Ubuntu Edgy Upgrades a Disaster for manyOctober 27, 2006 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Review, Ubuntu | 127 Comments
Take a look around the Ubuntu Forums lately and you’ll see many installation and various related threads just cropping up with problems. Not just noob problems, but people that are pretty knowledgable about linux, about how to fix things when they break, and they’re left clueless with Edgy. I am one of them. I’ve been a long time Ubuntu fan, and to some regards I still am but I surely don’t see them as Linux’s saving grace any longer. I can’t tell everyone’s story, but I can tell my own. And i hope the devs at Ubuntu are listening.
First off let me state, this release is supposed to be “edgy”, but i didn’t know by edgy they meant playing with a toy that’s been through a woodschipper, now laced with sharp edges for you to cut yourself on. Also let me state that doing a sudo apt-get dist-upgrade has worked for me many times before but it’s always assumed much can go wrong as to compared to a clean install. As Ubuntu’s base grows, as fanboys on digg, slashdot, and the blogosphere tout the apt-get dist-upgrade as a wonderful feature to trample having to do full installs of Windows, disc after disc, the devs should listen and make sure their crap is together before releasing a product.
I started my dist-upgrade approximately at 4:30pm on Wednesday, it estimated about 2 hours for install. I was a happy camper. I couldn’t wait for faster bootup and shutdown times, i couldn’t wait for new artwork, volume support on my keyboard FINALLY among other things.
6:30 came along, and it still said 2 hours left. 10:30 came along and it still said the same. 9AM the next day, same thing. 2:30pm the next day, yet still saying the same. The install didn’t complete until about 5:00pm the following day. Over 24 hours for a download and install of the packages need on my Kubuntu system. But the wait was finally over. My Kubuntu Edgy system was restarting.
Apparently with the new Xorg, nvidia and ATI cards are useless on an upgrade. I have all the proper drivers installed. My xorg.conf is configured correctly, but my computer now won’t start X. I tried and tried again, posted on the forums to no avail. There doesn’t seem to be an answer about why my nvidia card no longer will allow X to start.
With proper drivers, xorg configured correctly, even reconfiguring the xorg-server, nothing is elliviating this problem. Taking a look around the forums and there’s a ton of threads like mine or similar to mine where cards simply don’t work on an dist-upgrade of Edgy with the new xorg.
I have given up on this for now and reverted back to my i810 onboard video card.
Upgrading to Old Software?
A minor annoyance for sure, but days before the Edgy upgrade I decided to go with Gaim 2.0 beta 4. Upon the Edgy upgrade, Ubuntu recognized this as older software that needed to be replaced by Gaim 2.0 beta 3. Can Ubuntu not see what version numbers software is before removing it?
Even after going through the beta 4 install AGAIN, ubuntu still wants to replace it with beta 3 upon a sudo apt-get upgrade. So basically until they decide to put beta 4 in the repo’s I have to go without updates.
Look and Feel of GTK apps in Kubuntu Edgy
In dapper, GTK apps of course always looked a little out of place in KDE as usual. This is no new thing to anyone, and I wish I had before and after screenshots to show you what I’m talking about here. But in dapper, I was able to make it consistent looking enough that it suited me just fine. In Edgy? No matter what theme I use for GTK, it looks like crap in Firefox and GAIM.
Firefox’s menu’s were a pale white, just like the rest of my KDE theme, but when running a mouse through them they would turn to a puke brown leaving a discoloured menu. This was with the right click menu’s, as well as File, Edit, View, etc.. I personally like the Firefox 2.0 theme and don’t want to switch themes in order to make it look decent. But I decided to play anyways. Theme after theme I downloaded (when i could find themes that were 2.0 compatible) and theme after theme I ran into the same problem. I tried every option in Appearance for GTK look, and nothing.
The only thing that fixed this was a clean install of Mozilla’s build of Firefox 2.0. Again, unacceptable.
Boot and Shutdown Screens
Well after my switch to the i810 onboard video I can no longer see boot up screens or shutdown screens. I just get a lot of blackness. One of the petty, but main reasons I upgraded was for a bit nicer eye candy and a lot of good artistic work went into those screens. Personally I like my box to look a bit shiny while still being functional, the GTK apps aside, now I have no startup or bootup screens. Again, the forum was unable to help.
GUI File Manager Disaster
Now here’s the real kicker. I do have Nautilus installed, and Thunar, and Konqueror. All 3 file managers, while running as a regular user, or gksudo.. can only see my home directory. If i attempt to go above that directory, or even type “/” in Konq’s address bar, i get a folder i’ve never seen before containing my Home directory and a media directory for removable media. But nothing else. In no way shape or form do I have a GUI way to reach /etc, /var, /usr, etc..
Going through a terminal, I can view all directories just fine. But that’s not the point of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is made to be easier than most distrobution. This isn’t Gentoo. I shouldn’t have to use the command line every single time I need to access a folder for administrative purposes. Theming GAIM on my own now, is a giant pain in the ass for instance. Surely this is something I can work around, but it’s highly annoying and also just confusing as to how this could even happen.
How does it effect all file managers? As root? As a regular user?
Wow, and where to begin here. Mp3 support that I once had is now gone. As is mpg, avi, wmv, mov, you name it. Kdemultimedia will no longer preview video files in Konq any longer. They won’t play in totem, kaffine, mplayer, not even good ol’ trusty vlc. Thank god automatix2 to help out but even that didn’t solve all my problems. Automatix has made it so VLC can now play avi’s. I can now listen to my mp3s in beep media player. But not amarok. WMVs are completely unplayable in all media players now, and it even crashes VLC. Kaffeine and totem have been rendered completely useless. And DVDs will no longer play. And get this, not even OGGs play.
My conclusion, unless you’re doing a clean install, don’t bother with Edgy. It’s Ubuntu’s single most worthless product. They have a great community, great philosophy, a great operating system, but Edgy fails. At least in Dapper or below, Windows or OS X (and other *nix distro’s) I can fix most of what goes wrong during an install. This, is just mind blowing. 23 hours to download an upgrade that’s more littered with problems than anything I’ve ever seen out of Canonical. I don’t know what the devs were thinking in this regard, but when you have community response about their upgrade going this bad, you might want to hold off on releasing a product that soon and ensure a wee bit more stability and, i dunno, maybe bandwidth to cover the download process you know thousands of people will participate in.
I’ll stick with Ubuntu because I believe in the community and the company behind it, but right now.. I wish a BSOD and spyware was what I was facing. Honestly, Dapper’s first beta was more stable than this. I truly feel like Ubuntu took a step backwards today
To Be Continued?
Now i’m off to backup my Kmail, Firefox bookmarks, home folder, my customized gaim theme, sources file, among many other things and to start anew now that my system is completely ruined. And i’m going to start with a fresh install of Edgy and see how it goes. It’s downloading now. Maybe this is just related to the fact i dist-upgraded, that’s what the community keeps telling me. God I hope a clean install doesn’t suffer the same fate, otherwise, innocent babies will die.
Edit: Seems the folks over at Slashdot agree.