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back to article Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

Ubuntu 9.10 is causing outrage and frustration, with early adopters wishing they'd stuck with previous versions of the Linux distro. Blank and flickering screens, failure to recognize hard drives, defaulting to the old 2.6.28 Linux kernel, and failure to get encryption running are taking their toll, as early adopters turn to the …

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spotify

I'm pretty much the least technically minded user of ubuntu I know and so pretty representative of the kind of people the linux community should want to convert, and the one thing that really, really annoyed me was that spotify didn't work with the initial upgrade. It was a pretty simple fix - just upgraded to wine 1.2 - but isn't this the sort of thing that should have already worked anyway?

Spotify is the coolest thing on the internet right now and just about everyone I know uses it, yet somehow the fact that it didn't work on 9.10 passed the developers by? I'm sure lots of developers will whine on about how spotify 'isn't open source so they don't care for it' or whatever, but frankly, millions and millions of your potential users do like it and want to use it.

Sorry, bit of an incoherent rant there.

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agreed, 9.10 reeks of eucalyptus

- Clean install on a Dell Inspiron 14. Wifi doesn't work. Well, the wifi works as far as the interface coming up and scanning, but it won't associate with WPA networks. Haven't tried open or WEP. Other people with different wifi hardware are having the same problem, so i think it's a a higher-up kernel problem.

- Speaking of, it was a pain in the ass to get the Broadcom STA drivers to load. The live-CD would show me the driver and let me activate it, but once karmic was installed to the machine the driver was absent. I had to manually install 3 .debs (patch, dkms, bcmwl-kernel-source) from the pool on the CD to get it back.

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Oh, let me just add...

Everything worked just fine in 9.04.

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@miguelmonkeyman

Wine 1.2 (well, 1.1.32 to be exact) is not production stable, so is not included by Canonical. The fact that you want to use something that is not production stable (even according to WineHQ) is hardly Canonical's fault.

If Linux gets better adoption, perhaps Spotify will do a Linux-specific product, meaning that you won't have to rely on unstable, developer versions of third-party software.

And perhaps there will be a proper Pulseaudio equalizer so you can stop Spotify sounding like it's in a toilet.

Yeah...and pigs may well indeed fly!

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Linux

You couldn't provide any proof in support of your allegations... could you?

@By Adam Williamson 1

OK I'll ask again, please provide links to support this allegation.

#Previous#

>but tends to market itself as if it were the be-all and end-all and all the work was coming out of its own offices.

I have never seen Ubuntu marketing say anything of the sort myself maybe you have some links to back this claim up?

> Canonical uses a lot of work from other projects and companies (Debian, Red Hat, Novell and others)

Well I don't see that as wrong, after all the software is FOSS, indeed you are allowed and encouraged to do this!

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Megaphone

Updated from 9.04 to 9.10

I updated my mums and my PC to Ubuntu 9.10 from Ubuntu 9.04 without problems; though I'm thinking of rebuilding them from scratch as I would like ext4. Not sure about the default theme though.

I've not seen these problems but I did once have a problem with Ubuntu 6.10 and put the problem down to VIA chipset kernel driver - it worked on 6.04 and 7.04 but not 6.10 but I wasn't to fussed as this PC had a terrorable chipset.

Mike

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Heart

I love Redhat! why cant we all be friends?

@ Adam Williamson 1

No, no look...

I love that Redhat is a big business and profitable.

I also love that they are ethical and do the right thing.

I would love Ubuntu to work it so they contribute more upstream.

Its just that saying they use a lot of code contributed by others, as if this was a bad thing, is an odd position given that the GPL expressly allows this.

Its also odd that you cant take a bit of good natured fun about "Charisma Envy".

Also Canonical looks like its doing well to me, they are leveraging the whole GNU/Linux/Debian ecosystem to punch well above their weight.

They also seem to have the "Cool" factor down.

Whats not to like?

It not a Win-Lose thing.

If Redhat and Ubuntu do well its Win-Win.

