View Full Version : [ubuntu] To update or not to update, that's the question

October 24th, 2008, 02:45 AM
Since I installed Ubuntu on my laptop computer, I got used to the fact that the Ubuntu crew updated the system for me periodically, without asking too many questions. They must know what they are doing, and after each update the system either remained the same or had a slight improvement. The other day, though, I was sitting at an internet café when I saw that downward red arrow with the message "new updates are available for you". I clicked "yes" to download and install the new packages, after which I was asked to reboot the computer. After I did so, though, I had an unpleasant surprise: I realized my internet connection had disappeared. I immediately suspected what had happened: some time before I had downloaded and installed a tarball, a driver for my wireless internet detector, and I had a hunch it might have been uninstalled during the update. My suspicion was confirmed when, after some arduous work, I restored the system to its previous state and installed the driver again; now it is working.
Now, of course, I am afraid to update. On the one hand, if the system is working fine for me, I see no reason to update. On the other hand, I fear if I don't update for too long, something terrible could happen. So, to update or not to update, that is the question.
I appreciate any help on how to solve my dilemma.
P.S. By the way, Ubuntu 8.10 is overdue.

October 24th, 2008, 02:47 AM
I think that was most likely the new Kernel Update, which as far as I know, is currently unnecessary. I'm waiting for Intrepid to do the update, and I hope that my system won't break.

May 19th, 2009, 02:52 PM
I finally found the answer to my own question. It's in LINUX FORMAT magazine, May 2009, p. 42: "[Ubuntu] In theory, your installation can also be updated from one release to the next, but we've had only limited success with this procedure. The update will work if you've kept to the official packages and reconfigured very little of your desktop. But if you opt to install packages from the internet, or from the unsupported Universe and Multiverse package repositories, it's usually easier to go for a new installation rather than an updgade." Now I understand what happened. I'm still using Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), but I uninstalled OpenOffice and installed Abiword and Gnumeric instead. I also installed a tarball as a driver for my wireless card. And I changed some of my configuration. That's why my automatic upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10 failed. Well, I'll stick to Ubuntu 8.04. It's working wonderfully for me, and I'd rather stick with a version that I'm used to and fully understand. With a new version also come new bugs. Some of the things that were working might not work as well, or be incompatible with my hardware, etc.

But I still have a problem. I still get that downward pointing arrow that says, "There are 252 updates available". I don't know if these updates are meant for my Ubuntu 8.04 or for a more advanced version of Ubuntu. Does anybody know how to turn it off?