::upgrade vs. clean install–bad idea

5 11 2009

There’s a post on Slashdot today linking to an article from The Register, talking about how throngs of people are having difficulties upgrading from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10.  I’m a little surprised that the Register article has what I think is a very misleading title–Early Adopters Bloodied by Ubuntu’s Karmic Koala.

When you read into the article a bit, you quickly learn that the early adopters being referred to here are people who are doing inline upgrades using the Ubuntu Update Manager.  Personally, I can’t think of any time I’ve ever had a good experience that ended with a solid, glitch-free machine when doing an upgrade over a clean install.  I can’t think of a single good reason to do an upgrade over a clean install.  Not one.

There are reason, mostly incorrect, that people think they should do an upgrade over  a clean install from the CD.  Most often, people think they will lose their documents and settings, or that saving these will be a pain.  First off, if you have a separate /home partition, this is absolutely wrong.  And if you don’t have a separate /home partition, this is as good a time as any to save your stuff the old fashioned way one last time, and do an installtion with a /home partition. The other reason people don’t want to do a clean install is they don’t want to lose their apps.  There are very simple ways to document installed applications and then automatically install them on a freshly installed machine–I did it just a couple of days ago and it took 2 minutes of typing and then less than an hour to install everything.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and just say it:  upgrading an OS–any OS–instead of doing a clean installation is a stupid idea.  It takes longer, core functions break, you don’t get full the full functionality of the OS (in the case of Ubuntu 9.10, you don’t get the upgrade to GRUB 2.0) and some programs just don’t work right.  Ubuntu.com reports that an online upgrade takes about 2 hours on average, depending on your Internet connection speed.  By comparison, it takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish for an installation via CD, and that includes the scary process of manually setting the partitions that makes so many people opt to go for an online upgrade instead.

And on that subject, setting the partitions really isn’t that big of a deal.  The installer’s warning makes it seem like a very intimidating process, but it’s totally straight forward.  All you have to do is pay attention to what you’re doing.  If you already have a /home partition, the hardest part is setting the same partition to be /home, and making sure you don’t put a check mark in the format box.  If you’ve ever installed a Windows OS, you can install Ubuntu in less time and with no headaches.





::karmic koala

3 11 2009

I’m not going to waste anyone’s time with yet another review of Ubuntu 9.10, but  I will say this: lovely.

I do believe this is the first time I’ve loved it right out of the box, with the default desktop, no changes.  Well, I did change the wallpaper to one of the 15 beautiful backgrounds that comes in the default installation–an oddly sexual closeup of the inside of an orchid.






Aside from this, it’s default all the way.  The koala is fast, beautiful, and just about the most perfect installation ever.

Nicely done.




::still an ubuntu blog

29 08 2008

So, I used Suse for all of a week and dumped it.  I simply couldn’t stand it.  Yast is slow, standard apps that I personally would just expect and have seen in almost every other Linux distribution just weren’t there.

I was not impressed.

So I jumped back to my trusty Kubuntu, version 8.04.  Opted to run with KDE 3.5 instead of 4, as well.

I am much happier.

I was going to make post completely unrelated to this and found that my last entry had to do with trying out Suse.  I had to set the record straight.





29 06 2008

Installed OpenSuse 11 this morning, just for kicks.

I like it so far.  KDE4 desktop and all.



::this is why Linux isn’t more popular

15 05 2008

A company ports a three-year-old Diablo clone over to Linux, and people get so excited that a) Desktoplinux.com decides to run a story on it and b) it makes the front page of Digg.

And the community wonders why the world hasn’t rushed to embrace Linux.

This kind of thing might have something to do with the perception that Linux is not cutting edge technology…just sayin.



::hardy heron

20 04 2008

I did a network upgrade from 7.10 to 8.04RC this morning, taking a look at both the default Ubuntu and Kubuntu installations. Installation went off without any hitches at all, and I’m very impressed with the new OS. Out of the box, 8.04 is faster than 7.10 by leaps and bounds. I’ve spent hours getting minor improvements out of my meager hardware (Dell Latitude D600, 1.6Ghz processor, 512MG RAM), and so far I feel the need for none of that.

Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, all open in less than half the time they used to take. The interface on both environments is clean and well-organized, and the standard applets work very well. Power management has always been a point of annoyance with me, but 8.04 handles it very well. I do think the Guidance Power Manager (Kubuntu) is much more robust than the Gnome Power Manager, but adding the frequency scaling applet to Gnome makes up for the shortcomings of Gnome Power Manager.

It is important to note that I opted for the KDE 3.5 version of 8.04 over the KDE 4 version, so I’m missing some bells and whistles, I’m sure, in favor of KDE 3.5’s rock-solid framework. That’s just a personal preference there. KDE 4, in my opinion, was released too early for prime time, and I found the shortcomings to be irritating. I also found it just a little too cartoony for me. But again, that’s just my preference and my asshole opinions coming out.

At any rate, if you’re hesitant about the possibilities of your upcoming upgrade, I think you can put them aside. This incarnation of Ubuntu is the best yet.





19 12 2007

KDE4 RC2 was released last week, and I decided to have a go at it a few days ago. Installation instructions, if you’re interested, are here.

I’m a little too picky, probably, and I have to remind myself that this is not a finished product. But so far, I’m not wowed. Things are a lot less configurable out of the box, or at least no nearly as intuitive as they used to be, and that is irritating.

How any of you tried kde4?  How do you feel about it?

It is entirely possible that I’m overlooking some incredibly cool stuff and I need to be enlightened.