Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 13:43 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Just like Eugenia yesterday, I also upgraded my laptop's Ubuntu Feisty installation to Gutsy a few days ago. The upgrade process went completely awry, though, so I was forced to do a fresh install. Not a bad thing, as it gave me the opportunity to take a look at Ubuntu's soon-to-be-released Gutsy Gibbon with GNOME 2.20
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RE[5]: Fresh install == good?!
by leech on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Fresh install == good?!"
Member since:

I've done my fair share of fresh installs and I'll say that as far as they go, Ubuntu is pretty good because most things work out of the box, or are rapidly becoming a 5 minute job to get everything working, then it's just a matter of installing the applications you want, and for most people they're installed by default.

Of course the bad thing is, that Ubuntu is not as good at upgrades as it should/could be. I'll explain why....

With Debian, you have everything supported as a whole. Either a package is maintained and updated as the stable release comes to a close, or it simply gets obsoleted and taken out of the repositories, assuming that it doesn't work with new libs, etc.

Ubuntu on the other hand does things differently. They have main, restricted, multiverse and universe. The first two are supported and if you simply stick to those, then you'll not have any upgrade problems (well more than likely) but when you start getting to the non-supported packages, a lot of them aren't maintained as well as they should be. So they can possibly screw things up. A good example of a non-maintained package is Azureus. They changed the packaging dramatically enough from the Debian Azureus that it's still stuck at, and Debian has had for a long time. I ended up grabbing the sources from Debian and having to change a lot of files in the debian folder to get it to work (mostly because in Debian the swt library is named slightly different than the one in Ubuntu. Who thought that was a good idea?)

Granted the packaging philosophies is why Debian takes a long time to release a "stable" version and Ubuntu can do it every 6 months.

I'm not sure why people had issues between Dapper and Edgy, but I never had such an issue that I can recall. Then again I think when Etch was released, I switched to that, though I'm now running Gutsy Gibbon and I'm liking it so far!

I am quite angry that Ubuntu has screwed up some upgrades though, since that's supposed to be one of the strongest attributes of Apt in the first place. It screwed up going from Edgy to Feisty on a friend's PC, I had to re-install on that one. Though in it's defense, that's mostly due to it being (at the time) a new Core 2 Duo system and Grub itself would not work, I had to configure Lilo to boot Linux on it. But Feisty worked out of the box when I installed it on there.

I've never messed up an upgrade myself though (he did that one himself) but that's because instead of using update-manager or dist-upgrade, I take synaptic and first update the base system, like the kernel, and libc6, then reboot and pray. If that works, then I start with the user space things.

As far as anything going awry with this though, I think it's mostly Gnome and if you just remove your current settings and go back to default Gnome (the .gnome, .gnome2, .gconf, .gconfd directories) then it should work ok. That's what I had to do.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[6]: Fresh install == good?!
by mjg59 on Mon 24th Sep 2007 00:36 in reply to "RE[5]: Fresh install == good?!"
mjg59 Member since:

The ease of upgrade of Debian systems is much more down to the packages than apt itself. Apt tends to be better at working out solutions for dependency conflicts than some other high-level package managers, but you'd need an AI to guarantee the correct solution. We do our best to test upgrades using packages provided within the distribution and add hints to the upgrade manager to deal with some awkward corner cases, but if you've installed packages from elsewhere then it can become very difficult to make this all work properly.

Using the update manager is always the recommended way of handling upgrades, though. One thing it ought to ensure is that you've got a functional desktop setup after the update. If that's not happening then it's a bug, and we'd be very interested in finding the details in order to make sure nobody else hits it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Fresh install == good?!
by leech on Tue 25th Sep 2007 00:47 in reply to "RE[6]: Fresh install == good?!"
leech Member since:

The ease of upgrade of Debian systems is much more down to the packages than apt itself.

That's what I meant in my post. It seems that the packages in Debian usually are more updated and work better with each other. It does have the update manager in it now, but I don't really use it. Ubuntu's main and restricted work very well together, but sometimes the Universe and Multiverse packages become out of date and don't work in newer releases of the distribution.

Reply Parent Score: 3