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The pain of upgrading to Xubuntu 9.10

Well, this is the third and hopefully the last day for me to upgrade my Xubuntu install to 9.10, or also widely known as Karmic Koala. It is painful..! lol But this experience is worth it, except that it really kills my time which I suppose to do my work… 🙁 I don’t know why, or probably because of the lack experience of me, I got into the series of failure while upgrading from Xubuntu 9.04 to 9.10. Actually, my first install was Ubuntu 9.04 but I later change to Xubuntu by installing the xubuntu-desktop, probably that’s the culprit of why the auto upgrade fails.

The first day – upgrading the current Xubuntu

So at the start, I have a well working Xubuntu 9.04. Updates for 9.10 came in October 29, but I do upgrade on the next day. My internet was running slowly -it probably just my connection to Ubuntu server, since I got a great download speed on others- to download all of the updates (which surpassed 800MB), that takes more than 12 hours to complete. Well, during that time, I can do everything in my PC until, the upgrading process which takes another hour to complete, at this time it loads heavily and almost impossible to do anything. It seems everything run smoothly and it asks me to reboot.

Before I reboot, everything is still fine. But I can’t wait to reboot to see what have changed in my new Xubuntu, so I reboot immediately. My feeling is getting worse when there is some weird text with broken graphic came up before the splash screen, if I recall, it is the same screen while the Ubuntu is checking the disk drive, except that it happens in blink and the graphic is broken, then the splash screen load. It was all fine until I got into the login screen, and login also fine. Oh right, I have removed my Wacom Bamboo before that since I read some issue of it on upgrade notes.

Then, weird errors pop up on the screen, Xfce is loaded slow, and I got a repeating pop up that said the trash applet error. I can’t go anywhere, the pop up keep repeating, and no menu is working, including the shutdown, so that forced me to push the reset button. Next, I loaded into Gnome session, there is still some error pop up, but I can get rid of it. The Gnome is working fine, but I can’t enable any effects and actually, it is slow (well, fast since there is no effect, but when I got into a more heavy task, it is too slow). I tired so I just go sleep. That’s the first day… 🙂

The second day – reinstall the Xubuntu

On the second day, I decided to reinstall my Xubuntu using a fresh installation. My install procedure is from Wubi, then I move the installation to a dedicated partition. This way, I will get a two working Xubuntu which the Wubi one can be used as backup if somehow I messed the installation again. Downloading 600MB more for the iso is quite painful, since, it is downloading in the same speed as when I upgrading, but fortunately, thanks to torrent, I can get full download speed. It still takes 3-4 hours though.

Installation from Wubi is going smoothly, it is also working well after installation. So I just setup everything I have before, simply by using the Read marking menu on sypnatic that was saved before. I ended up downloading 600MB files, again, with slow speed. That is another 10 hours or so. But everything was working great, I can finally get the same feel as I have in previous installation -that messed up-, except that the screen resolution is working on maximum 1152×864, while I usually use 1280×1024. But that’s fine as long as it can work. Then I reboot to see everything is going well and will move it to dedicated partition.

But another disaster came up, yes, disaster. After I reboot, I can’t load the Xubuntu (that installed from Wubi) anymore. The error that came up now is kernel panic. The reason is unable to mount the rootfs, if I can remember correctly. Trying Google around, but none of the solution worked. I even defragment my disk drive, since I read it was the solution somewhere, but no effect at all, and that cost me another 2 hours or so. Then, I gave up, too tired of it (after setup everything and….) so I go to sleep, that’s the second day.

The third day – reinstall the Xubuntu again

The third day came. I decided to reinstall the Xubuntu again, but now, instead of using the Read marking, I just choose only the necessary application to install. Right now, everything is working. Rebooting also have no problem. Then I move it to a dedicated partition. At first, I used LVPM. The process was going smoothly until the end, it asked for reboot. So I do, but after reboot, I can’t find the Xubuntu from the grub -in 9.04, I use the grub from Wubi-, I tried everything I could, adding the menu.lst and so, but none of them works. Now I just realize that it is now using a different version of grub.

