eXTReMe Tracker
Dec 232009

A few weeks ago, the Ubuntu development team released the Alpha 1 of their upcoming release, Lucid Lynx. Since most Ubuntu releases are known only by their first name, I’m hoping the term that most people would use to describe this release would be ‘Lucid’ – like, “we just got a printer and we’ll be using it with Lucid over the network.”

The options for upgrading to Alpha 1 are:

1. Clean install from a downloaded .iso for the flavour you are interested in.

2. Upgrade from earlier version – 64-bit Karmic in my case.

I chose the second option, since I didn’t want to lose any of my installed non-open source programs such as Matlab during the installation process. In order to upgrade from Karmic, open up the terminal and type in –

sudo update-manager -d

It will bring up the update manager and you can then see the option of upgrading to a newer distro. You’ll be asked if you’re okay with removing certain packages and upgrading some of the existing ones to which you have to answer ‘yes’. During installation, all of your third party repositories would be disabled. The most commonly used third party repository is the Medibuntu repository, which will be disabled. But don’t worry, after (successful) upgrade, you can re-enable the medibuntu repository for Karmic, since there still isn’t a medibuntu repository for Lucid.

During the upgrade process, be sure not to keep any program running otherwise the system starts freaking out a little. In my case, Firefox 3.5 kept signing me out of my gmail account over and over – so the best thing is to keep all programs closed.

After the upgrade is complete, you’ll be asked to restart the system. Currently, Lucid is running the kernel, and it won’t be too long before it goes on to 2.6.33.xx.

I’ve read elsewhere that Ubuntu 10.04 will be stripping out some of the programs like GIMP from the basic distro. You can of course obtain it from the repositories once you have got the basic system up and running. Some people are quite worked up about it – but the simple fact is it doesn’t take that long to get GIMP or any program on the repositories once you have the network up and running. Now that’s the beauty of upgrading from an earlier version – that way you don’t have to worry about such things. All the programs that you’ve installed, and that are now in the repository, are automatically upgraded to the latest snapshot.

It takes about 45-90 minutes depending upon your processor speed, the network speed, and the number of programs that you’ve installed. After all the upgrades are completed, you’ll also be asked if you want to remove certain packages, and after those are removed, you’ll need to restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

So, on to restarting. When you restart you’ll see a painfully long list of kernels and recovery options. Frankly speaking, once you have the latest kernel working correctly, there is no point in having an entry to an older kernel in the Grub menu. After this reviw, I’ll be posting the way you can remove the items from the grub menu that you won’t be needing.

Now comes the fun part. When you’re booting Lucid (Alpha 1) for the first time, the X is quite likely to be all messed up. But Lucid now has a failsafe option which defaults the graphics to 1024×768 regardless of what your monitor resolution is. But the good thing is that, you have the option to log in using the failsafe mode, and it works quite well too.

After searching for a way to fix the X issue, I finally found out that there is a conflict with the fglrx drivers included in Alpha1. The fix is to remove all the fglrx drivers that have been installed. I forget the name of the package, but its something like xorg-drivers-fglrx.

sudo apt-get remove xorg-drivers-fglrx

(or something similar)

In addition to removing the fglrx drivers, you also need to clear out the xorg.conf file.

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Just clear out all the lines in there such that it looks like an empty file. Then save it and reboot the computer. This time it boots with proper resolution.

If you were to do a hardware driver search, and in case you have a graphics card – its quite likely that the installation of that graphics card will fail at this point in time. On doing a hardware drivers search, it found the driver for my ATI Radeon card, but it wouldn’t let me install the driver stating some sort of conflict. It will soon be resolved, but as of now I can’t use compiz – no big deal.

Besides this – there was no problem whatsoever. The wireless card work flawlesslessly, the previously installed third party programs from Medibuntu worked well, and even the /home folder settings for all users were preserved.

Graphics wise, there doesn’t seem to be any change. The usplash doesn’t show up, so there is no way to tell if that logo has been changed to something else now. The icon set looks the same and so do the pop up boxes. Its too early to have any aesthetic changes compared to the earlier version.

With this said, lets see how long I can go updating each day before something gets broken 🙂 But so far, except for the graphics card (and thus compiz effects), everything is working quite well. If you want to try it out, its definitely not as risky as some of the earlier Alpha versions have been.