@ Adam Williamson 1 Posted Thursday 5th November 2009 06:51 GMT

So, let me get this straight - first you argue that Red Hat is big and successful and Canonical is small and struggling (because that's convenient for the first part of your argument), then you argue that I (let's recap - I work for Red Hat, the big successful one) must be envious of Canonical (remember - that's the small, unprofitable, struggling one)?

How's that work, then?

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No problems here

Did one upgrade, on a 3 year old Dell laptop, and a fresh install on a homebuilt PC sporting Gigabit mainboard, Nvidia graphics card, two SATAs.

No problems on either box, and got the 2.6.31 kernel.

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Akoya - MSI Wind Upgrade

I have had a fully functioning 9.04 UNRemix version running well for some time on my Medion Akoya (MSI Wind rebadge).

I pressed the upgrade button and let it do its stuff.

The local ubuntu mirror server (DK) was broken and died during download every time. A trip to the Ubuntu forum gave me the clue how to point somewhere else.

I let the upgrade run, but a couple of hours in it went into some sort of error loop, popping up blank error message boxes all over the place. I left it running. The day after, the machine was frozen on a brown screen with a pointer, so I hit the big button.

The new version came up because I pointed at it in the bootloader - wrong default. Then all sorts of weirdness happened. Firefox went into a crash loop, the window manager kept overwriting the little applets I have installed, and all manner of horrible things.

I managed to get it to shut down gracefully, despite there apparent ly not being an button for this task.

I rebooted. Even more (but less weirdness).

I rebooted. Now it seemed to run just fine.

I have since patched it with whatever else has been released.

I like the new Remix look, and it clearly runs better than the last version which had some graphic chip issues. I have WiFi, but did not test BT yet since I lost my dongle. Cable Eth. works fine.

Still testing, but generally I like it. WinXP is for the scrapheap now, and I will just dual boot with OSX or UNR.

Dweeb

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Pint

If it ain't broke...

Don't replace it! Just because the shiny new toy is released is no reason to run to replace what you've got. Wait, have patience, if you simply must have the new toy then set it up in a virtual environment, or if you have an old PC hanging around install it there. Perhaps copy the hard disc you've got (DD) to another (empty) hard disc and try the upgrade without blowing away your system. These strategies might be overkill but you can save yourself a great deal of pain. After things like KDE 4.0 and the Xorg changes (seen in 9.04). Don't trust the new new releases, they contain too much revolution and not enough evolution, and they have a propensity to break what you had.

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spotify

re: spotify - fair enough with the unstable wine issues, I just think it strange that no-one developing 9.10 decided to work out a way to make spotify work.

And the boot time is completely awful.

And yes I know I can always ask for a refund :)

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ATI HD2400

The Koala broke the video drivers. Even downloading and manually installing the correct drivers doesn't seem to work, even with a full uninstall of all the older ATI drivers.

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Hibernation and swap - from release notes

"If you intend to use hibernation with your system, you should ensure that the swap partition's size is at least as large as the system's physical RAM" according to 9.10 release notes.

It is redundant to mention that, I suppose, because everyone else carefully read that document already. Right?

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Anonymous Coward

I don't have these problems and neither do

the people I know who upgraded to 9.10.

Don't know about those other guys, but I haven't had any problems with 3 PCs and one notebook. All ancient single-core one gig ram machines. Did an online update on one PC - no problem there either. In fact, I'm using it right now. Sure 9.10 is not without it's bugs. Overall, I would say 9.04 was more stable but I only started using 9.04 since August when it was already into 4 months of updates and bug fixes.

Anyway, time will tell. So far, in the last week or so, I have been very happy with the updates from Canonical.

It all just makes me suspect if MS had a hand in the reported bugs as it's pretty obvious they are feeling the heat of Linux and likely Ubuntu hot on their Windows heels, especially since it is really hot on the heels of the release of Win 7. Just think, if the news coming out about Karmic was overall good, wouldn't lots of people hold off and even cancel plans to get Win 7? The comment from a poster about running out to get a copy of Win 7 ... sheesh ... now doesn't that smell heavily of a big, big fish in the room?

