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Posts Tagged ‘maverick’

    I installed Natty Narwhal when the beta1 came few days ago. I wanted to write a blog post with the instructions to upgrade to Natty but kept postponing it due to Unity issues I was facing. Now that the system is working as I prefer, I thought I will put out a brief post on upgrading with a few tid-bits on using Unity. I am collecting some useful tips on Unity for the power users and will put out a post about it sometime soon.

    There has been lot of confusion about installing Natty. Most of the initial beta1 reviews were very critical with some calling it as the worst Ubuntu beta ever. I also had a horrible experience initially. During my initial install, Ubuntu Unity failed to work and the screen will have black patches wherever my mouse points. I tried lot of different configurations like installing Nvidia drivers or using Nouveau drivers and so on and nothing worked for almost a week. I was pretty disappointed. But after a week and few updates later, Unity started working like a charm. As of now , I do not have any issues in Natty so I can confidently advise people to upgrade it from Maverick.
       

To Upgrade or not to upgrade ?

    This is probably the first question you must decide – For me the answer is simple : If you are running some production server or anything sensitive , don’t install it. Just wait for two more weeks. The final version goes out on Apr 28th.  If it is your personal laptop, you are Linux geek and wanted to earn some karma, then what are you waiting for ? Start the upgrade ! Of course, there might be minor hitches and potential instability as it is still in beta – But if my experience is any guide, it is very stable now. The things you gain by installing outweighs the minor annoyances.

Upgrading to Natty from Maverick

    The conventional method that is specified in the Ubuntu website is to type the following in the terminal (or by pressing Alt+F2 and typing it in the Run dialog)

    update-manager -d

The other equivalent command is of course :

    update-manager –devel-release

Most of the time , I assume that this should do the job. Your update manager will open up, show that Natty (11.04) is available for download. All you need to do is click on "Upgrade" , sit back and relax !

For some reason, this upgrade took a huge amount of time. I had a reasonably fast internet but still the installation took almost 2 hours. Of course, your mileage will vary. The upgrade by itself was quite straightforward and no surprises.

What if you cannot see the upgrade option to Natty

1. Go to System -> Administration -> Software sources.
2. Click on the "Updates" tab and check "Pre-released updates".
3. Click on "Close" button. This will refresh the package list and most likely will open up the package manager that will show a huge list of packages to upgrade. Hopefully, it will also show "Natty Narwhal (11.04)" upgrade option.
4. Now close the update manager and open the Software sources again (same  as step 1). Now undo what you did in Step 2 – Un check the “Pre-released updates” option.
5. Click on "Close" button and the package list will be refreshed again. Now you should see the upgrade option to Natty saying : "New distribution release ‘11.04’ is available". You can alternatively run "update-manager -d" command to get this option !

Some Random Stuff

1. In case, Unity does not work for you , you can fall back to Ubuntu Classic. In the login screen, select your username and press enter. The control will go to the password textbox. Now, at the bottom of the screen, you will see a session selector. Select "Ubuntu Classic". This will allow you to have the classic GNOME-ish desktop.

2. One of my favorite Linux utilities – hamster-applet is not working in Natty due to the whole Unity and common menu thing. I need to figure out a way to make it work. There is a launchpad bug[https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity/+bug/686062 ] which discusses the alternatives. Subscribe if you are interested.

3. The transition to Unity was very hard for me. This is especially true because I was a keyboard heavy user with lot of custom key bindings. Suddenly, all of them were useless. Even more annoying was the fact that GNOME-Do was not getting invoked when I pressed Super+Space as Unity gobble the keystroke. Unity did have a "gnome-do’-ish dash but it was a bit awkward to me. It was quite annoying when I have to remember that I need to press Alt-F2(Super-A) for searching applications and Super-F for files and folders. GNOME-Do has a more unified interface which is also more customizable as of now.

4. The fact that Unity uses the Super (Windows) key wrecked havoc on my keyboard shortcuts. In addition to GNOME-Do, I had other shortcuts like Windows-G for gedit, Windows-C for Chrome etc. So I searched a lot to find how to change the Unity’s default activation key. Most of the results were crap. The best result is given by this gem : http://askubuntu.com/questions/29553/how-can-i-configure-unity . Basically, you need to install ‘CompizConfig Settings Manager’. Invoke it and search for Unity. Click on ‘Ubuntu Unity Plugin’ and in the behavior tab, change the setting for the entry ‘Key to show the launcher’.

5. Some excellent links that details keyboard shortcuts for Unity are : http://askubuntu.com/questions/28086/unity-keyboard-mouse-shortcuts and http://www.multimediaboom.com/ubuntu-11-04-unity-keyboard-shortcuts-key/ .

 

Hope you have fun with Natty. I will put out a post soon on customizing Unity for power users.

