Monday, April 23, 2007

Almost Perfect - Edgy to Feisty Upgrade

Currently we have four boxes running Ubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft). With the release of 7.04 (Feisty Fawn), I decided to try the distribution upgrade from the update manager on my Dell 600m laptop. The overall result of the process was positive.

The first run of the upgrade wizard complained that I did not have enough free space on my /boot partition. I usually allocate around 50MB for this partition which has proven more than adequate. I went back and removed all unused kernel images from my system and retried the upgrade wizard. Again, the wizard complained that I did not have sufficient space for the upgrade. After adding another 50MB to the /boot partition and re-running the upgrade wizard (2 hours to complete), I successfully upgraded my laptop from 6.10 to 7.04.

After the system rebooted, I was presented with a new login screen. The first login attempt revealed that all may not have gone well with the upgraded process. The startup screen hung for more than 10 minutes before displaying my desktop. Starting a terminal to to check on the system produced a window without any Metacity decorations. A Google search of the symptoms proposed that my previous install of Compiz (disabled at the time of the upgrade) could be the culprit. I deleted my .gnomerc file and logged in again. This time my desktop came up much faster and the window decorations were present. I chalked this one up to a none standard system configuration on my part and not a problem with Ubuntu upgrade process.

My next step was to connect to the network using my wireless card (Intel ipw2200), which always worked flawlessly on Edgy. I could not connect to network after three hours of searching the Ubuntu forums and other resources. The one thing I did find was that I was not alone having broken wireless connectivity after upgrading to Feisty. I removed the access point setting that defined it was managed (this option is evidently deprecated) and was able to establish a WAP connection to the network. However, I cannot connect in a consistent manner requiring me to futz around with running /etc/init.d/networking restart, ifdown and ifup manually to get a working connection. Hopefully Ubuntu will get a fix soon as it appears that many users are experiencing the same problems.

I was quite surprised at how well everything turned out considering the complexity of the process. I have never experienced this level of success with a Windows system upgrade (most of the time a Windows upgrade results in an unusable system). Kudos to Ubuntu for a job well done! Now if you can get a fix for my wireless issues...