Review: Ubuntu 10.10 upgrade double-whammy

Oct 20, 2010
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Having already previewed the Ubuntu 10.10 beta with good results on more than one system, I felt safe upgrading my primary desktop system from v10.04 to v10.10 once the new version went gold. To my astonishment, neither my keyboard, mouse, nor display were functioning following the upgrade.

Obviously, I’d become too accustomed to Ubuntu updates and upgrades going without a hitch. Since the transition from 10.04 to 10.10 wasn’t positioned as a major one, I opted for performing an upgrade rather than complete, fresh install.

Upgrading Ubuntu to 10.10

First, I performed a complete backup of the Black Tower using the rsync script that I use for regular monthly backups. Then, I followed the standard procedure for upgrading Ubuntu to a new version.

Specifically:

  • Start System > Administration > Update Manager
  • Click the Check button to check for new updates
  • If there are any updates to install, use the Install Updates button to install them, and press Check again after that is complete.
  • A message will appear informing you of the availability of the new release
  • Click Upgrade.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions

The Update Manager’s upgrade wizard was a snap to use. The process, which involved an extensive download of thousands of packages, appeared to progress flawlessly. Finally, it announced that Ubuntu 10.10 was installed and prompted me to reboot the system.

So as usual after an upgrade, I took a deep breath, clicked Reset, and hoped for the best.

Uh-oh, where’s the video?

The first thing I noticed following the reboot, was that after a few startup messages the monitor went completely dark and was left flashing its blue standby light. That’s how it looks when the system is in suspend mode, but in this case the cooling fan was whirring as though the system was running. Something had gone badly wrong!

I soon became aware that the blank display wasn’t the only problem. The LED on the underside of the mouse wasn’t lit, and the indicator lights on the keyboard weren’t turning on and off when I pressed the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys repeatedly.

Things were looking grim, and I caught myself starting to think about reinstalling 10.04. But I wasn’t about to give up without a fight.

Divide and conquer

I rebooted the system again and selected “recovery mode” at Grub’s startup menu, so I could watch the kernel’s numerous initialization messages scrolled by. There, I found a clue regarding the keyboard/mouse problems: a string of error messages seemed to indicate that the kernel was having trouble attaching some sort of USB device.

Since my keyboard and mouse were both connected through a USB 2.0 hub to the system, I tried simplifying the setup by eliminating the hub and connecting them directly. Despite not having a working display at that point, I could immediately tell that the keyboard and mouse had started working — the red led on the underside of the mouse lit up, and the keyboard now responded to its Caps Lock and Num Lock keys.

So much for the keyboard/mouse problem. Now to light up the display.

Since the display worked fine during startup messages but seemed to go out as soon as the graphical desktop environment began loading, it seemed likely that the display problem had something to do with with the system’s graphics driver.

The best way to troubleshoot problems with graphics functions is to reboot, select the “recovery mode” option when the Grub menu is displayed, and then choose the “Run in failsafe graphic mode” at the next set of choices. So, that’s what I did. This time the desktop loaded up ok, although it did so in low resolution (640×480) mode. But at least it was working.

It dawned on me that the proprietary Nvidia driver, which Ubuntu 10.04 had previously installed on the system, might be the culprit. Perhaps it was incompatible with Ubuntu 10.10′s kernel in some way, and the upgrade had failed to upgrade it or, at the very least, disable it.

To remedy this problem I opened up the “Additional drivers” utility (Menu > System > Administration > Additional drivers), selected the Nvidia accelerated graphics driver (which was still there from before, and still enabled), and clicked the “Remove” button.

Then, I rebooted the system (without selecting recovery mode) and waited to see the result.

It booted up just fine. Except my system no longer had an accelerated graphics driver, which meant I couldn’t take advantage of the Gnome Desktop’s “visual effects” capabilities.

Close, but no cigar

I used the system without accelerated graphics for about a week.

