31
Oct

Ubuntu 9.10 Installation Experience

I have been moving to Ubuntu for a while. First tried it out by installing it in Windows XP using Wubi. Next, when version, 9.04 came out, I installed it to dual boot with Windows. So, this was the final step in my migration to Ubuntu Linux

Waited for the new release of Ubuntu 9.10, called Karmic Koala. I was wanting to go ahead and make Ubuntu the primary operating system on my netbook. Friday was release day. Of course, the servers were jammed with folks downloading. When I started to download it, the status bar said it was going to take 9 hours to download over a high speed connection. No, thanks. So, I cancelled the download.

Did some looking around and reading about the new release and came across a list of mirror servers (these are all the places that host copies of Ubuntu for download. One of these lists included the server bandwidths too. So, I picked t he one with the highest bandwidth and instead of using the web browser, I used Filezilla (an ftp - file transfer client). In less than four minutes, I had downloaded the .iso file. So, burned the .iso to a CD, which gave me a "live" CD that is a bootable version of Ubuntu.

Wanting to make Ubuntu my primary OS meant that I needed to repartion my netbook's hard drive partitions. I also wanted to move to the new ext4 file system and try it out which meant reformatting the hard drive. I connected the external CD burner, rebooted, went in to set up and changed the boot order for the netbook so that I could boot from the external CD.

Worked perfectly, booted up and I chose the Install Ubuntu option. My first head scratching moment came in the advanced partioning section part of the install. It was suggesting that I make a swap partition, but there was no indication as to how big I should make it. I had been wanting to retain the hidden partition on the netbook that contained the OEM setup with Windows XP, just in case, I needed to go back. But, instead just decided to forget and go for broke. I backed up through the menus and did the more automated partition and format where the installer program decides how big to make the swap partition.

The end result was a running installation of Ubuntu. The did this whole process over my lunch hour - pretty good.

Didn't have time to play with it any more until Friday evening. That's when I ran into my first problem. The install had not recognized the internal wireless modem in the netbook. So, I was not getting any kind of internet connection. I looked at the new network connection tool on the top panel and it only showed availability for a hardwired network connection - no wireless. Dug in a little deeper and found a dialog for adding wireless connections - but it sounded more like I was setting up the netbook to host wireless connections. Pl

It was frustrating because because the wireless had worked flawlessly on the old version of Ubuntu. Meanwhile, I had drug out a network cable and hooked up the wired connection, So, I did have internet connectivity. The solution to the wireless turned out to be an easy fix. Under System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers, two drivers had shown up. The were both for Broadcom wireless. I activated the first, it went through its gyrations, no luck. Activated the second and it worked. I was untethered at last.

Wireless then became available from the network icon on the top panel and it was easy to connect to my network.

Next was problem #2. I had a backup of my previous Ubuntu and I wanted to restore my home folder's document, photos, etc. (I had wanted to put my home folder on a different partition, but that exercise will be left for a future Ubuntu release), To do that, I needed to install the Simple Backup program the I had used previously. So, I headed for the new Ubuntu Software Center.

The Software Center looks nice. Icons categorized, easy to search, found what I wanted (over getting distracted and looking at the names of a lot of other goodies). Clicked on the details, but could see no way to install the silly thing. Checked the menus, there was an install button, but it was grayed out. Checked out other programs. Could not see a way to install any of them. Frustration!

I noticed the menu item named Software Sources. I've had to set up software sources previously when I added applications that were not supported by the main archives, so I checked that out. Looked at the Other Software tab, canonical.com was there, so that looked right. Hmm, the check boxes next to the names are not checked, wonder if the should be. Checked the boxes, bingo. That did the trick.

The only other problem that I've had with new version so far has been with setting up Evolution and that was more stupid user than anything. I had restored the hidden .evolution folder in the hope of getting email contacts back. Evolution was too smart, it recognized the restoration and created extra folders saying that this particular folder was restored. Didn't like the look, and knowing that the few contacts that I had set up were easily recreated, I blew it away and started back from scratch. Had problems with a typo on the server name when I went to set up my email, but, that's dumb user stuff.

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