Karma needed for Karmic

Karmic Upgrade

Karmic Koala popped out of the oven recently, and I decided to do my first upgrade. My gut told me that it was not a great idea to jump on Karmic so early, but my itchy fingers got ahead of me.

It was a Bad Idea™.

I should have done a trial run with the Live CD, but against my better judgement, I decided to do a direct upgrade. Unfortunately, the upgrade through the Update Manager did not work for some reason (some silly reason I cannot remember). I then downloaded a copy of the alternate installer and upgraded from the mounted iso.

Perhaps it was the tweaking on Jaunty that did me in, but the new 2.6.31-14 kernel just wouldn’t go beyond the loading screen, not even in Recovery mode. I was able to get further with the original 2.6.28 kernel but had strange problems like the screen occasionally blanking out on me after logging in. Hibernate also stopped working completely. No amount of tweaking helped.

Sigh, not good. My only option was to do a fresh install; but will it be Jaunty or Karmic?

Being a sucker for punishment, I grit my teeth, backed up my home folder and started with Karmic from scratch. With a little hindsight from my previous Jaunty install, I set aside a swap partition this time to save myself a little heartburn and it seemed to have worked. Hibernate/sleep worked perfectly this time. I had to install configure-trackpoint again to fix the sluggish trackpoint but a major consolation was that settings stayed this time! No more lost settings after waking up from hibernate. Yay!

Lots of little stuff here and there I had to tweak again.

There’s probably more to do over the next couple of days, but I am grateful for the little improvements I’ve noticed in Karmic over Jaunty:

  • Boot up / hibernate / wake seems a little faster After a couple of reboots later, no it was not really faster. If anything, it actually felt slower. And there’s still a weird momentary flicker now and then
  • Intel graphics worked better – no hack needed so far
  • Windows key worked OOTB
  • No more irritating beeps!

I am slightly bummed that there’s no option to customise the login screen anymore in Karmic, and I am not too comfortable with having the username displayed by default.

Overall, Karmic does feel a little improved over Jaunty, probably due in no small part to the Hundred Paper Cuts project (I love this definition of a paper cut). I really wished the upgrade wasn’t such a disaster personally, but I did know better than to jump in so early.

Fortunately, this was my personal laptop and didn’t really have that much data or software installed. So a wipeout upgrade was more annoying than painful for me. Still, I can’t recommend that if any “Joe Schmoe” do this without some technical assistance on standby.

In the meantime, if you intend to upgrade to Karmic, earn some karma points first and go read the release notes will ya?