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SilverWave

It's not using stuff from others that's the problem, of course not. It's using stuff from others but a) not contributing much back yourself and b) positioning yourself as 'the Linux'. It's not a question of this being specifically *stated* in Ubuntu's publicity, of course it's not that unsubtle, but if you look at Ubuntu's entire web site, or any of their major announcements, it's very very Ubuntu-is-it. They barely ever even mention the word Linux - they just talk about the 'Ubuntu operating system'. In a sense this positioning is smart, in that it reduces the debate among the wider public to 'Windows versus Mac versus Ubuntu', which is exactly what Ubuntu wants. But it's not healthy for the community in general.

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@Steven Raith (and other Toshiba laptop users)

For little things such as media keys and Bluetooth, you probably need the "omnibook" module.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=316358

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Three out of four

Fresh 9.10 NBR install on an original Eee 701: no problems.

Online upgrade, 9.04 -> 9,10, Netvista with ATI graphics: no problems

Online upgrade, 9.04 -> 9.10, Thinkpad X31: no problems

CDROM upgrade, 9.04 -> 9.10, Thinkcentre with Nvidia graphics: problems.

In the latter case, which is actually the one I did first, I got the widely reported Flickering Text Login Screen o' Doom. Having established that I could ssh into the machine without problems, and that the problem was therefore probably X, I edited xorg.conf to replace nvidia graphics with vesa, rebooted and got in fine.

I then tried to install the Nvidia driver. Although it offered me bot v96 and v173, it would only actually install 96: any attempt to get 173 failed. Once 96 was installed and rebooted, 173 went in fine. Possibly something to do with a release note I discovered later saying an apt-get update (or equivalent) was necessary before installing nvidia drivers.

Despite that, I think it's clear that they have screwed something up for nvidia users.

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Linux

The silver lining

The good news is that you can actually get good help on-line. The Ubuntu community is very supportive and responsive. I had slight difficulty with my 9.04 to 9.10 upgrade (actually fresh install). The LiveCD installer wouldn't detect the SATA HD - apparently this is a fairly frequent problem. The solution is to use the alternate, text-based install disk. Am now running 9.10 and my Ubuntu love is restored.

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Worked for me 9.04 -> 9.10 beta -> 9.10

Well, I had no issues...

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Go Ubuntu

"Who upgrades any O/S?" etc etc ad nauseum as some A/C above asked. Well I bloody do. mmmm Gentoo!

All my Gentoo systems (around 45 and counting) starting from around 5 years ago are all running from the original. Most of them are now running the very latest stuff despite the sort of breakage that only Gentoo can introduce you to on a fairly regular basis followed by a fix that makes your eyes water. But that is what test systems are for.

Upgrade snags. Pah. You can stick your monolithic upgrades. I'll take a little and often any day.

Having said that, I hope the anecdotes posing as data resolve themselves and Ubuntu steams ahead successfully.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't beat them up too bad...

Let me preface this - I am a Microsoft shill. I love windows 7.

But please don't bash the Ubuntu team over this. All new releases can be a nightmare to get right and I'm sure they are working over time to fix these issues. I've used Ubuntu a few times and it is a very good linux product. I was impressed, even though my OS of choice is Windows. I still keep a laptop around with Ubuntu on it because it just runs nice and is stable. This is just a speed bump and every OS has one or two. hell, look at Vista. LOL

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Linux

Not so smooth after all

The installation went fine, and things seemed to work ok, occasional hangs with bzflag, nothing much really. When I started to use it for machine cloning, I use ssh, netcat and other tools extensively it would lock up. The problem stemmed back to the r8169 kernel module. My net card comes up as an integrated 8168, which I thought was common as muck. The supplied r8169 driver is a complete dogs breakfast https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/448827 describes the problem to a tee. Be warned!

Still love the system though

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IBM Thinkpad T30 update.

Works a treat now. Think it was because I was using a pre-release. My bad. (256Meg RAM still OK)

All machines now on 9.10 (Karmic) and are sweet.

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Now doesn't that smell heavily of a big, big fish in the room?

I'll give you the recipe..BUT*..