Although none of the software I typically run requires accelerated graphics, it bugged me that I’d had to disable accelerated graphics in order to use Ubuntu 10.10.

Had the Ubuntu team released v10.10 too hastily, perhaps due to the artificially imposed goal of releasing it on 10/10/10?

Eventually, this nagging annoyance compelled me to turn to the googacle for assistance. (I know, I should have done that immediately!) I can’t recall which search result gave me the clue, but someone somewhere had reported that after upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 to the final 10.10 release, the wrong video display was being selected.

And come to think of it, my system’s Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS graphics card did provide two outputs for monitor connection: VGA and DVI. Maybe instead of sending video out the VGA port, as it had before the upgrade, it was now sending video out the DVI port?

Fortunately, my Samsung SyncMaster920BM LCD monitor could connect either way, and luckily I had an available DVI cable. So I hooked up the DVI cable and verified that system could successfully display video to the monitor via DVI in its current state, without the proprietary accelerated graphics driver activated.

Now to re-enable accelerated graphics.

I opened up the system’s “Additional drivers” utility again, reinstalled and activated the Nvidia accelerated graphics driver, and rebooted the system.

This time, despite the presence of the accelerated graphics driver, the system rebooted and loaded up the desktop environment without any apparent problems. Once the desktop loaded, I right-clicked on the desktop, and used the “Change Desktop Background” option to configure my preferred level of “Visual Effects.”

Original conclusion

It’s certainly a relief to have the Black Tower running Ubuntu 10.10 the way I like it.

On the other hand, its disappointing that a relatively minor Ubuntu upgrade required me to make two hardware changes: eliminating the previously working USB 2.0 hub, and switching the monitor interface from a VGA to a DVI connection.

The good news, though is I’m very pleased with Ubuntu 10.10 in every other respect!

 

Update…

Well, it wasn’t long before I ran into additional problems following the upgrade described above. As noted in some of the comments below, I’ve now been painfully reminded of the prevailing wisdom that it’s generally better to do fresh installs, rather than upgrades, of Ubuntu (and probably other Linux distros, as well).

Read on, for an account of what came next…


 
Take two: the fresh install

As I began using the system on a daily basis, I started noticing intermittent instability in the Gnome desktop environment. For example, portions of Gnome application window widgets started disappearing from time to time.

I reasoned that, just as Ubuntu 10.10′s failure to disable the Nvidia accelerated graphics driver produced unintended consequences (no display), other software bits remaining from the Ubuntu 10.04 installation must have been wreaking havoc on the upgraded system.

Wishing I had done it right the first time, I downloaded the Ubuntu 10.10 ISO image, burned a CD, and performed a “fresh install.” The benefit of a fresh install, of course, is that you start out with a “known working” configuration of the OS. Then, once it’s up and running, you can configure and tune it in an orderly manner to suit your needs.

Here are a few selected screenshots from the fresh install. Note the error message in the first image, and my addition of Ubuntu Tweak and the Pandora desktop.




Screenshots from the fresh install
(click thumbnails to enlarge)

Surprisingly, the fresh install of Ubuntu 10.10 still had problems. For example, the system still froze at the point where the Gnome desktop loads, requiring me to boot into “failsafe graphic mode” via Grub’s “Recovery mode” option in order to install the Nvidia accelerated graphics driver. Also, it still won’t work with my USB 2.0 hub between the computer and my mouse and keyboard peripherals. And then there was the error shown in the first screenshot above.

In any case, I now have Ubuntu 10.10 running smoothly on the BlackTower, and can get back to the joys of blogging!

However, based on my bad experience with the attempted upgrade, described above, I’ve resolved to never do a “distribution upgrade” of Ubuntu again. Instead, I’ll always perform “fresh installs” for major version steps. In Ubuntu’s case, this would be when the update has a new codename — e.g. “Lucid” (10.04) or “Maverick” (10.10) — which typically occurs at six-month intervals.

I should have known better, but I’d become so complacent with the quality and reliability of Ubuntu that I lapsed into carelessness. Live and learn.