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I have been facing a curious and very annoying issue from the time when I updated to Ubuntu Maverick. When I am watching some video – especially in a media player like Totem or VLC, the screen will suddenly freeze. The screen will not update but I was able to listen to audio. Similarly, I was also able to use the keyboard. For eg, if I pressed spacebar, the video paused. This issue was very annoying as it kill all the fun in watching the video 🙂

I tried lot of debugging to no avail. One good resource I found in the process is the X freeze trouble shooting wiki. While it contained lot of very interesting information, none of it really solved my problem. One of the interesting point that was mentioned in the Wiki was that there are multiple possible ways to cause a screen freeze and it need not be an X issue at all. So I checked all my other display components like Compiz, Docky etc systematically.

The culprit seems to be the Nvidia drivers that I was using. This kind of surprised me as I have been using them for almost 2 years without any issue. My guess is this : One of the recent changes in Maverick was to make nouveau driver as the default one. I remember doing something to disable the driver in 10.04 but did not do the same in 10.10 . "Probably" both the drivers interfered with each other and caused this issue.

Anyway, the solution that fixed my issue was simple – Goto System -> Administration -> Additional Drivers. The dialog will show all the external display drivers available. Select the installed driver and uninstall it. When you reboot, Ubuntu will automatically select the nouveau driver and all will be fine.

I should mention one another thing : I was using Nvidia’s beta driver instead of the normal drivers. I did try removing the beta drivers and using the regular one. The problem still persisted. Removing both the drivers finally fixed the issue.

But my problems were not fully solved by using nouveau driver. I got a new issue. Sometimes randomly my screen will become garbled – For eg if I open some dialog and used some of its control, then these controls will linger even after closing the dialog. So what will happen is that my screen will have few zombie controls which will hide the actual UI that was supposed to be displaying. Interestingly, the fix for this was simple.

I completely removed the following compiz related packages – compiz, compiz-gnome and compiz-core. I used the purge command instead of just the remove. Once I rebooted the machine the issue seems to have gone.

This may or may not be the correct fix for your screen freeze issue but I am writing it in the hope that it might be useful for some one 🙂

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[Update : Oct 10 2010] The greatest , latest and official version of Ubuntu is finally available today ! Nice to see it released on 10th of Oct. The process to upgrade remains the same. If you were already in Maverick beta or RC, then no action is necessary. When you use synaptic, the updated packages will get installed.

[Update : Oct 1 2010] Release candidate for Ubuntu Maverick is out ! The process to upgrade remains the same. If you were already in Maverick beta, then no action is necessary. When you use synaptic, the updated packages will get installed.  A new Ubuntu font family is introduced. It looks good and hopefully will be made default soon ! Other wise you can install it using ttf-ubuntu-font-family package.

    I have been an Ubuntu fan for the past few years and eagerly await the new releases. This release is extra special for me as the name (Maverick Meerkat) is also the nickname of students in my university. I had a bad experience installing alpha software in Karmic and now I safely install only software starting from beta.

This time there was some confusion in installing because the official schedule was previously saying that beta will be released only on September 9th (or was it 17?) . Suddenly I saw in Slashdot that Maverick beta was released. Looks like the release page now shows the correct information. I was doing some serious work last week and did not want to mess up my system. Now that I am free, I installed beta yesterday and been having fun since then.  I had some interesting issues in installing it – so I intend to blog it so that it can be useful if some one else faced the same problem !

To Upgrade or not to upgrade ?

    This is probably the first question you must decide – For me the answer is simple : If you are running some production server or anything sensitive , don’t install it. Just wait for one more month. The final version goes out on October 10th.  If it is your personal laptop, you are Linux geek and wanted to earn some karma, then what are you waiting for ? Start the upgrade ! Of course, there might be minor hitches and potential instability as it is still in beta – But if my experience is any guide, it is very stable. The things you gain by installing outweighs the minor annoyances.

Upgrading to Maverick from Lucid

    The conventional method that is specified in the Ubuntu website is to type the following in the terminal (or by pressing Alt+F2 and typing it in the Run dialog)

    update-manager –d

The other equivalent command is of course :

    update-manager –devel-release

Most of the time , I assume that this should do the job. Your update manager will open up, show that Maverick (10.04) is available for download. All you need to do is click on "Upgrade" , sit back and relax !

For my system , it downloaded around 1.8 GB of packages. Of course, I am a package junkie and have more packages than I can remember. Your mileage might vary. Once the download is complete, the installation will be a breeze. The installation took around 40 minutes for me. If you have used lot of custom config files , then you might want to take a close look at the installation. Maverick helpfully asks if it should overwrite (very few) config files and provides a few options. You can see the diff and make appropriate decision. This was the only tricky part in the installation. If you have not messed around with the config files manually then the installation will be a breeze for you.

