"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Upgrading to Xubuntu 10.10

As soon as the new release of XFCE4 based Ubuntu (Xubuntu) has been made available I decided to upgrade my desktop computer (Sempron 2400).

The upgrade process (Where my “upgrade invitation” is?)

As soon as I saw the new release available on Xubuntu home page I launched the update-manager program in order to upgrade but … I couldn't see usual upgrade to a new release button. After some time I discovered that, being current version a LTS, Xubuntu's upgrade manager was configured to only notify new LTS releases. After disabling that option I eventually got my release upgrade button.


Screenshot-upgrade-1


The upgrade process so started by downloading the new release (something about 700 MB) and I left it working (I have other things to do on Sunday than watching a progress bar moving).

Screenshot-upgrade-4


Late evening I returned to the upgrade process and found that it, after downloading,  stopped to ask about the screen-lock being active. I answered, and the upgrade restarted to stop few minutes later to ask about samba configuration files to be kept or overwritten and so on … after some question I eventually arrived to the “installation complete restart your system” message. I'm not complaining but an upgrade process that asks everything before starting and then upgrade your system “while you sleep” it would really be a great invention!

First impressions (and the “killer theme”)

As soon as the system restarted I logged in (nice the new login theme, isn't it?) and I started by playing a little with system configuration and window themes … suddenly the windows management system crashed and I found myself on the login screen unable of logging back with XFCE4. I had to rename the ~/.config/xfce4 folder in order to gain back the access to my system. My action has been, might be, a little too drastic but reconfiguring XFCE has not been a too long task after all. I didn't have even the time to figure the name of the crashing theme, I hope they will solve this problem soon because otherwise it's like having a reset-button hidden in your system configuration. This problem apart Xubuntu 10.10 is running fine even on a machine (a Sempron 2400) that is definitively going to be too old.

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The new default theme is nice enough and there are many minor improvements and new software: here is the the 10.10 Ubuntu software center

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and here is the new CD/DVD burning software XFBurn that replaces Brasero (not tested it yet)

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Conclusions

No news good news? When you are upgrading a years-old computer with the latest version of any OS the best you are expecting is to see everything work like before. Xubuntu upgraded to the 10.10 version works as smooth as before, might be a little better but I've been using it too little to see if it's real or just a my impression (sort of “placebo” effect). Xubuntu can keep me from upgrading my hardware unless it's the hardware itself to die, do it with a “commercial” OS if you can!