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Running Dapper

I took the plunge over the weekend, and live-upgraded the new ‘Dapper Drake’ Ubuntu release — ouch. Here’s the two key lessons I learned:

  • Don’t run “grub-install” in a misremembered attempt to update the current GRUB boot menu ‘menu.lst’ file with the new kernel; sadly, this will quietly remove important details from your old menu.lst, such as “initrd” lines, rendering those kernels unbootable. Moral: ensure brain is in gear before meddling with MBRs!

  • If you’re a Kubuntu user, watch out. Ensure you run apt-get install ubuntu-base ubuntu-desktop — bringing the entirety of GNOME up to date — as well as apt-get install kubuntu-desktop after the upgrade; it appears that some part of a new hotplugging subsystem is not included as a dependency of kubuntu-desktop. Failure to do this results in an inability to use USB/hotpluggable devices, including internal devices like the Synaptics touchpad. No pointer devices (mice or touchpads) means no X server at boot, which is always a little annoying.

Some day I’ll just do things the right way, and do a fresh-from-CD install instead. Ah well. The good stuff: the new kernel, or possibly Xorg, is proving to be a lot speedier — window updates are noticeably smoother; and the new Ubuntu GNOME theme is similarly tasty.