View Full Version : [SOLVED] 11.10 to 12.04 Upgrade questions (arghhh! the wait is killing me!)

March 9th, 2012, 11:44 AM
Hi, everyone!

Precise (12.04) is getting some great reviews - I can't wait for it! Oneiric (11.10) was my very first Linux ever so I'm completely in the dark about the whole upgrade process. I have 3 machines to upgrade from 11.10 and they are all dual-booting windows and Ubuntu. They are all oldish PCs with 32-bit processors. I want to put the 12.04 beta on my laptop first as a guinea pig. I read through the instructions and they tell you to "update-manager -d" in the terminal and then follow the directions, but there isn't any information about preparation. I keep all my stuff backed up on an external drive - pix, docs and music, so even if I have a complete disaster, it's not the end of the world. Is there any preparation I should do? Should I make a live 12.04 CD before starting? Should I wait patiently for the production release since I'm such a noob?

Thank you.

March 9th, 2012, 11:51 AM
Should I wait patiently for the production release

That would be my advice.


As long as you have everything backed up, expect your system to break, and this is just an experiment then no other preparation is needed. Testing is welcome.

Do not do it with all your computers.

March 9th, 2012, 11:53 AM
The preparations you make are up to you. Mainly, I would make sure you have a backup of your personal files on an outside source. Then if you want to download the .iso to try a fresh install or even to minimise your downloads then you can do it too. If you want to learn about the upgrade process then I think you should just "update-manager -d" and get some of your favourite drink and relax. Generally it takes me about 40 minutes and is much improved from years before. YMMV. :)

Edit: Oh and the only problems I have been seeing in the development release is Ubuntu telling me things have crashed when it is me who has closed the program. Very stable so far.

Edit2: sometimes during the upgrade process it may ask you if you want to overwrite a certain configuration file with a new one. As long as you haven't made any special changes to your 11.10 then it's usually safe to use the arrow keys/f12 to choose "ok" and press enter to proceed.

March 9th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Well, I think I'll go for it. I just made a fresh pot of coffee and my backups are up to date so I'm ready. I do appreciate the advice, NothingSpecial, to wait, but to justify myself I have to say that having problems always accelerates learning. I mean, I know WAY more about windows than I ever wanted to (ick).

Mark Phelps
March 9th, 2012, 12:34 PM
You do know that if you encounter problems -- which you WILL, since the release notes clearly state that this version has "issues" and should only be used by Developers and Testers -- that you can NOT roll-back to your current install, right?

Instead, you will have to reinstall your current version from scratch.

NOT a good idea to mess around with pre-releases unless you know what you're doing.

March 9th, 2012, 02:16 PM

So now I'm confused. I have done a little SQA, but only in IBM mainframe, Windows PC, server and web applications - not on any operating systems (unless you include Windows which always seems to be in beta) and nothing at all on any Linux distros.

In my experience, in an app dev cycle, we generally released a beta only when all the serious, really disabling defects had been resolved. There is one defect, the Intel wireless issue (911059), which I am expecting to hit, but I am planning to get around that by hard-wiring to my router if it ends up being more than a minor annoyance.

Do you think that there is a high probability of other, as yet undocumented, defects that would entail a reinstall of 11.10 still exist? All software has bugs (IBM calls them "undocumented features"), so I'm not expecting perfection, and I am prepared to risk having to reinstall 11.10 if necessary, but in your opinion, is this a possibility or a probability?

Thank you for your input!


March 9th, 2012, 02:30 PM
I'm such a noob?

Definitely wait then. It'll be here soon enough.

Actually I would advise you to wait until a couple of weeks after release day. Trying to update on release day will be excruciating, as the servers get bombarded. It's a big download, and will go a lot faster once the rush is over.

I'm having to wait myself, as I need to do manual partitioning and there's (still!) a bug in the installer that's blocking that option. Bit annoyed that it's still there in the beta, but I can chill for now.

March 9th, 2012, 02:32 PM
Do you think that there is a high probability of other, as yet undocumented, defects that would entail a reinstall of 11.10 still exist?

Unlikely. All the packages are frozen, so if there's a bug that hasn't been reported it's likely in quite an obscure package. Of course, there's no reason you could get a regression caused by a fix for a different bug.

March 9th, 2012, 02:49 PM
The only preparations you need are:

- back up all personal files. It helps if you have your personal files entirely contained in your /home directory on a separate partition or even a separate drive. But even so, back everything up. If you're forced to reinstall the OS (which isn't the end of the world) you're only one mistaken click away from wiping your /home directory. Normally you can keep it and not only does it contain all your personal files it also contains all your program settings as well.

