Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ubuntu Edgy dist-upgrade

I got bored with Ubuntu Dapper and decided to give Edgy, the latest beta version under development, a whirl. New gnome 2.16, OpenOffice up to current 2.0.3 version, Firefox 2.0 beta, Flash sound works now, updated Network Manager, updated pam libraries. All very nice.

Suspecting that apt-get dist-upgrade would trash my Dapper installation, I backed up and burned the Edgy Knot 3 install CD, just in case I needed it. Various reports from last month had people ending up with working X or kernel. Sounds like a challenge!

CAUTION: This procedure may melt your computer! Always Be Backing Up. Have a boot CD ready first.

  1. Get thee to a console window:
  2. Point your apt sources to Edgy:
    sudo perl -pi.orig -e 's/dapper/edgy/' /etc/apt/sources.list
  3. Update your package lists:
    sudo apt-get update
  4. Upgrade:
    sudo apt-get -f dist-upgrade
    "1055 upgraded, 125 newly installed, 31 to remove, 26 not upgraded" :)
  5. Upgrade once more if it bombs out during the first dist-upgrade:
    sudo apt-get -f dist-upgrade
  6. Kernel 2.6.17-7 was installed but the default in grub wasn't updated:
    vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
    change the default line to (as appropriate):
    "default 0"
  7. X didn't work, as it tries to use the missing ati driver instead of the installed fglrx driver:
    vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    Change this line in Section "Device":
    Driver "ati"
    Driver "fglrx"
    I did a modprobe fglrx for good measure, then startx to test. Houston, we have X!
  8. Some remaining packages complaining:
    sudo apt-get install hpijs python-adns python-clientcookie python-gadfly python-htmlgen python-htmltmpl python-imaging python-imaging-sane python-jabber python-kjbuckets python-ldap python-mysqldb python-osd python-pam python-pexpect python-pgsql python-pylibacl python-pyopenssl python-pyxattr python-reportlab python-simpletal python-soappy python-sqlite python-syck python-xmpp
  9. /sbin/reboot
All was well, and Gnome was even mostly functional during and after the upgrade (before reboot), although I stuck to the console for commands. The upgrade took about 2 hours using a 2Mb/s DSL line. I got ~200Kb/s to the local archive, ~750MB to download. Not all the upgrade time was downloading of course.

The success of the dist-upgrade may be pretty dependent on both hardware (Thinkpad T41p in this case) and what packages you have installed above and beyond Dapper default install (a few but clearly nothing bad!).

There is a slightly annoying graphics artifact sometimes, a horizontal line ~50 pixels beneath the cursor in Gnome. The multiple login prompt for Network Manager appears gone (NM 0.6.3 changelog claims it fixed it), although I had to re-enter my WPA password once after the upgrade. Flash sound works now with the packaging of the hack /etc/init.d/flashplugin-nonfree in flashplugin-nonfree 7.0.68. I cleaned out .gnome, .gconf etc. to get a fresh set of Gnome settings.

Now to try out Network Manager PPTP and pam-keyring since all the dependent libraries are now modern enough!