Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ubuntu Dapper upgrade

I upgraded from Ubuntu Breezy (5.10) to the latest Dapper test release (Flight 6) this morning, although Dapper (6.04) is not due for final release now til early June. All extremely smooth sailing so far.

First the basic distribution upgrade, just search and replace the word breezy with the word dapper in /etc/apt/sources.list. Then run sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. A couple of hundred of MB of downloads later and a reboot we're up and running with Dapper.

The initial difference is most pronounced in the much faster boot time to the GDM login screen, followed by the much faster startup time for Gnome 2.14. A pretty new Power Manager applet has appeared alongside the old Battery Monitor one (this is on a laptop). One click later and that's the last I'll see of Battery Monitor.

So what's the damage? Well, wireless isn't working. It looks like wpa_supplicant has been uninstalled during the upgrade. Whoops, OpenOffice got uninstalled too. Where are my beloved gstreamer plugins for my MP3s?!

So easiest first, reinstall OpenOffice:

sudo apt-get install

Then sort out mp3 playback (howto for mp3/dvd/flash/realplayer/java and the rest well documented on the Ubuntu wiki):

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly

Now to reinstate wireless support. So Dapper has the shiny new Gnome Network Manager, which turns out to be a very fine piece of work, supporting WPA configuration seamlessly, is not installed. Perhaps it would be installed if this was not an upgrade. So:

sudo apt-get install network-manager network-manager-gnome

It doesn't work, :( Trying to start nm-applet gives this error:
The NetworkManager applet could not find some required resources. It cannot continue.
Turns out the Internet knows the answer to this one. Run:

sudo gtk-update-icon-cache -f /usr/share/icons/hicolor/

Finally, Network Manager doesn't deal with interfaces that are already configured, so comment out all references to eth0 and ath0 from /etc/network/interfaces. Delete the WPA-PSK password from /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.dpkg-bak for good measure.

Reboot and Network Manager kicks in. Nothing to do at all for eth0, for ath0 I get prompted for my WPA password, a master password to lock the password store Network Manager keeps the WPA password in and that's it. Each time I log in Network Manager prompts me to unlock my password database and connects to wireless when it is available.

With Breezy wpa_supplicant started up after the interface was configured at boot time, so ath0 didn't get properly configured until I ran sudo ifdown ath0; sudo ifup ath0, which I never got around to dealing with. Once the upgrade edges are smoothed off, Dapper is much more straight forward. A really nice improvement, looking forward to finding out what else is new over the coming weeks.