Posted by: reformedmusings | November 9, 2009

Upgrade to Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 – Lessons learned

When I started to upgrade from Ubuntu Jaunty to Karmic 9.10 last week, the day after the initial release, the download estimate was 6 hours. Ouch. I decided to wait until the servers weren’t quite so hammered and aborted the update.

Last night during the abysmal Eagles/Cowboys game, I decided to try updating again. This time the download estimate was 6 minutes. That was acceptable. 🙂 The download and installation proceeded quickly thanks to my 20 Gbps broadband connection and 3.3 GHz Core 2 Quad CPU.

As usual, I was asked several times whether I wanted to keep old configuration files or overwrite them. Two involved my scanner setup and one my network setup. I elected to have the new config files overwrite the old ones. It has been my experience that it’s wisest to go with new config files and then modify them if necessary.

After rebooting, all the major stuff work fine–no major issues. The proprietary nVidia video drivers came up without issue, compiz-fusion loaded with my normal settings, and all but one of my panel applets appeared as usual. The sensor applet complained that the updated version used a different configuration format, so it loaded its defaults. I simply had to deselect the sensors that I didn’t want. That was it. The underlying lmsensors still worked perfectly. Very nice job by the Ubuntu developers.

As usual, although the Epson Sylus CX7800 printer worked fine, the scanner didn’t. The excellent Epson Photo Image Print System (PIPS) drivers were also gone, with key dependencies broken. I’ll write a separate post on this saga, hopefully with the resolutions.

Moneydance loaded right up without issue, and VMWare Workstation’s update script worked as advertised. The upgrade brought Flash and Java up to date, including in Firefox. Very slick.

Ubuntu changed the way the system detects your hardware. hal is gone, replaced by udev. That changes many of the service commands we’ve grown used to over the years. I’m still working on learning those. Some underlying libraries updated, breaking third-part drivers like the Epson PIPS ones. The price of progress.

Karmic may load a little faster, but it certainly shuts down more quickly. The opening graphics are shadowy and brown as always. Other than that, the upgrade preserved my setup so I don’t see the backgrounds. I still haven’t figured out how to turn off the stupid countdown timer for logout, shutdown and reset. It was easy in Jaunty, but it’s different in Karmic of course.

Overall, this was a very smooth upgrade. I have the scanner working as I’ll describe in another post, but not the PIPS driver yet. I only need the PIPS drivers for printing quality photos, so other than that, I’m fully functional. Pretty painless upgrade.



  1. […] Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 Issues I wrote about my upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty to 9.10 Karmic in this post. Overall, it was painless. But, with any operating system upgrades there tend to be some small […]

  2. […] Ctrl-Alt-Del functionality in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic I posted here about my upgrade, here about getting my Epson scanner to work, and here about losing the shutdown confirmation […]

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