kept enforcing mirroring of displays, continually defaulting to 1024x768, random placements of the taskbar and notification popups, etc. See [] about moving the taskbar.
    2. Totem/gstreamer had no display, just a blank screen. Finally found []
    3. The system defaulted to enabling compiz. I turned it off while troubleshooting all of the other video errors, but now it won't enable again.
    4. Despite the touted KMS, I still have a 2-3 second wait at boot (text mode from Grub I'm assuming), and later a 2-3 second delay with a blank screen excepting an underscore in the top-left corner that shows up between the boot image (eg, usplash) and the "pulsing" gdm startup
    5. The overall boot time (from power on to entering my password) is roughly identical to Jaunty -- I don't notice any difference.
    6. Power usage seems to be about the same, although powertop has reported a spike of 33W whereas before I never saw it go over 19W.
    7. Much higher memory usage reported in system monitor (previously most of the memory was allocated to cache, now most of it is allocated to programs).

    About the only good thing I can say (which may also be attributed to the larger 500G drive I swapped in for the install), is that overall the system seems smoother and more responsive.

  • by Macka ( 9388 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:45PM (#29970918)

    First thing I noticed was it didn't like the way I'd set up menu.lst. I have two disks mirrored with MD raid so I have 4 OS definitions per kernel - two for each disk (one multiuser, one single user). I don't trust Ubuntu to just update or replace, as it always wants to use root="UUID number" which is a pain in the ass if you ever restore from backup as that always changes with a new filesystem, so I just stick with - in my case - root=/dev/md2. I tried the experimental option to merge the old and new files - which didn't work, so I had to let it carry on with the upgrade while fixing it up in the background.

    Next thing I hit was more of a problem. It balked doing a post install configure on eBox. The process went zombie and the upgrade just froze. I had to kill the parent python process to get dpkg to carry on with the rest of it, but discovered that at the end of the install and configure phase, dpkg had remembered the return errno from killing that child process and it decided to act on that by aborting the upgrade at that point - before the clean up phase. So the system is in an indeterminate state.

    I rebooted, and it came up ok, but I then found I had three problems:

    • Compiz was broken again. It broke when I went from 8.10 to 9.04 and I had to downgrade the xserver, etc to get it working. I'm pretty sure the Intel chipset problems are fixed, it's just a configuration somewhere. Haven't had time to look for it.
    • About half the desktop menu items don't have icons for them any more
    • Default system sound is set to 100% so if I have the speakers turned on when I login they can hear it at the end of the street. Adjusting the slider makes no difference.

    I ran out of time to play around with it so had to leave it like that. I think when I eventually get home again I'll just install from scratch and restore what I need to from backup. I can't really complain - after all it's not as if I've paid anything for it.

  • 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 shellster_dude ( 1261444 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @07:50PM (#29971010)
    I upgraded to Karmic Koala on one box, and did a fresh, full ubuntu install on my EEEPC of Karmic, and I have had absolutely no problems. It even recognized my Atheros wifi and ethernet cards which I had previously had to custom compile the ethernet drivers, and install backported intrepid drivers for the wifi before, in Jaunty. In fact, this is the first ubuntu upgrade that I have never had any issues with. I have been using Ubuntu since Hoary Hedgehog.
  • by dustinkirkland ( 1462057 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:33PM (#29971576)
    As this article attacked the feature I personally worked on in Karmic, I felt it appropriate to respond in my blog at [].
    Typically, I read and respect The Register. They usually run intriguing technology articles that make me think. I'm quite disappointed with today's carelessly researched piece, specifically, the paragraphs regarding eCryptfs.
    Lack of automation? In Ubuntu 9.10, encrypting your home directory is a matter of selecting a check box in the installer: That's it. 9.04 Encrypted Home upgrading users simply run update-manager and upgrade all packages to 9.10. Their home directory encryption is not affected by this.
    The author of this article found one post in the Ubuntu Forums poorly articulating an issue with home directory encryption and suddenly Ubuntu 9.10 users are getting "bloodied" by encryption in Ubuntu? Seriously?
    I expect better journalism from The Register...
  • by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:41PM (#29971656)

    I've been using Linux for 11 years. Before Linux captured 10+% of the desktop market share (according to Ballmer himself!) most of the community was technically oriented and ranting wasn't that common. We understood that those doing the developing were VOLUNTEERS and the best way to help them was to post BUG reports filled with details of the bug that the developer could use to resolve the bug and fix it. IOW, the users were the testers. We understood that and agreed to it. We were patient and our patience was rewarded.