- always keep one working computer until you've verified the upgrade was successful. If something goes wrong, you'll need to look things up on the Internet and may need to make a Live CD.

- if you do need to use a Live CD, consider making a Live USB stick instead. It's a lot more convenient and it can be faster, plus you can have persistent space for storing settings in the live environment.

I've upgraded since the very early days (Warty Warthog?) and every upgrade went well until the latest one from 11.04-11.10. So odds are it will work fine but I can tell you that an OS reinstall isn't that bad provided you keep your /home directory and you have a backup plus another working computer. In fact I just reinstalled my OS a few days ago - aside from some stupidity on my part it went smoothly.

March 9th, 2012, 02:53 PM
Not that everyone will have such luck, but my upgrade to 12o4B was seamless. So much so that I had to verify I was indeed on 12o4.

March 9th, 2012, 03:00 PM
Remember that email addresses and emails are part of the backups you need to do. If everything works then chances are your native files will be fine, but if you have a failure then it will be a mess likely ending in complete loss of everything email-related unless you pull everything out into a separate backup. Especially export your contacts.

Best bet IMO is to make an entire backup of your $HOME directory so you can restore it entirely if necessary. As well, if you upgrade and then try to drop your $HOME folder back on itself, you're bound to get badness. You can drop your documents back, but don't try it with all the settings files in $HOME.

Actually the best thing you can do is have a machine which can be sacrificed, and then do your best not to lose anything. Great learning experience and fun too, without the pressure.

Good luck and have fun.

March 9th, 2012, 03:14 PM
The main problem I've had with pre-releases has been when they upload a bunch of new stuff to the repos and take their time uploading all of the updated dependencies. But hopefully at this stage, they're past doing a lot of that.

Just be forewarned that if you are ever offered a Partial Upgrade, DO NOT DO IT. A lot of times that means that what I previously talked about has happened. It's best to just wait a day or two, until they have all of the updates available.

March 9th, 2012, 05:53 PM
It is standard practice to give warnings about using alpha and beta versions. And it is necessary for the warning to sound severe. Then if something goes wrong you cannot blame us for you loosing any important data.

There are safe ways of testing the next release of Ubuntu.

I dual boot into another partition. And I have been using 12.04 every day since before it was alpha 1.

I have an 11.10 install and a separate /home partition and I do not modify the 11.10 install so that I do not break it. It is my backup OS.

I have the excellent Grub customizer installed in 11.10. Every time a kernel update messes with the Grub menu boot order, I boot into 11.10 and re-run Grub Customizer and set things in order again.

For example, I have just installed 12.04 beta 1 into another partition so that I have a basic, default 12.04 that I can using in beta testing. This install overwrote the Grub configuration being used by 11.10. Grub Customizer in 11.10 fixed that with its save to MBR option.

Although I am confident in the stability of 12.04 even at beta 1 I will not upgrade my 11.10 install to 12.04 until May 2012. It is best not to take the risk.


Scott Baker
March 9th, 2012, 06:06 PM
I've tried 12.04 through an install through vitualbox, and it seems real nice (for a beta release) It does have a few hiccups, but once again, it's beta. If you want to try it, load it onto a flash drive (at least 4Gig, but larger if possible) Now boot your machine to this drive, and go crazy. The flash drive behaves just like like a hard drive, and with a big enough flash drive, you can really play with the new release. Install packages, install and play some games, try some of your preferred favorites to see how they behave. If you like it, wait until the final release, then install that. If on the other hand you don't like the new release, just dump your flash drive, and try something else. :KS

March 9th, 2012, 06:29 PM
Well, I think I'll go for it. I just made a fresh pot of coffee and my backups are up to date so I'm ready. I do appreciate the advice, NothingSpecial, to wait, but to justify myself I have to say that having problems always accelerates learning. I mean, I know WAY more about windows than I ever wanted to (ick).

If your laptop is not your main machine and you have a sensible backup policy then go for it. Although in my experience fresh installs have always been the most trouble free.

If you have any specific 12.04 queries please use this forum. http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=412

March 9th, 2012, 07:30 PM
Grahammechanical & Scott Baker,

Piffle. I never thought of the flash drive or another partition options. I guess I need another cup of coffee. I feel particularly dumb because I just used a flash drive install to try out Lubuntu a few weeks ago.

Thanks so much! I'm off to the download page. Now I can have fun with no worries.