My Nightmare: Upgrading from [K]Ubuntu 7.10 to 8.04, not nice!

Date: 28 Apr, 2008
Posted by: admin
In: linux, open source & software

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Well having come from Slackware I’d obviously been enjoying the ease of installation with Synaptic (an apt-get frontend) too much and the gods of computing were watching my karma count(!) … the simple “update-manager” method of upgrading promised much and didn’t really deliver anything other than a rushed lesson in apt-get, dpkg, aptitude and the use of the recovery console option in Ubuntu’s GRUB menu.

Update Manager, problem!

The update manager appeared to hang when it came to restarting the X font server, it may have been something else that triggered it, what was clear to me was I had a frozen X session mid-way through a graphically managed dist-upgrade. Not great. I left it for a few hours to see if it was just taking its time, no joy.

I tried a few things by switching to a CLI with alt-ctrl-F1: apt-get and aptitude reported problems. Neither would run enough for a fix. apt-get reported that I should run “dpkg –configure -a” to reconfigure. dpkg reported “too many errors, stopping”. Now I didn’t like the sound of that


On reboot, I chose the recovery console. After much playing around I found I could run “apt-get update” (after getting my net connection up by running “/etc/rc.local”; which just does a pon for my speedtch USB modem connection). Still not much use. I noticed that the first package being complained about was libgnomevfs2-bin, so attempted to install that by itself. No joy. Aptitude was useful here in listing what was broken, but not much use otherwise.

In the end after frantically reading through several man pages I discovered the –force options for dpkg, in a do or die moment I entered “dpkg –configure -a –force-all”. Well that seemed to do the trick, finished installing things, which all seemed to have downloaded already (so something was working right in update-manager at least).

Reboot to glorious KDE goodness.

Rebooting again I had the new menu options in GRUB for the new kernel, a good sign. Booted up fine and I logged in to my KDE session and was back in the now familiar territory of Ubuntu.

Well, I was kinda expecting something to have changed. Nothing seemed that different, this is however Ubuntu with the kubuntu-desktop package installed.

Didn’t take long to find what had changed … firefox 3 beta4 had been upgraded to 3 beta 5 and was broken! Oh yeah and I couldn’t launch GUI apps from a root konsole either.

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