After giving up with LVPM, I tried the wubi-move-to-partition script that I taken from here. This one also going well. Reboot and then, I just saw that my grub is installed in my main drive, so I lost the Windows MBR and even, there is no Windows options anymore there! Oh, another disaster. It doesn’t happen in LVPM, in previous 9.04 version, LVPM add the menu to my Wubi grub menu, but it doesn’t work this time, and now I lost the MBR… another Googling time. Oh, well, the good thing is the new moved Xubuntu is working fine.

Next mission is to restore the Windows MBR and use the Wubi grub menu instead of installing the grub. Oh, forgot to mention it, my Xubuntu, both from Wubi and partition is installed in my external hard disk drive. Sometime, it just doesn’t load fine while power up, ended up with error 22 of grub. Also, it is not always connected to PC, so that’s why I need the Windows MBR back, if not, I will always need to insert my external HDD only to load grub. Before that, I want to make sure that my Windows is fine, so I inserted the line for Windows on grub menu list, fortunately it is fine, that light me some hope. 🙂

I managed to restore my Windows MBR by this:

sudo apt-get install mbr
sudo install-mbr -i n -p D -t 0 /dev/sda

Yippe, I got my Windows MBR back. But now I just back to where I begins. Nowhere to access my partition installation of Xubuntu. Finally, I managed to add the menu in grub by editing the grub.cfg from Wubi installed Xubuntu. I have done it before actually, but no success. Now, since I have the menu.lst from the partitioned Xubuntu, I can copy and adapt it to the grub.cfg. And yes, it is working! 😀 Finally………..!

Next one, is to configure the Wacom calibration and the screen resolution. For Wacom calibration, I just use the same .xinitrc file as before, but need a little change on device identifier. Bad thing is the wacomcpl didn’t work anymore, fortunately I have found the best setting for me so it is not a big deal. For screen resolution, I finally able to add the 1280×1024 resolution by editing the xorg.conf file. Here is the final xorg.conf file from me:

Section "Device" Identifier "Configured Video Device" Driver "intel" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Configured Monitor" Modeline "1280x1024" 109.62 1280 1336 1472 1720 1024 1024 1026 1062 -hsync +vsync EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Default Screen" Monitor "Configured Monitor" Device "Configured Video Device" SubSection "Display" Depth 24 Modes "1280x1024" EndSubSection EndSection

Hopefully, that is the end for it. 🙂 The new Xubuntu is also working faster than before. This is the third day, really feel tired of it, will gonna got a sleep after posting this. lol. What a long post… 🙂

9 comments | Leave a comment

  1. cxjiek November 4, 2009 12:30

    wow, what a pain Ubuntu

  2. Philip Petrov November 4, 2009 14:54

    Sounds worse than windows experience 🙂

  3. keaglez November 7, 2009 15:19

    Yeah, worse…but I never actually trying to “mess” the Windows installation after all. 🙂

    At least, I learn something, I won’t do auto update my Ubuntu to 10.04 when it released. lol

  4. Benjamin November 29, 2009 07:05

    Sounds like a very bad experience. You showed a lot of technical acumen in fixing the problems. Hope you’re now doing fine.

    I am very conservative with updates myself. I still use 8.10. When I started with Ubuntu I used to run on the unstable versions and, to repeat what you said in your comment, I learned a lot, but now I let at least a month pass after the first release and before I install 9.10 at work I want to see it running on my laptop. Ubuntu 8.10 runs just fine now and re-partitioning my disk with ext4 to shave off about one second boot time is not worth the pain at the moment.

  5. keaglez December 1, 2009 01:06

    @Benjamin, I agree with you… 🙂

  6. Polar_BearXL December 14, 2009 07:36

    yeah i can tell that, i myself are trying to figure it out how am i supposed to install that UNR 9.10 on my netbook, the X won’t start at all, leaving me with a loading mouse and black screen. . . .
    Already search here and there, and found out that in truth, 9.10 brings too many new things, and somehow buggy, but it do looks great. 10.04 will be the LTS, so it will be far better i think.

    • keaglez December 14, 2009 07:53

      10.04 must be better, but I won’t do auto update anymore… hehe

  7. Polar_BearXL December 14, 2009 12:11

    don’t auto update, even Windows 7 screws that a lot, dual booting is still the best option :p

  8. Polar_BearXL December 14, 2009 12:28

    Oh, and i forgot to say this again, yes, 9.10 use different grub, and also different partition tool, and also use ext4 as default filesystem, rather than ext3, and that sometimes cause a problem in work (prepare for that)

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