Ingredients:

1 piece dried lute fish, sawed into 6 inch lengths

2 tablespoons lye

Directions:

1. Soak the fish in clear water for 3 days.

2. Add 2 tbsp lye into a gallon of water.

3. Soak for 3 days in this solution.

4. Then soak for 4 days in clear water, changing the water every day.

5. Tie the fish loosly in a square of cheese cloth.

6. Drop in a large enamel pot of boiling water.

7. Cook 10 minutes or until well done.

8. Remove cheese cloth put on a platter and debone.

9. Serve with a white sauce or a mustard sauce.

*The 'BUT' is - your house will smell like a dozen camels just pissed/shat/mated in it for the next - oh - century or so.

Delicious? Yeah, right.

(http://cookbook.rin.ru/cookbook_e/recipes/56350670.html)

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Lots of problems with Huawei 3G dongles

See here https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/446146?comments=all

From the comments it looks like they were made aware of this 2 weeks before release but did not put a fix in.

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Smooth install on a clean drive.

Downloaded and installed 9.10 onto a fresh HDD on a few year old Tosh Equium laptop.

Absolutely no problems at all - in fact the Avant Window Manager works on this release whereas it didn't on 9.04 (which is why I tried out the Win7 RC for a few months instead - something to do with incompatible graphics).

I now have 9.10 running with VMWare installed with Win7 for those pgm's that I can't do without.

Very happy with 9.10 &, it could just be me but, I do think it's noticeably quicker. Sorry to hear that so many others are having problems.

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N/A

Nicest blood I've ever been 'bloodied' by. My experience has been the complete opposite of your article; are you referring to the beta? I experienced problems right up to the Release Candidate, but the final release has been completely flawless. I've been using Ubuntu since Feisty Fawn and for me Karmic is far and away the best release so far! *Everything* just worked. So far I have installed both 32 bit and 64 bit Desktop versions, and 64 bit Server. Zero problems.

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FAIL

Re: Never Got That Far -

The first comment; referring to a 17 hour download, "Never Got That Far" by Gannon (J.) Dick. Next time try a bittorrent! I was promised a 10+ hour download from Canonical's site, but by using torrents I had copies of 32 bit and 64 bit Desktop and 64 bit Server in less than an hour. Downloaded using 3 different computers. This on Release Day! Does this sound greedy? Don't forget that I then had 3 computers uploading to others. Sharing works for everyone; try it.

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@Quirkafleeg

Hi,

Thanks for the improvement over my fix, I did try building the package directly, but it didn''t seem to have the desired effect upon installation.

Thinking back I didn't log in/out which was probably why I thought it didn't work and hacked round it by replaced the underlying library, which despite the crudity of the solution works .

I've stuck a new pastie up here http://pastie.org/690429 with your suggestions.

Cheers

Sed

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If this is true, why is no one asking for help?

Well it has been released over a week now. I have installed it on 5 PC's and 2 laptops and am yet to run into any issues. No load noises are coming from the forums about problems, in fact the only place I have heard of any disastrous experiences is this article. Sure there will always be some glitch here or there with an OS upgrade but not the scale that is reported here, Something does not add up.

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Anonymous Coward

title

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I upgraded 2 of my computers from the previous version and the whole upgrade process was flawless, download, install, reboot, everything worked from the first try.

Actually not only it worked, but it fixed many issues for me, for example now I can finally play DVDs / use full screen 3D apps without problems with compiz enabled. Also, my sound works finally, without having to manually upgrade alsa to the SVN version.. and many other smaller issues were fixed.

So it's not that bad for me. Also let me remind you that this was on both computers an upgrade, so chances that things would go wrong were somewhat higher than a clean install.

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One Painless Upgrade

I had a 9.04 worksta, who would boot all the way up to grub then Crash back to Bios / Reboot. One out of Five times I got it to start. Enough time to scp the keepass database off it. Then it crashed. In fact crashing was the problem. You'd be in eBay, bidding on something then boom, your re-booting. Not a damn thing in the logs. (I'll explain later)

So I though, oh great new ubuntu 9.10 iso... just in time.

I pop my disk in . boom reboot.

I disconnect hard drive, and it boots right up.

