My Jaunty Adventure

May 11th, 2009 17 Comments

So, Canonical released the latest version of the Ubuntu distro recently, Jaunty Jackalope, version 9.04.

I played with Jaunty in a VM a bit when it was in alpha, and I didn’t notice many new features, compared to Intrepid, aside from the new login splash screen and the Growl-style notifications.

New login splash

I waited a few days, then last week, I decided to take the plunge. The upgrade option in the Update Manager was too tempting, and yes, I usually prefer an upgrade to a fresh install, at least I did.

Since I had gone from Hardy to Intrepid with no issues, I figured this would be as easy. This was a mistake.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably see that my upgrade hasn’t gone very smoothly at all. I compounded my mistake by doing an upgrade the same week I was working on the Connect upgrade, further compounding the issues I hit. Thankfully, I had a working machine to use, otherwise I would have been distraught.

The problems started when I rebooted after the upgrade, and the display was all splotchy with weird lines. When I logged in, the display was unusable. Turns out there’s an issue with Intel video chips, related to all the eye-candy visual effects I was using in Intrepid.

I found all this out by using my Mac to google the problems. Linux really is a hobbyist’s O/S, no doubt about that. It’s very tough to support all the possible configurations, so I suppose I should have expected hardware-specific issues.

I finally got all those effects disabled, then reset X.org to get it working fine. Oddly, I didn’t hit the sound driver issue that Rich had. I thought I was home free, until the display started freezing. I use a KVM to share a keyboard and mouse with my Mac, which could be the culprit.

So, now I’m hard-rebooting every once in a while when it freezes, and half the time, GRUB won’t load when I restart.

Lessons learned, wait for a distro to stabilize before you upgrade and do a fresh install.

I keep backups, so I’m not sure why I’m so averse to doing that. I guess I worry about sinking too much time into it, but after this upgrade, I’m rethinking that stance.

Aside from the issues I’ve hit, Jaunty looks very much like Intrepid, but honestly, I haven’t spent time reading about what’s new.

Despite my problems, I love Ubuntu, and I’m amazed at what Canonical has accomplished. I may still go back to Intrepid if I can find the time, or I might just stick it out until they deploy fixes. Even last week, there were already video driver updates available that I think helped me.

Have you upgraded? If so, how did that go? If not, why are you waiting?

Also, what’s new in 9.04 that has you excited?

I suppose you can also weigh in if you want to trumpet Windows 7.

Find the comments.


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17 Responses to “My Jaunty Adventure”

  1. manalang Says:

    Advice: Ditch Ubuntu proper and go with CrunchBang. It's my new fav linux distro. It's still Ubuntu under the covers but with better default choices of apps and a lot more lightweight.

  2. Gary Says:

    I upgraded. I was on Hardy, but the promise of faster boot up time attracted me to Jaunty. I tried the 'Upgrade' button guessing that I might have to go through Intrepid before getting to Jaunty. Instead it decided that 99% of my packages had to be uninstalled and left me something that didn't have bash, apt or anything usable or even fixable.
    So I did a fresh install of Jaunty. I think I've recovered most of my stuff, settings etc. I think it is booting up faster, but that may be wishful thinking or the fact it has been decluttered a bit.

  3. Jake Says:

    Yeah, I forgot to plug your new favorite distro. Installing it on a VM. You have VPN working yet? Seems like it should.

  4. Jake Says:

    Heh, see Rich's comment re. CrunchBang, his new favorite distro.

    The bummer part is that Linux distros are still a lot work, but that's the fun part too, if you have the time.

  5. manalang Says:

    On VPN right now :-)

  6. andrejk Says:

    I upgraded with no problems, but had compiz turned off before upgrading: compiz doesn't work well with mirrored screens or doing presentations on a beamer. Best new feature: jaunty seems to be a bit faster than 8.10.

  7. Graham Hewett Says:

    I upgraded with no problems, compiz included. I also upgraded my mythtv box, the only issue I had there was going from Hardy to intrepid first where it overwrote my xorg.conf. Booting is much faster, which is a real boon on the myth box (my wife keeps shutting it down to save energy).

  8. Jake Says:

    Yeah, the boot time is definitely faster, he said recovering from yet another crash. I wonder if KVM is causing the problem.

  9. Jake Says:

    Lots of upgrade success stories. Wishing I were one of them :( I really need to find time to start over from scratch, or to switch over to CrunchBang per Rich's advice.

    It's getting old.

  10. EspenBG Says:

    I have one more success story; I couldn't resist the upgrade option after having ignored it for a few days, and tried first at my old private Dell Inspiron 9200 with ATI. Did find any issues at all, just the smoothest upgrade I've ever seen (since my first SunOS upgrade test in 1998), so last week I did the same with the office Dell Inspiron 1720 (64-bit and Nvidia).

    Next and last is the desktop machine, the only one with an AMD processor. Things might still go wrong..

    I'm running Kubuntu, by the way.

  11. Jake Says:

    Ack, you guys are killing me.

    I'm thinking my issue is either KVM or wireless related. When it freezes, all those blinky lights are flashing. I wish I had time to diagnose and fix it or downgrade.

    Not happening though.

  12. terrywang Says:

    That's weird. I guess it may be related to the Intel Integrated Graphic Driver. Someone posted workaround on Connect.

    I did the upgrade for my D620/D630 and Dell Precision Workstation in person, they all went smoothly. Faster boot, better sound solution (the D6X0 built-in mic works with Skye now), Compiz Fusion bugs were fixed.

    I am happy with Jaunty. To me the upgrade from Hardy to Intrepid was not pleasant. Too many bugs and degraded performance. So I switched back to Gentoo for a while. Now I am with Ubuntu again because of APT and PPA:-)

    U r right, Linux is an OS for its enthusiasts, DIY spirit required:-)

  13. Jake Says:

    Thanks for pointing me to the tips. I haven't been monitoring that group, too busy fixing bugs, etc.

    Linux is definitely not for the faint-hearted, e.g. my Intrepid update went smoothly, yours did not. My Jaunty upgrade is a fail, yours was fine.

    Even so, I still think open source rules.

  14. terrywang Says:

    The new connect rocks. Good job;-)

  15. Jake Says:

    Thanks, glad you like it.

  16. Jauder Ho Says:

    At this point, I think I prefer using a Mac as a front end and sshing to a Linux box. Best of both worlds. Still on Hardy though since all the Linux boxes are servers.

  17. Jake Says:

    I definitely prefer my Mac, but they gave me a Dell for work. So, I've been trying to make it work. Right now though, running a VM (VPN'ed into the network) on my Mac to avoid the random freezing issues is way better.

    It's too bad b/c I really Ubuntu. Think I'll have to bite the bullet and either downgrade to Intrepid or put CrunchBang on it.

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