Upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope

The new version of Ubuntu came out on Thurdsday, so I grabbed the Alternate Installer CD via BitTorrent in order to upgrade my Linux virtual machine at work, and my desktop machine at home. While I was at it, I also grabbed a copy of the Ubuntu Netbook Remix to put onto my Dell Mini 9.

The Desktop Machine

The upgrade on the desktop machine went fairly smoothly, but wasn’t without a couple of little glitches. I popped the Alternate Installer CD into the drive and was prompted to upgrade from it, as expected. Having clicked the upgrade button I was asked for my password, then… nothing. It just sat there.

After a few minutes I gave up waiting, and launched a terminal. I ran the “cdromupgrade” script from the CD, roughly following the instructions on the Ubuntu upgrade page, except that the path to the CD wasn’t “/media/cdrom/” – it was something more like “/media/Ubuntu\ 9.04\ Alternate\ Installer/”.

From that point on the upgrade ran flawlessly… until I rebooted the machine and logged back in. Unfortunately I’ve been bitten by the “Tracker corrupt index” bug. It looks like a possible fix for that has already made it into Jaunty-proposed, so hopefully that issue will go away shortly.

The Virtual Machine

My Linux virtual machine at work was a more interesting proposition. For a start it’s a virtual machine, running on VMWare Server 2. Secondly I access it via an XDMCP connection from a Windows desktop. Thirdly, this was the machine I downloaded the Alternate CD on, so I figured I’d install directly from the ISO image, rather than burn a CD at that time.

I followed the instructions on the Upgrading to Ubuntu 9.04 page, in the section about upgrading using the Alternate CD. That section also tells you how to mount the ISO as a drive, so I did that first. I didn’t get automatically prompted to upgrade this time, but I was able to start the “cdromupgrade” script on the fake-CD as described on the web page.

That upgrade also seemed to go smoothly… right up until the point where it didn’t. At some stage my XDMCP connection just gave up. I tried connecting via SSH to see if the upgrade was still running, but couldn’t get in that way. Even the VMWare console wouldn’t show up. I had no choice but to stop the virtual machine and re-start it, fully expecting it to complain and die.

To my delight, and surprise, it booted fine and (in the VMWare console) brought up the Jaunty Jackalope login screen. I logged in, ran the update manager, and was prompted to type “sudo dpkg –configure -a” into a terminal in order to sort out the inconsistencies in the installed packages. That took a few minutes, then one quick reboot later and I was back up and running – XDMCP connection and all!

Unfortunately that machine also suffers from the “Tracker corrupted index” bug, but again I’m hoping that the fix for that will be out soon.

The Netbook

Of the three machines, the Dell Mini 9 proved to be the easiest to upgrade – mostly because I was completely replacing the stock Ubuntu 8.04 installation on there, so it was actually an installation rather than an upgrade.

I used the “dd” command to copy the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) disk image onto a 2GB USB thumb drive, and booted the machine from it. I selected the “Install” option, went through the installer, and a few minutes later had a Jaunty netbook up and running.

I have only two minor complaints about the UNR installation routine:

1) The timezone selector was tiny. Perhaps this could be replaced with a nice scalable version in future, so that it will resize to better fill the screen.

2) I wanted to replace the existing Ubuntu 8.04 system with the new installation, but the partitioner didn’t have a “replace the existing Linux partition” option, which I’ve seen on other Ubuntu installers in the past. I didn’t want to lose the Dell Utility Partition that’s on the drive, so I had to manually partition the drive rather than using the whole drive.

As this post has grown larger than I’d planned, my thoughts on the styling and functionality of Jaunty Jackalope will have to wait until another time…