Hard drive failed. Completely. lol

It won't even load windows.

So I squeaked in with 9.10 on a fresh drive.

But.... But... where /etc/X11/xorg.conf ! ?

I was temped to dump a straight debian on it, but she's running fine without the file. And yeah I can rip X out roll it back whatever. But I don't really have time at the moment.

I give it a thumbs up cause it works. wrksta is back at eBay.

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Linux

Ubuntu And "New" Releases of Linux...

First. I have 10 years of experience in Linux and BSD Unix. I have installed, and configured all of the major Linux distributions for both server and desktop use. Including, but not limited to: RedHat, Ubuntu, SUSE, Slackware, Debian(my favorite), Mandriva, and most associated variants.

Now that is out of the way. Here is some notable advice from experience.

1. A new release of ANY software, no matter how many times it was alpha or beta tested before release, will have unexpected bugs. This includes using new kernel releases!

2. I have always been skeptical of simply "upgrading" a fully configured operating system. The best way is to always back up everything. Don't forget the config files in your "~/home" and "/etc" directories. And then perform a "clean Install". Wipe the drive, and start fresh. This will reeeeally help in reducing the number bugs you may encounter. At least you will know it wasn't a confilct from the previous version. Which can wreak a lot of havoc in some cases.

3. Early adopters of new OS releases will ALWAYS experience bugs.

If you are a newbie, go back to your previous version and wait for some of the major bugs to be resolved first.

If you are technically experienced with Linux(Ubuntu) then stop complaining to the blogs and keep sending Ubuntu those bug reports. It's important so they can be addressed in a timely manner.

Early adopting a new release is NOT for newbies or the faint-of-heart.

Eventually the bugs in "Karmic Koala" will be worked out. Be patient.

And before anyone is "quick to judge" a Linux distribution.. M$ has its own buggy history: Win3.0, Win95a, WinME, Vista. Win7 will and already has coughed up a few of its own major bugs.

Regular users of Ubuntu, be patient.

Experienced, technical Ubuntu users, Send Ubuntu Those Bug Reports.

;)

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games

ubuntu has lots of nice games.

which is good because it lacks drivers.....................

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Anonymous Coward

You could use this same story for every Ubuntu release

EVERY Ubuntu release has major problems like this.

It will fix half the bugs that were introduced in the last release, but introduce just as many of its own. It's really tiring to have to deal with this every six months.

"Should I upgrade to fix this annoying problem I've been dealing with? Will the new problems be better or worse?"

Google Trends shows interest in Ubuntu has reached a plateau. Users are sick and tired of this garbage.

At this rate, the only hope I see of a Linux desktop ever being relevant to normal users is if Google produces it.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 10th Nov 21:43

"which is good because it lacks drivers....................."

Huh? First of all, I'm not at all a fan of those Ubuntu-like-clicky distros (I have ArchLinux on most of my machines), but even I accept that Ubuntu had and has WAY better hardware support than other linux distributions (I'm talking about out-of-the-box support).

Of course, it's still not as good as Windows, but well, you can work out why if you know something about the industry.

Could you specify in which ways drivers lack so badly in it? (Except if you were comparing with Windows...)

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I always do a fresh install

no problems here, having a separate Home partition always helps, left that on ext3 but I also always recreate my profile by renaming it beforehand then moving the data into the newly created profile. Another bonus is that on my laptop the locking up problem seems to have been fixed, I never found out what it was on 9.04 but I suspected the ATI graphics support.

Now I'm waiting to see what Mint has in store for us.

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Linux

still no issues!

Installed it on several systems now, 32 bit, 64 bit, Acer aspire one SSD (UNR).

No problems at all!

In fact on the work system , it scanned the network and offered up a list of all network attached printers for install.

What driver problems?

Apart from a lot of cheap and nasty stuff, and just released hardware, most things work OOTB.

Most major Manufacturers are now offering Linux support ( HP, Ricoh, Samsung, Sharp, KonicaMinolta,Toshiba, etc,etc.)

In fact a lot of stuff that is no longer supported b y windows still works with Linux!

