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I'm asking this question because when I tried to upgrade to Jaunty a couple months ago, it ruined my Linux installation. When I asked the Ubuntu forum for help, I received this response:

Sorry to hear about your upgrade problems. 9.04 seems to be producing a lot more than its share of such problems (which is why we generally recommend against doing an upgrade).

You can read my full account of the entire ordeal, but the important stuff is that I'm using a 64 bit HP box running Intrepid Ibex. Is Jaunty ready for prime time now?

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9 Answers 9

up vote 3 down vote accepted

First, your question really belongs on superuser.

Is Jaunty ready for prime time now?

Yes, it fine, if you want to test, download the livecd and boot it up. Testing new releases without destroying anything is so easy these days you really should consider testing a new release before you upgrade a system you regularly use.

I do not recommend that you simply run an upgrade without taking a few minutes and doing some preparation and testing ahead of time.

In your account you mention that you lost your data, that comment tells me that didn't prepare to upgrade. I strongly recommend that you setup a system to regularly backup your data! Upgrades should not fail, but they occasionally do, this advice applies to any upgrade of any computer system. I can easily find for you lots of posts where people complain because there Windows upgrade failed. Upgrading without a backup in place is a recipe for disaster.

  • You should backup at least your /home, and /etc directories before perform an upgrade, but make sure to get all your data where every you stored it in the filesystem.
  • You should take note of any packages from unofficial repositories, or things you have built from source.
    • You may want to consider installing anything that wasn't official before you upgrade.
    • Software built from source, or packages from unofficial repositories may conflict with the updated software.
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Thanks for the advice; this time, I'll back everything up before upgrading. Last time, I didn't actually lose anything valuable except the time it took me to install Intrepid. –  Evan Kroske Aug 29 '09 at 16:53
    
Amen! Proper backups will relieve you of so many other problems –  bobby Sep 1 '09 at 12:59

I've been running it since release without major issues. There are small issues here and there with things like sound, but nothing that kills the system. Graphics were reworked quite a bit with effects for compiz, Intel chips seemed to give problems there.

Whenever you do any major upgrade you should have backups ready. It's "best practices." I also head off some issues by having all my files stored redundantly on external drives, but even keeping your home directory in it's own partition can help (just remount that partition in /home).

Many people recommend keeping the home partition separate and just reinstalling the operating system clean. It wipes out leftover cruft and unneeded libraries while keeping your personal configurations intact.

I usually just make sure my files-to-keep are backed up and do a full upgrade without wiping.

The only thing to "avoid" unless you know the waters is installing the beta releases and release candidates. If you're going to provide testing feedback, dive in. If you're an end user, don't do it.

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I've had a few boxes running 9.04 for a while now with no major issues. The problem is more likely due to the upgrade procedure, rather than the stability of a working system. I'd say, back up first but go for it.

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Do you know of an Ubuntu app that can back up installed programs and libraries along with my files? I'd hate to have to redownload and recompile my stuff every six months. –  Evan Kroske Aug 28 '09 at 21:42
    
What I use for backups is Ftplicity/Duplicity. But I've not tried a full system restore, so I'm not sure it's the type of backup you're looking for necessarily. –  emgee Aug 28 '09 at 23:00

I've been running 9.04 on a laptop and a home server for about 6 months. Initially I used ext4 as the root filesystem (I know it was marked experimental). Bad decision, I ended up wiping and restoring from a tgz to 9.04 on ext3. 9.04 seems really stable and I wouldn't downgrade or switch distros if I had a new box.

Getting a ruby environment setup is still annoying because apt wants to own it. The Cisco VPN client doesn't compile (but gnome has a replacement). afaik, many of these problems aren't new or related to 9.04. Vmware server 2 runs good and mostly everything I need is in the apt repository. I did have some weirdness with 9.04 on my home server (I don't have an answer on this) but many (six+) distros' kernels failed to load consistently. Eventually I got 9.04 on it and it's been fine (might be the new raid card).

Hope my non authoritative anecdotes are helpful...

