Ubuntu upgrade tips

I finally braved the Dapper -> Edgy upgrade on one of my machines yesterday. It was reasonably painless; these are my tips.

  • Avoid upgrading solely via the network (unless you’re on a fast work connection). It would take hours and can leave you in trouble if your connection drops out. Grab yourself the 6.10 alternate ISO via bittorrent first.
  • Having grabbed the ISO, I realised that I had no blank CDs to hand. Not a problem; just mount the ISO like so:
    sudo mount -o loop /path/to/iso /media/cdrom
  • With your ISO mounted, run:
    sudo gksu "sh /media/cdrom/cdromupgrade"

    Answer “yes” when asked if you want to use the network – this still gave me a 500 – 600 MB download but it’s a lot less than the > 1 GB network-only option.

  • The upgrade may not proceed due to dependency problems. You can check /var/log/distupgrade/apt.log to sort these out.
  • My only post-upgrade issue* was a font problem documented by other users. Just replace “X11/fonts” with “fonts/X11” in the FontPath lines of xorg.conf then restart X (e.g. “sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart”) and you should be right.

All in all, one of the less painful upgrades for me. They should have it 100% right before too long.

* I lied.
A second issue is that my default kernel (previously 2.6.15-28-686-smp) became 2.6.17-11-386. Rather annoying as I need the SMP kernel to get hyperthreading from my dual core CPU.

If like me you’ve been looking in vain for 686 or 686-smp kernel packages in Edgy, they’ve been replaced with linux-kernel-generic. This should have been installed during your upgrade and is option 2 in the GRUB menu list – so edit your grub config appropriately if you need it. You’ll probably also want to grab the “generic” kernel source and headers for any custom drivers that you need to compile.

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