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Linux

Mark Shuttleworth said...

Mark Shuttleworth said he had seen no sign that there were any major issues with hard drives, defaulting to older kernels or encryption. "I've no doubt there are regressions but none that have yet crossed the threshold to 'widespread consequence'," he added.

The blank and flickering screens on boot have been identified as being caused by a missing kernel module and this was experienced by users who had computers with video cards that use nvidia chips.

http://www.itwire.com/content/view/29266/1090/

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Linux

Missing kernel module on boot causes rapidly flashing black screen during boot

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Nvidia

Quote:

By and large it sounds like the vast majority of users had smooth upgrade experiences. However, it came to our attention that some nvidia users experienced a problem during upgrades to Karmic where X fails to load and instead flashes a black screen continuously rather than going into the low graphics failsafe mode; this problem is now solved. Further investigation as to why it was going into failsafe mode to begin with, showed that the problem was that the nvidia.ko kernel module was missing during boot; these are due to a variety of unusual situations, and are described in more detail below.

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FAIL

No major issues?

That's a larf. Had to drop the ATI drivers down to the previous version and there are still major problems.

If Ubuntu has proved one thing, it's that Linux is not now (and willnot be for the next 5 years or so) ready for prime-time.

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Linux

@pengwyn

xorg.conf is deprecated - the file is no no longer needed nor used. X will try an respected it if it finds it...but you shouldn't really use it any more.

That is my understanding anyway...how the hell you're meant to configure things that don't work OOTB is a good question!

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Megaphone

Upgrade Experience not Stellar...

but it wasn't fraught with failure as this article might suggest. My graphics worked just fine, my hard drives worked just fine, and the installed kernel is one of the newer ones, at 2.6.31-14. I suppose it goes without saying that I did a clean install.

This is not to say that I didn't have problems. Pulseaudio is a mess and Network-Manager, which worked flawlessly (for the very first time) in Jaunty, is again broken in Karmic. Oh, and installing the proprietary driver for my soft-modem made my sound card "magically" disappear. But none of my issues have been severe enough to make me consider rolling back, though that is always an option I have.

For those of you complaining about having to go through this sort of pain every six months, I have but one question for you: Why? Why put yourself through all of that every six months? Ubuntu has a LTS system for a reason. The non-LTS releases should be viewed as the bleeding-edge, unstable, "early-adopter" versions, while the LTS releases are made specifically for those of you who "just need a computer to work" without all the futzing around. If you don't want to get your hands dirty over a weekend every six months, then don't. But if you DO choose to upgrade every six months rather than every two years, then be prepared to make Launchpad your best friend.

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Nothing new

I started using ubuntu with Gutsy, and have tried a couple upgrades over the last 2 years. Never again. I have three machines running three different ubuntu versions, but I won't consider trying to upgrade any of them. When I need a newer version, I'll reinstall rather than go through that hell.

I don't blame them for not having a good upgrade procedure... it's probably a really hard problem. I just wish they would be honest and advertise it as something that probably won't work well.

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Dell Mini 10

upgraded from 9.04 to 9.10 on a Dell Mini 10 on the day of release and everything worked flawlessly.

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Well it worked fine for me...

I've upgraded a number of machines now from 9.04 to 9.10 with very different hardware specs...and they have all gone completely smoothly.

Hmmm...but hang on...that does not make a vey good 'news' story does it ;-)

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Alert

This should be expected behaviour

Ubuntu has always been: Debian + cutting edge software + tweaked UI. "Everyone Knows" that Ubuntu is not where you go for for a stable, problem-free OS.

I've been upgrading Ubuntu on one of my pc's faithfully since 4.10 and with each release there seems to be more problems. This release has been the worst for me. After upgrading, if I didn't know my way around the boot process, xorg.conf, initramfs or whatever it's called, etc. this computer would have needed a complete OS overhaul. This nasty little bug included just for kicks, too, which brought my system to a grinding halt.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/karmic/+source/rsyslog/+bug/453444

Yeah, so maybe it'd be nice if Ubuntu had good, well-tested polished releases, but maybe people should just use other distros if they don't want problems.

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