A couple of months ago, just before the Hardy release, I posted some hints for having a smooth upgrade. As the Intrepid Ibex release is three weeks ahead and beta is flying around, I’d like to remember on the hints with some minor updates:
- Remove all applications you installed for testing purposes but don’t use them. It’s a nice feeling to have a mostly cleaned machine. Removing applications before an update reduces download time, the space needed and dependency calculations as well as the risk of a dependency failure. So just drop all those only once clicked applications, games and even libraries. Take some time for this, it will save you time later (downloading, unpacking, dependency management). Trust me.
- Check that you have enough space left on your device. Hundreds of packages are being downloaded in one step, therefore you should have enough disk space for this. Keep this in mind.
- Compiled software by your own? Installed external .deb-files? If possible: Uninstall them, you can later reinstall them if they are not provided by Ubuntu+1.
- Added software repositories to /etc/apt/sources.list (or Synaptec?). Disable them for now.
- Of course: Back up, back up, back up. Decide, if a backup of your home directory fits your needs or you also want the rest of your partitions.
- Bring enough time: A full upgrade might take two hours and more, depending on your ram, cpu power, network speed and amount of installed applications. Don’t think an upgrade runs automatically – it will ask you several questions during package upgrades and therefore awaits your attention. Make the day your upgrade day or at least the afternoon your upgrade afternoon. A cup of tea might help.
- Check for already known caveats that you might take care of. Normally the most important ones are collected on the wiki page to the current beta release like this one. Really do this! There has just been a severe bug in the alpha release that could even damage hardware. So reading this can save you a lot of time.
- Make yourself clear what „alpha“ an „beta“ mean: Take them as warnings and only take the risk of an upgrade if you are not under time pressure for a project (like writing an essay, developing an application or anything with a deadline close to your upgrade day)… and don’t moan when something doesn’t work. You are going to use free software in a testing period. It is probably your bug report that improves it.
- Check if you have the possibility to have a second computer around enabling you for checking against discussion boards, wikis and other ressources of useful information. In case of an emergency it is crucial to be online in way because often really simple tricks can save your day.
- If you are going to install more than one system, try setting up an apt-cache, apt-proxy or similar which will save you a lot of download time.
After these steps, feel free to give „update-manager -d“ a try. Take notes of things that look strange and check launchpad bug tracker if they are already reported. Now it is up to you to help making Ubuntu a better distribution and Intrepid a really success.
There is a Spanish translation of this blog entry on UbuntuWay. Thank you.