Workarounds for Ubuntu 10.04 Migration

So far, I’ve upgraded several boxes to Ubuntu’s new 10.04 LTS version and I have to say that this is probably the first version that I’m sort of disappointed with the upgrade procedures.

It wasn’t tested very well. The entire grub-legacy to grub2 configuration is actually not as well tested considering that if you have a one drive system, then it works brilliantly. But who here has more than two harddrives in their system? Also, there were patches and such that I don’t understand from a perspective of kernel commits.

Let’s start with the netbook. I have a HP Mini 210 for work that I upgraded to 10.04 in a hotel room. It was actually fairly good upgrade since it was one drive, although I was hoping for the 10-15 second boot time that Canonical was supposedly working on which didn’t happen. I actually believe that the boot has slowed down a little bit but I haven’t bothered to benchmark it. I think that the worst of the netbook upgrade was the fact that the synaptics clickpad patch that was committed has about half the distance that the original patch to set up clickzones had. This makes right clicking very difficult since the area that is dedicated for the non-pad function is about the width of half of your pinky. Nothing you can do about this until they commit a new kernel patch unless you want to patch the clickpad yourself.

Upgrading a workstation is more painful, especially if you dual boot with Windows. The one thing you have to pay attention to is the grub install. You MUST install the bootloader on the first boot drive, which is usually the one with Windows. Not the one that it detects in the upgrade where your linux install is which is generally the secondary drive. If you don’t do this, then you’ll run into this issue and need to run the fix.

Another annoying part of it was that the install doesn’t really default to vga drivers when proprietary drivers fail. So when I had my GFX5200 fail out and display some messed up things where you couldn’t make heads or tails of it, you couldn’t boot directly into commandline (at least not off the top of my head in grub2). That required me to install a fresh install from CD to fix the issue since I couldn’t access the box if I couldn’t see what was on the screen. Very annoying.

It would be interesting if Canonical actually created a method to define which packages could be installed with the default configurations from the install CD.

Either way, this upgrade has not been the most smooth of the versions. I’m hoping to see that there are changes in this LTS version where it becomes a little bit more stable on upgrade migrations.