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I've heard it is stable and it boots faster, but I'm worried about the installation procedure. –  Evan Kroske Aug 28 '09 at 21:44

dist-upgrades should work, and nobody should be generally recommending against doing them. I've upgraded my desktop Ubuntu install every release since the beginning. Ten times now!

Certainly, a few were hairy. I made the mistake of trying out Automatix once to see what made it so awesome, and a few problems arose (recoverable in my case). One time the nvidia-glx package completely broke necessitating a recovery from LiveCD (this one led to the creation of -proposed). One time the upgrade failed because an artwork package conflicted with some important packages. Every time I was able to pop in a CD, chroot and fix upgrade problems.

But heres the deal: the failure you describe is hardware dependent. Surveying they general population can result in 99 percent of people claiming success, even as you observe 100 percent failure rates. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened from a normal install.

Because the problem is likely hardware, you'll need to either test your hardware, or find someone else who did. So go search LaunchPad for your problem, and see if someone's already filed a bug report. If the status is Fix Released, you're fine. If you can't find any relevant bugs, it's probably not fixed. Figure out the video hardware you've got, as that might be a good search query.

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I am sorry that the people at the ubuntu forum did not help you, but maybe you should have turned somewhere else before whiping your harddrive. Problems in Linux are often recoverable, there is a lot of information for it on the web, and a lot of people who are willing to help if you know how to ask questions the right way(tm).

dist-upgrades in ubuntu are usually less of a pain than what you describe, but it also depends a bit on you. When it comes to the unix world, there is one great peace of advice: RTFM.

Every mayor Linux distro's documentation will tell you to make a full backup before doing an upgrade, as you should do before every mayor operation on your OS. Hell, you should make regular backups anyway! Everybody accidentally deletes some files from time to time.

And you find advice everywhere to put /home on a different partition from / - which would have made it easier for you to at least keep your data when whiping the OS. You probably won't read that information in ubuntu's colorful clicky-gui-upgrade thingy, but Linux is not windows. Don't click on everything you see, think hard about what could happen before you do it.

A good community would have told you to boot from a live-CD, maybe chroot into your system and have a look whats wrong - and if you find out it is non-recoverable, at least rescue your data.

To finally answer your question: Not a single problem with Jaunty here. Upgraded from Hardy to Intrepid to Jaunty. The box I used before that made Breezy -> Dapper -> Edgy -> Feisty -> Gutsy -> Hardy -> Intrepid without problems that I couldn't handle.

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Yes, it is. Just install it from scratch

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I had a rough experience with the upgrade. The usual advice is to backup your data and do a fresh install.

My install died halfway through, due to a really weird circumstance... a postrm script (part of the package management) somehow got replaced by a directory of html files. Possibly disk corruption, though I've had no other problems... anyway, apt completely bombed out leaving me with a half installed system.

I managed to clean up that script and get the install going again, and after it finished, it was mostly working. I've had to uninstall some packages and reinstall with the new naming conventions in a few places - thunderbird being a major one. The flash plugin for firefox didn't upgrade properly, I had to uninstall it.

A previous install attempt was aborted early when it detected that my old ATI card was no longer supported. I upgraded my card to an NVidia and it worked better.

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As long as your system can successfully boot from the Ubuntu 9.04 install CD, and the "live CD" session works on your hardware, you should be able to install and use 9.04 on your system.

One tip: I recommend you make separate "/" and "/home" partitions. This way, you can easily re-install the whole system, which wipes the "/" partition, without losing your data on "/home". (Note that backups are still recommended!) If you go to the trouble to re-install Ubuntu to get 9.04, take the extra trouble to set up the two partitions.

You might actually want to try leaping to 9.10! That will be coming out in a little over a month, and based on my experience with several previous releases of Ubuntu, it may be pretty stable already. Just as with 9.04, I'd recommend you make an install CD and try booting from that, and make sure it seems to work, before actually installing it.

The major problem I have had with 9.04 is that they removed support for VFAT (because Microsoft started asserting a patent related to long filenames). I believe that 9.10 will have VFAT support, using a workaround developed by Andrew Trigell. You will care about VFAT support if you have a digital camera that writes a FAT file system on its memory cards, or if you want to be able to work with USB flash drives with a FAT file system.

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