Unfortunately, this experience leads me to conclude that the Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) was release is not ready for prime time. However, I’ll bet the next minor release — 10.14, or whatever — will be rock solid!
 



PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

45 Responses to “Review: Ubuntu 10.10 upgrade double-whammy”

  1. zenarcher says:

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with this issue. I used Kubuntu 10.10 from Alpha 1 through Release Candidate without an issue. Then came the Final Release.

    Likewise, I use a USB KVM switch and an Nvidia 8400GS video card. I have three systems here with the same basic setup. No problems that I can see with the KVM switch. Mouse and keyboard are fine. But, install the proprietary Nvidia driver and boot up. The monitor goes to sleep instantly, following the BIOS splash screen. Meanwhile, watching the hard drive activity light, it’s obvious the system continues to load. Remove the proprietary Nvidia driver and all works again. Yet, installing with a GeForce 6xxx series card works just fine. No problems there. Nothing I’ve found resolves the issue. I don’t have a DVI port on my KVM switches and if I bypass the KVM switch, I put half of my computers unusable, since two run on each of two KVM switches through the VGA ports. As such, it’s forced me to move back to Debian Squeeze.

  2. Neil says:

    Great post.

    I upgraded to 10.10 on a couple of laptops so the usb video driver thing wasn’t an issue.

    When ever I have issues with Ubuntu I open a new google docs to keep track of whatever I do to resolve the issue. I use the doc to take notes, paste in helpful web sites and any necessary images.

    When I’m done I bookmark it under ‘Problems”.

    I’m going to bookmark your post under ‘Problems/Hardware’.

    One of the things I like about Ubuntu, and Linux in general, is solving the ‘little’ problems that pop up.

    Again, great post.

  3. FreeBooteR says:

    There are always huge upgrade issues with Ubuntu. This is why i prefer the rolling release model of Archlinux. I’ll never go back to the 6 month release cycle again.

    • Eric says:

      You don’t have to upgrade every 6 months. Ubuntu 10.04 is an LTS (Long Term Support) release and it will still be supported for at least 2 more years. Next LTS is 12.04.

  4. tuxr99 says:

    If you’ve been using ubuntu for some time, you should know better than to “upgrade” through the package manager. FRESH INSTALL. If you are going to take the time to backup, why not just start fresh? Geez, even most windows techies recommend against upgrading. YOU’RE FAULT.

    • DeviceGuru says:

      LOL! that’s exactly what I’m doing right now! I began running into additional, weird problems, so I decided it had been a mistake to NOT do a fresh install. Chalk it up to temporary insanity ;-)

    • Jerry Story says:

      The problem with fresh install is it formats the hard drive and loses data. That causes no end of problems setting things up again.

      • DeviceGuru says:

        See my method, below, to find out how I handle the fresh install with formatting / but not /home. It only takes an hour or so to set up the system post install, because I save my home as home-old and let the new installation create it’s default home, then copy into it.

  5. zenarcher says:

    Well, as for my issue with it, I never do an upgrade. I always do a fresh install, no matter what. So, my issue is not related to upgrade problems in any way.

  6. Joe Ryan says:

    I don’t know why they even present an upgrade as stable. To prevent more bad experiences with less familiar Linux users the upgrade should be considered beta or advanced users only. I have enough issues with new kernel driver changes etc even with clean installs. I know they want users to have the option of an upgrade but this option has turned into a crap shoot at best. Not the best way to show stability of Ubuntu to new customers or anyone on the fence about switching to Linux.

    Just my opinion, but you know what they say about opinions.

    • DeviceGuru says:

      I definitely agree with your assessment! I just completed a fresh install, and it’s clear to me that Ubuntu 10.10 does not rise to the high standard of 10.04. I’ve spent half a day screwing around to get my system working again the way I want it — not something we want new Linux (or Ubuntu) users to be subjected to. Yet, anyone going to Ubuntu.com to download Ubuntu for the first time will be presented with a download-button for 10.10, which IMO is still too rough around the edges for newbies. See the “Update” to the article, above.

