Sunday, August 1, 2010

Upgrading Issues with Ubuntu

Ubuntu upgrades are not always painless. (I have not yet had a simple upgrade.) Although upgrading from a new Dapper install (with no additions) to Edgy toHardy workswell, you are unlikely to be running a new installation of Dapper or Edgy. Customizations lead to upgrade complications. For example:

Custom system files—Customizing files, such as /etc/gdm/gdb.conf, will prompt you to resolve installation conflicts. You can either overwrite or keep the old file, but you cannot merge changes.

Proprietary drivers—Binary and custom drivers, ranging from the Macromedia Flash player to wireless network support, may break. You will need to uninstall and reinstall the software.

Shared Libraries—Different versions of Ubuntu use different linked libraries. For example, Jaunty uses newer libraries than Hardy. Code that is compiled for one set of libraries may break under the new system; be prepared to recompile as needed.

Moving files—Required system files may move between upgrades. For example, the w32codec files may be located in /usr/lib/win32/, /usr/lib/codec/, or some other directory, depending on when and how you installed it. You may even have different versions of the same files in different directories, leading to run-time compatibility issues.

The time required to do an upgrade is another significant issue. An upgrade usually takes at least three times longer than a clean install. This is because the upgrade checks files before modifying the system. While a 2-GHz computer may install in 15 minutes and upgrade in under an hour, a slower computer can take many hours. My 2-GHz PC upgraded over the network from Dapper to Hardy in roughly 5 hours. The same computer completed a network install ofHardy in less than 30 minutes.

Finally, your graphical desktop may not look like a new installation. Menus and applications change between Ubuntu versions, but upgrades do not receive the changes, For example, if you migrated from HardyHeron to Jaunty Jackalope to Karmic Koala, then you will still have the System -> Preferences -> Removable Drives and Media menu, even though the popup window no longer describes any settings for removable drives or media. Under a clean install of Karmic, this menu option does not exist.

Be prepared to devote time to upgrading. Because you may be prompted occasionally to resolve conflicts, you cannot walk away and expect the upgrade to finish without your intervention. If the upgrade takes two hours, you should be near the computer for two hours. After the upgrade has been completed, you may need to spend additional time fixing broken drivers and recompiling software. (Be sure to stock up on coffee and order in for lunch.)

Source of Information : Wiley Ubuntu Powerful Hacks And Customizations

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