upgrading ubuntu - the horror

February 1st, 2007

I can't believe how long it's been since we started using distributions, picking the one we like and staying with, because we perceive certain advantages the others don't have. And when a new version comes, we install it, replacing the old. How much longer will it be before it is possible to *upgrade* a distro without friggin breaking it in half??

I installed Ubuntu Dapper on the "family" pc back in Norway in.. July...ish. I'm back in town now for a few days and as I logged in, it still worked beautifully. Nothing broken, no problems, nothing. But Edgy has been out for some time, and keeping up with updates is generally recommended to stay more or less in the loop long term. So I decided to update. I looked up how in the documentation and followed the instructions. It started off so well that I was impressed. It first removed all my "custom" sources in sources.list and then it set off. I had used Automatix to install multimedia stuff, but I think that was the extent of my "modifications". There was one entry for the latest amarok in sources.list, but the rest I think were standard.

But it did not carry on so. At one point I got a big fat warning about some package not being able to install/configure/whatever. Then I got a dozen more of them. Once the process was done, not throwing a fatal error my way, the little icon indicated that "a reboot is required", so I did, thinking I could probably fix the bugs when I do. It was not to be. Upon boot, X wouldn't start. I was getting strange errors about a permission problem with /dev/null or something. The system was completely broken and I really didn't feel like resuscitating. I use Ubuntu because it's no hassle and "just works".

And there ends the tale of the upgrade. Once again, after so many years, an upgrade between versions leaves the system completely broken. How much longer do we have to wait until this ceases to be a problem? I can appreciate that it's complicated, but how many other complicated problems have been solved?

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5 Responses to "upgrading ubuntu - the horror"

  1. Graham says:

    Hmmm, I've yet to experience this myself, since I started using Linux/Ubuntu just after Edgy was released. After reading some of the stories, I'm not looking forward to upgrading to Feisty. Let's hope it doesn't break my whole system :irritated:

  2. numerodix says:

    On the plus side, I installed Edgy on a wiped partition, installed the additional packages missing from the core system and the whole thing was very nice, fast and painless

  3. erik says:

    What a useless system bah

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