My experiences using dist-upgrade

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My experiences using dist-upgrade

Postby ArcherB on Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:02 am

I know that a clean install was highly recommended over using apt to upgrade the distribution. I did the upgrade anyway. I figured that if things went bad, I could always go back and backup my home directory and do a clean install if need be. Besides, there are so many things that I had to setup the first time, I didn't want to have to do all that again. For example, I don't recall what all I did to make my Canon printer work or how I shared it over the SAMBA network. Then there was .bashrc script I manually updated, the apache2 configs and so on that I didn't want to have to relearn if I didn't have to. Combined with the fact that I have wayyyy too much stuff in my home directory to just throw onto another drive without doing some major shuffling of files. Gigabytes of moves (all legal... you don't give a toddler the original DVD to play with!), baby pictures, baby movies, email and other stuff is what I was worried about losing while moving around from one drive to the next. So, that's why I went with the upgrade route. Here are the issues I ran across.

During the install, I ran into several questions asking if I wanted to keep my configs or use the maintainers. This was expected as it was plainly explained in the instructions as an issue I'd face. When presented with these questions I asked my self a few questions:
[*]Have I ever heard of this file or program before? If No, use the maintainers config.
[*]If I have heard of it, did I change it? If I did and it would be easy to change back, I'd go with the maintainers. If it were something that may be difficult to remember what I did, I kept my original. CUPS config and SAMBA were two files I left of my own.

Once installed there were a couple of issues that I ran across on the working system.
Compiz: Would not save settings. I fixed this my completely removing all things compiz related (config files and such), removing compiz itself with Synaptic and the "complete removal" option. Once I reinstalled using synaptic, all was well. I was even able to reload my previously saved configurations.

Wine: Wine wouldn't work. It kept giving me errors about not being able to load CUPS printers. This was fixed by moving the .wine directory to .wine.old, and completely removing and reinstalling wine. Once this was done, I re-setup wine using the config utility and even got a few programs to run after copying them back from the backup "C"\program files\" directory. Not all apps have been tested, but IE6, notepad and DVDShrink were the ones I tested and they worked fine.

Back buttons on my mouse: This killed me! I have grown spoiled by those little buttons on the side of the mouse. I won't go back to having to reach all the way up to the back button in Firefox! I found that the fix for this was to change the "6 7" in my xorg.conf to "8 9". Now, the whole line reads:
Code: Select all
Option         "ButtonMapping" "1 2 3 8 9"

instead of:
Code: Select all
Option      "ButtonMapping" "1 2 3 6 7"


One other problem I ran across when trying to fix the mouse issue was X would not run when the mouse settings were not correct. Trial and error killed X. I would make a change, restart GDM, and end up with the recovery mode of X. This would not fix the problem. I even removed my xorg.conf file and tried to launch X, but could not get a decent resolution back, even after telling it to use my nvidia drivers. The best resolution available was 800x600. Doing that "8 9" thing worked as long as that was the only change I made.

Webcam: My webcam does not work any more with zoneminder. I get errors when I try to use it. The light comes on when I run it, but it doesn't do anything. Cheese is working today where it wasn't yesterday. I have not tested Skype as that's what I use the webcam for (Grandma loves seeing her grandaughter!). Windows works better for that anyway as I bought the cheapest webcams on the market.

CLI resolution: Ubuntu 7.10 had a problem with setting up the console to anything other than the ugly, DOS looking resolution. vga=791 simply would not work in Gutsy or Mint4. This is now fixed, and the CLI is my friend again!

BUSYBOX! I would rather have the system just lock up rather than go into BusyBox. In Mint4, about 2 of every 3 reboots would end up in BusyBox. I never found a fix for this. So far, I've only had to reboot Mint5 three or four times, but I've only seen BusyBox once. I don't know if I've just been lucky and the problem still exists or if it's gotten better, and I just got unlucky that one time. Hopefully, it's the latter as it kills me to not be able to reboot my box remotely without having someone there to type "reboot" at the BusyBox prompt. It pisses the wife off to do computer stuff for me.

Since I didn't do a clean install, I don't know if there's stuff I'm missing. Artwork and stuff is no big deal as I usually change that anyway after about an hour. If there is anything that wouldn't have been installed from the upgrade, let me know and I'll see what I can do to get it running.

Well, that's what I've seen so far. If anyone else has these issues, I hope this helps. If I have any more problems, I'll let you guys know.
ArcherB
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Re: My experiences using dist-upgrade

Postby none as of yet on Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:13 pm

I agree with your reasoning to upgrade vs clean install. I had both LinuxMint 4 and Ubuntu GG on my system. I used the upgrade instructions from Ubuntu HH to upgrade my Ubuntu system and all went well (using the alternate CD and following the simple directions on the screen)...everything worked and it processed much like a regular install from the eyes of a novice.

I've been using Mint 4 as my main system, as I came across Mint a couple of month ago and did a clean install of Mint 4. Nothing has ever worked so flawlessly for me as Mint 4 from a clean install...even Ubuntu. I tried to clean install Mint 5 but as you mentioned, I just don't have the time and patience to reinstall all my programs and setting again. (I have a seperate /home partition but still many things need to be adjusted...) To make a long story short I reverted back to Mint 4 using the backup I had created. I'm happy with Mint 4 and it's just not worth it right now to try to tweak Mint 5.

I've heard (and am glad to hear) that there are plans to have an upgrade for future releases.

I might try my luck at upgrading to Mint 5 too, after seeing your notes. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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