    • Toby Haynes says:

      Firstly, I don’t get all the dist-upgrade hate. I have upgraded from Ubuntu 6.06 to 10.04 (I’ve not jumped to 10.10 yet) without serious issues. However, I do have some rules for successful upgrades

      Upgrades involving non-free drivers are always a little dangerous. Purge the drivers from your system and get the box working with the free ones before you upgrade.

      If you use PPAs for more up-to-date packages, updates in these areas will always be more error prone, because you are following a less-traveled path. Downgrade any PPA packages back to the base distro set.

      Never compile and install from source code in /usr – always put compiled stuff into /usr/local or /opt. Better still, build packages and install those, rather than just “make install”. Apt package management protects you from a lot of the problems of upgrades, but it can only protect you from the stuff it knows about.

      And last but not least, use aptitude and not apt-get for managing your packages. Aptitude is much better at keeping your system cleaned up and removing unused packages.

  7. Josh says:

    I had Ubuntu 8.04 LTS installed on my laptop. I liked the idea of being able to upgrade directly to the next LTS release. So shortly after 10.04 LTS was released, I decided to do the upgrade. I had similar problems in that I wasn’t even able to boot after the upgrade. It seems like I had to either reboot in recovery mode or disable something in GRUB before I could even boot. And this was between LTS releases, which I assumed would have fewer problem than the 6-month releases. In the future, I will backup my user files (which I did anyway) and do a fresh install.

    • Josh says:

      Oh, the other things that gripe me about the upgrades is that they usually seem to take much longer than doing a fresh install. Maybe it’s downloading all of those smaller package files individually or maybe upgrading deb packages takes longer than fresh installs. Also, when upgrading packages with /etc config files, it stops the installation and asks questions about keeping or replacing config files as it installs that package. So it feels like I have to babysit the computer for several hours answering the questions, one at a time, in order to do an upgrade. Definitely not worth the hassle.

  8. dick says:

    Had the same thing happen on an old computer where I did not have space to back it up. I don’t want to overwrite the area because I have a lot of files that I want to keep. This is the first time I had any problems with updating a Ubuntu release so it is a real bummer. I will try your suggestions to see if that fixes the problem. I do have another computer and I installed from scratch Ubuntu 10.10 and it does work well. Just want to make sure I can save what I have out there on my other computer.

  9. Cipollone says:

    I am using Ubuntu 10.04 and I am very happy with it. I woudl like to upgrade but still waiting and hoping to see if the problems improve. I understand that fresh install is better but for me means also to install again all the software I use ( Google Chrome, Thunderbird, Opera, Cairo Dock….and more) and set up all settings/icons. It is painful to do it every 6 months!
    So far I always upgraded and last time I had a small problem but very quickly solved.

  10. Eric says:

    You have some Microsoft icons on your desktop. IE6, IE7, And WinXP. How did you get those in there?

    • DeviceGuru says:

      IE6 and IE7, in my case, were installed using Crossover Office, a purchased utility. But I believe IE also is easily installed via the free Wine package (available through the Synaptic package manager or Ubuntu Tweak).

      The WinXP icon launches a VirtualBox virtualization session with an old copy of Windows XP SP3 on it. I created a launcher and an icon image to go with it. I always leave the XP session by “saving” instead of shutting down, so I can get into and out of XP in seconds, whenever I have a need to do something in it. Like watching a movie or TV show on Netflix, for example. ;-)

  11. Dave Mawdsley says:

    I would go one step further from don’t upgrade but do a full install. Backup the files you need (perhaps all of /home), download and burn the iso file to a CD-R if it will fit or to a DVD-R. Check the md5′s to make sure it’s okay. Save all the gpg, ssh, etc. keys also. Write down all the passwords that are critical.