What if you cannot see the upgrade option to Maverick

When I tried to upgrade, "update-manager -d" did not show the upgrade option at all. I was pretty confused as all the big websites were saying beta was released. I am not sure of the exact reason but the following hack did trick the trick for me :

Method 1 :

1. Go to System -> Administration -> Software sources.
2. Click on the "Updates" tab and check "Pre-released updates".
3. Click on "Close" button. This will refresh the package list and most likely will open up the package manager that will show a huge list of packages to upgrade. Hopefully, it will also show "Maverick Meerkat (10.10)" upgrade option.
4. Now close the update manager and open the Software sources again (same  as step 1). Now undo what you did in Step 2 – Un check the “Pre-released updates” option.
5. Click on "Close" button and the package list will be refreshed again. Now you should see the upgrade option to Maverick saying : "New distribution release ‘10.10’ is available". You can alternatively run "update-manager -d" command to get this option !

Method 2 :

This issue was pretty strange to me and I was trying to find the root cause. I "think" the root cause was this : In the file /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades , the keyword for prompt was in all lowercase but the documentation was saying it must be "Prompt" (title case). I am not sure if this is the issue but I noted that during the installation, one of the file updated was /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and the only change was

    /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades
        -prompt=normal
        +Prompt=normal

So the alternative thing to try before doing Method 1 is to modify the file and change the word prompt to title case. It might make it work although I did not try it.

What’s New

Actually not much : Most of the changes are incremental rather than revolutionary. The boot time seems to have slightly reduced. Of course, Linux usually boots very fast, but shaving seconds off boot is always welcome !Maverick has recent versions of kernel and GNOME. Evolution and Software center were upgraded but I do not use them. I received the latest versions of some software I use heavily like Thunderbird and Open Office. Thunderbird 3.1 is sleek and adds some nifty features. Open Office 3.2 also rocks. Somehow the whole system looks pretty crisp to me. The font looks more clearer – Not sure which component to thank for 🙂

Misc Information

Some random things :

a) Looks like you can migrate only from Lucid (10.04). My friend tried to upgrade from Jaunty and was not able to do it. It kept offering Lucid as the option.
b) If lot of your friends want to try Maverick, then the best option is to download the ISO via torrents and share it among your friends. Once you mount the ISO file and run the installation script, it will recognize you are in Lucid and will ask if you want to upgrade. Say yes and the rest of the installation instructions remain the same.

Minor Issues I faced

    I have been using Maverick for couple of days. So far there are no major issues. The most annoying issue was that the dconf was crashing couple of times today. I added myself to the existing launchpad bug. From the comments it looked like it will be fixed soon.

The other issue was that my sound icon has a crazy look now. Basically it shows the icon for no icon 🙂 One of the changes anticipated in Maverick was that sound applet also integrates the currently running music player controls. It might be a simple issue – I searched in net but could not find others with the same issue. Anyways, it is minor UI issue and I expect that it will be fixed soon.

Resources

1. Features can be found in Maverick beta page .
2. The expected release dates ca be found in Maverick Release schedule .

 

Go ahead and upgrade to Maverick from Lucid ! I am sure you will have fun with the new version 🙂

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An interesting announcement  by Mark Shuttleworth on the code name of next version of Ubuntu did not seem to get much attention. It was announced and April 2 and things mostly seem to be silent on the blogosphere.

As you may all, Ubuntu follows a 6 month development cycle and releasing new versions in April and in October. They also have a 2 year development cycle for LTS (Long Term Support). Ubuntu versions are named with year name and the month name. So Lucid Lynx will be 10.04. The problem with LTS is that stability takes priority over new features. And it was a factor in Lucid. There were many features that could not make the cut due to development freeze. So the next version 10.10 should be much more feature rich. As Mark says, "Once we have released the LTS we have plenty of room to shake things up a little.". Cant wait 🙂

The code name for Ubuntu 10.10 is Maverick Meerkat. Once more, Ubuntu has come up with the name of an animal which I was not aware of 🙂 If that is the case with you , you can check Meerkat’s  wiki page. I guess most people can immediately recognize this as the Timon (Timon and Pumbaa) character  in Lion King. It is quite interesting that Lynx was also featured as Ozymandias’s pet in Watchmen.

The word Maverick has special significance in Texas. It is named of the mascot of my own university (University of Texas at Arlington). Hopefully, starting with Maverick, my university will have more Ubuntu (atleast Linux ) systems 😉

The focus on Maverick is going to be quite similar to Lucid. Fast booting , support to Cloud computing. Lucid already has many social features and Maverick should have more. There is a "social from start" push and it will only get better. Another hope is that Maverick will have GNOME 3.0 . Of course more will be discussed in May at the Ubuntu Developer Summit .

As Mark says "We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move.
Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social – everything we want in a Perfect 10." . Amen to that 🙂

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