    Now, we have a generation of users who don't appreciate or care that most of the developers are still volunteers. These users don't care that they get the OS, the desktop and tens of thousands of high quality apps for free. Even worse, they don't want to take the time to take notes of the problem they think they are having and file factual bug reports at application's bugzilla site. What they will take time to do is write rants in blogs and news groups. Rants that are devoid of facts or knowledge but long on flames and vituperations. Thankfully, most developers know about these kinds of "Penguins" and ignore them. What else can they do? The rants rarely contain useful information and the developer doesn't have the time to search the countless blogs and forums for rants about his software. If he did he wouldn't get any developing done and he'd get discouraged and quit, which would make Microsoft happy,

    To make matters worse, many ranters are serial ranters. They aren't satisfied with ranting in a single forum or blog. They visit as many as the can and post essentially the same rant in all of them. This makes the ranter appear to be part of a larger movement when, in fact, he is not. There were several ranters in the KDE4 dustup that were identified as serial ranters, and for a year and a half you could track them through the Linux sites as they dropped one rant after another. If someone called them on the topic of a rant they'd switch topics in their next rant. It didn't matter. The purpose was to destroy KDE4, if possible, and force developers back to KDE 3.5.x. The ranters were totally ignorant of the technical issues and reasons why KDE was redesigned from the bottom up.

    The examples of stupid rants are almost endless. One ranter registered on a forum just to make his first post a rant against KDE 4.2.1 because "IT didn't have a way to change the menu structure to KDE 3.5.10's." Read the documentation? NO! It takes too much time and he's much too important to do such trival stuff. Ask a question on the forum instead of ranting for his first post? NO! He's not about to humiliate himself by asking a newbie question.

    So, he rants. The first reply states "right click on the K-Gear menu icon and select "Convert to classic menu".

    Now, everybody knows that not only is he a mindless ranter, he is also an idiot.

    The problem is that his subject line appears in some Google search of "Problems with Ubuntu" and adds at least one count, or more if the rant is picked up by multiple blogs, to the number of users supposedly having trouble with Kubuntu (or Ubuntu). Someone takes the results of that search and extrapolates it into a story about how "Some Early Adopters Stung By Kbuntu's Karmic Koala".

    Meanwhile, my Kubuntu Karmic 9.10 instalation on my Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E/H notebook with an Intel GM45 video chip continues to hum like the perfect combination that it is. Did I say that I checked the compatibility of my notebook with Linux before I installed Linux on it?

  • My Experience (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tarlus ( 1000874 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @08:52PM (#29971790)

    Whas [sic] has been your experience if you've moved to Karmic?

    The Good:

    • PulseAudio was improved and is (finally) friendly and functional with my sound card.
    • The new Intel drivers have drastically improved the performance of my video hardware.
    • My machine boots up and enters/emerges-from hibernation faster than ever.
    • General performance in GNOME is faster and more responsive.

    The Bad:

    • Notifications in GNOME were deliberately shoved downward and away from the top of the screen. Luckily there's an easy fix [].
    • The Firefox icon disappeared. Had to spend a whole five seconds re-applying it. :D
    • A couple of packages disappeared since they were mistakenly marked as deprecated. A quick apt-get reinstalled them.

    I would have to say that in my experience with Karmic, the pros greatly outweighed the cons. I'll live major increases in performance at the cost of minor fixable annoyances!

    Of course, I did an upgrade from 9.04 so I haven't taken the plunge to GRUB 2 or EXT4. Those two things are still kinda young (and bold decisions for Canonical to commit to production) so perhaps they're contributing factors to the problems that most people are experiencing?

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"