Saturday night, I decided to upgrade my Ubuntu laptop, having seen that the release version of Ubuntu 10.4 was available. The online process was easy. (If I used the Gnome desktop, a notification icon would have appeared in the notification area; since I use a simpler GUI, I check for updates every week or so. In this case, I heard about the release on a Linux podcast.)
When I fired up the system updater, an upgrade notification appeared:
I selected “Upgrade.” The next dialog displayed the release notes.
The Update Manager next downloaded the files it needed to run the upgrade . . .
. . . and started the upgrade process:
By clicking the arrow next to the word “Terminal” in the bottom right of the dialog, I can open a terminal window and watch the process as it takes place on the command line. Depending on what stage of the process you are in, the word may be “Terminal” or “Details”; in several of the pictures that follow, you will see the terminal window or the details window.
Next, Upgrade Manager told me what packages are no longer supported in this version of Ubuntu. That does not mean that they will not work, only that Ubuntu is no longer supporting them.
Then Upgrade Manager tells me how long the download is expected to take and gives me one last chance to duck out.
During the download, Upgrade Manager highlighted the “Getting New Packages” item in the dialog box.
The actual download took about four times as long as Update Manager predicted. Indeed, I had to reboot my modem with eleven mintues left to go because my connection disappeared. I tried pinging yahoo dot com from another computer and nada. Fortunately for my roommate’s nerves (this was at about 1 a. m), Update Manager picked up right where it left off. (See Note at end.)
Once the download was completed. Update Manager moved into installing the upgrades. The picture below shows Update Manager with the terminal window open:
At one point, Upgrade Manager displayed a warning telling me it had to stop a program (the screen saver daemon) and gave me the option of canceling. Certainly, I didn’t cancel; I clicked “Forward” and let the automated process take care of it; nevertheless, I appreciated that. Had I inadvertently left open an important program, like a word processor, I would have had a chance to save my work.
I received a couple more notifications during the process. One, not shown, informed me that the old package database, which stores information about installed programs, was obsolete and would be backed up to a backup directory and replaced with a new one.
The other one, shown below, asked if I wanted to replace my “Customized Kernel Headers” file with a new one. Frankly, I’m not really sure what that means, but I have never reached the point of messing with the kernel. I clicked the “Differences between the files” item in the dialog box and saw that there were no differences, so I selected “Replace.”
(I don’t know how long the installation took. At some point, I went to sleep and finished up the next morning.)
When installation was complete, Upgrade Manager gave me the choice of deleting or keep obsolete files and removed packages. I chose to delete them:
After that, it prompted me to reboot the computer. The computer rebooted normally and worked perfectly.
There is one very noticeable different in Gnome in this version of Ubuntu.
For some fool reason (as my father would have said), Canonical has moved the window buttons (Minimize, Scale, Maximize) from the right end to the left end of the title bar in the default Gnome theme (this did not affect my Fluxbox themes in any way):
After years of mousing to the right end of the title bar, I don’t want to retrain myself now, so I selected another Gnome theme that put the buttons on the right.
All seriousness aside, none of the Linux news sources I follow are sure why Canonical made that change, unless it was to look more Mac-like. Also, I have nothing to do with Ubuntu version naming.
I consistently have problems with large downloads with my current ISP, even though my large downloads are legal large downloads, such as this update. And I do not use BitTorrent because I don’t like it.
With my previous ISP I encountered very few problems; I have had more problems in the last five months than in the previous five years. In those five years, I did occasionally have to reboot my modem–after a power failure or power drop-off, almost never in normal use.
And I do sort of know what I’m doing here.
I noticed one change.
Since this was a version change (from v. 9 to v. 10), much was replaced.
As part of that, the XScreensaver program was removed. Gnome comes with its own screensaver, called gnome-screensaver, which is, frankly, lame. It does not have as many routines as XScreensaver (which comes with over 100 different routines), nor is it as easily configured.
An example: With the XScreensaver routines that use pictures, such as the GLSlideshow, Carousel, and Ant Inspect, you can point the program at any directory you wish via the screensaver configuration screen. Gnome screensaver points only to /home/[username]/My Pictures; you can change this only by editing the configuration files, which is not big deal, but it’s annoying.
(I loathe default directories that start with “My,” such as “My Documents” and “My Pictures,” and refuse to use them–too cutesy-poo for me. I go with “docs” and “pix.”)
Surprisingly, the upgrade did not set gnome screensaver to start automatically (I had disabled it months ago), nor did it delete my configuration data. I think that was because the settings are stored in the /home/[username]/.xscreensaver directory, and the upgrade didn’t touch home directories.
A quick download of the XScreensaver package (maybe 20 seconds), which is available through the Ubuntu repositories, brought the program back with all my previous settings.
(It’s also available here.)