YaK:: WebLog #535 Topic : 2007-03-25 22.35.22 matt : updating my KUbuntu 6.10 (Edgy) to 7.04 (Feisty) beta [Changes]   [Calendar]   [Search]   [Index]   [PhotoTags]   
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updating my KUbuntu 6.10 (Edgy) to 7.04 (Feisty) beta

Unlike the upgrade from 6.06 to 6.10, I had some significant issues during this KUbuntu upgrade.

I saw that the KUbuntu Feisty beta came out and there was a call for people to test the upgrade from Edgy. My wireless card, which is a Dell TrueMobile 1350 and a Broadcom-based chipset, barely worked in 6.06 and worked slightly better in 6.10 after Geoff tinkered with it for an entire day. It's still really touchy under Edgy, requiring my to killall wpa_supplicent every hour or so and re-running Geoff's custom script. It's a real pain, so I was really hoping that upgrading to Feisty would help. Since there have been great improvements to the bcm43xx driver in the 2.6.20 kernel on which Feisty is based (Edgy is based on kernel 2.6.17), it seemed likely things would improve a bit, and so far that appears to kind of be true.

I went through the instructions on their wiki page for users who had upgraded to their KDE 3.5.6 (Edgy shipped with KDE 3.5.5). Feisty also ships with KDE 3.5.6, but maybe with some extra fixes/patches -- I couldn't find a list of the differences. I must say that I've been really happy with Edgy's KDE 3.5.6 -- I use Konqueror as my main browser and the only site it seems to have major issues with at this point is banking.wellsfargo.com, for some reason.

So, I went through the instructions on the web site and the updater eventually got going downloading lots of packages. With our 3MBit/sec DSL, it took a couple of hours. After downloading and 'preparing', the updater crashed with a message about a global variable not being defined, which I filed as a comment on the updater bug. At this point, KDE started acting a little funny, so I rebooted and went into the text tty to try and continue the upgrade.

Logging in a root and using apt-get, I did an update and then a dist-upgrade. dist-upgrade had to be run a couple of times in a row for various reasons, but it eventually finished. I then rebooted and saw the new kernel in the menu options. It booted and I had no X. X wouldn't start due to the ATI driver not being able to find any devices. This basically fucked my evening, as I had writing to do on the book. Thankfully, I found a web page on how to get ATI drivers working in Feisty. I tried the suggestion and it still didn't work, mainly because running restricted-manager requires X to be running and actually crashes (with a SEGFAULT!) if X isn't running. The nice folks on the #kubuntu IRC channel on irc.freenode.net were able to help me by suggesting I do 'dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg', which on top of the aforementioned web page's instructions, got X starting once again.

The next big freak-out came when I tried to view a web page with flash ( Pandora ). Nothing happened. It was working before the upgrade, so I went and tried to install gnash and the konqueror plug-in packages via Adept. I restarted and tried going to pandora.com again, and this time I got a nice hard hang. I couldn't switch to a text tty, restart X via Control+Alt+Backspace, move the mouse, or anything. The power button normally makes KUbuntu shut down, this time I had to hold it down for a hard shutdown. Wow, is this unacceptable -- I have no idea what the fuck happened, but I wasn't running as root and was able to hard lock the system. I rebooted and went into adept. I removed gnash and it's konqueror plug-in, and did the same with libflash. I also set flashplugin-nonfree to reinstall. I rebooted, and pandora.com loaded but wasn't displaying its flash music player. I had to go into Settings->Configure Konqueror->Plugins and re-scan for new plugins. After I did that, pandora.com was playing my favorite tunes just fine.

The next thing I noticed was that the upgrade also seemed to foul up powernowd and the ability for KUbuntu to scale CPU frequencies. I couldn't see it any more, so I assumed it wasn't. I didn't find too much help with this online, a bunch of people having different problems with solutions that didn't help me as a Pentium-M laptop user. I loaded up the System Settings and went under the Advanced section to try and start up powernow. Every time I tried, I got a blank window saying that powernowd was starting, but it just say there not actually loading. From the commandline (as root), /etc/init.d/powernowd start didn't output anything. This is the next thing I need to figure out.

I tried using the packaged wine, which is the latest (0.9.33) and was able to run my disassembler and hex editing programs just fine. FroggerDemo.exe still doesn't run, nor does any of the games and demos (Broken Sword, Myst V, etc) I try. They all install alright (seemingly), they just mostly crap out when they start. I also tested installing IE6 via ie6setup.exe, since it's incredibly useful to be able to test against it when developing web applications. It installed okay, which is an improvement over Edgy, but it doesn't actually run. When you start IEXPLORE.EXE, you get a window with blank contents that doesn't do anything. Hopefully this gets fixed. PC-Lint continues to run fine, which isn't a surprise since it's the most basic of win32 console apps :) The latest Quicktime installed just fine and was able to play movies great -- it just blacked out the entire screen before it did it. By exiting QuickTime and then mousing over the desktop and dragging a window around, the screen was restored. If I didn't know better, though, it really would have freaked me out.

On the development tool front, they latest version of mono ( is available, but they're a version behind on monodevelop. Since I've never seen monodevelop ever be able to load a project and not crash until the latest version (0.13.1), it would be great for them to update that. They're also behind on valgrind, which is at version 3.2.1 rather than the latest 3.2.3.

I'm going to be running valgrind against some of the packages and filing bugs in the coming weeks to help identify things that need to be stabilized before release. I did this with some good success during the KDE 3.5 release cycle, finding some real memory corruption and uninitialized memory reads by running konqueror under valgrind and going to maps.google.com. (I did the same for Firefox for their 1.5 release, but they kept arguing with me and I gave up.)

Once everything was up and going, there were a couple of other minor issues. I was reading some RSS feeds in Akregator, and I clicked on a link to open a PowerPoint (.ppt) file. I was then asked what app should be used to open the file -- something that used to just work before the upgrade. I told it to use OpenOffice Impress, and then Impress asked me what 'filter' it should use to open the file! It gave me a giant list, the 'filter' required was 3 pages down. This used to just work, what happened?? I had a similar experience when clicking on a ZIP (.zip) file link in Akgregator -- I got a screen full of garbage. This also used to work. These are pretty basic things for most users, and I hope they're fixed before the release. On a positive note, opening PDFs correctly launched kpdf.

I'll be posting blog updates as I run into issues and noteworthy things I like. At this point, I wouldn't recommend anyone trying to upgrade until perhaps the next beta of Feisty. A fresh install might be worth trying, though.


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