    Now imagine that you have an aging disk in your computer–even if it’s only two years old! Replace it with a new hard disk. Then and only then, install from the CR-R you made into the computer with this new hard drive. This is my only procedure from now on. When moving on to the new, completely abandon the old. This will greatly improve your chances of a good, clean install. Finally, after the install get the updates.

    My circumstances with upgrading from Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 were hideous to say the least. I landed up doing what I described above after a really lousy 3 days of trying to fix things tweak by tweak.

    • DeviceGuru says:

      For the record, when I say “fresh install” I mean something that comes very close to what you’re saying. Here’s my setup and fresh install procedure:

      System partitioning:
      * On my systems I have separate partitions for /home and root (/)
      * I put all my data — and only data (i.e. no programs) in /home

      Preps:
      * Prior to doing the fresh install, I backup the /home partition via rsync (lately I’ve actually been backing up both root and /home)
      * Then, I rename /home/deviceguru (assumes my username is “deviceguru”) to /home/deviceguru-old

      Fresh install process:
      * I tell the installation’s disk partitioning process to reformat the root (/) partition, so everthing there is pristine
      * I let the fresh install create a new user directory (/home/deviceguru), so that everything associated with the desktop (and other program configurations) are set to their defaults

      Post install configuration:
      * After logging in for the first time, tweak settings to make the desktop look and work the way I like
      * Transfer personal stuff from /home/deviceguru-old to the new /home/deviceguru location.

      The only difference from your approach is that I don’t reformat the /home directory. I have never had a disk problem, but I suppose it could happen.

  12. Darrell Lewis says:

    Until 9.04 I’d always done a backup of /home with rsync, then a fresh install but since then I’ve been doing in place upgrades directly from the internet and they have all gone well – including my 10.4 to 10.10 on 3 different systems.

    1. Desktop dualcore AMD X64 with Nvidia Gforce 7300, Intel 40GB SSD Boot Drive and Velociraptor for Home drive (45 minutes for that one including download time).

    2. Laptop Vostro V13 Dual Core with Seagate Momentus XT (4GB SSD Cache) took about 60 minutes – including download)

    3. Netbook eeepc 1001px (128GB SSD) took about 90 Minutes including download time.

    Didn’t even lose my place in a pdf ebook I’d forgotten I was reading.

    The only non-standard repositories I use are Medibuntu on all and Virtualbox on the Dual Core systems.

    I did have up to date backups of all /home’s before I started.

  13. Tom Dison says:

    Opposite experience – I did a fresh install and nothing worked – black screen, etc. So I did a dist upgrade (I had left the old install in a separate partition). After that, my wireless went flaky (had to use a 3rd party patch from markos-tisoft), and my acpi scaling stopped working on battery (it wouldn’t scale up to 1.6Ghz, just stayed at 800mhz). I can’t complain about the acpi, because this is a known problem/feature of the MSI Wind U230 – it is supposed to stay at 800mhz when on battery. For some reason on 10.04, Ondemand worked on battery, and it scaled nicely.

    It’s always a challenge, but I’ve been using Linux since 1994, and things are much better than the used to be.

    I think my next laptop is coming from Zareason. I tired of fighting the hardware!

  14. mario says:

    I don’t know. The update mechanism is probably a good options for those who have a fairly standard setup, no additional stuff installed. For my LUKS-encrypted setup it’s always full of pitfalls. But I mostly had success in the last releases (Karmic never happened, Karmic never happened, Karmic nev…). But of course, a fresh install is often the best bet. Also I wouldn’t upgrade my LTS release now anymore. Ubuntu is at a point of development where upgrades don’t bring much newness.

  15. Khan Md Ashraf says:

    I recently installed Mint 9 the remastered Ubuntu 10.04 as a fresh. I always like to keep one version behind. Since a lot of problems would have been solved to quite an extent in the previously released versions. I also install newer versions as fresh installs on different partitions on my machine and keep the older ones as is in their existing partitions. If I need additional space I buy a newer and larger hard disk. An AMD Phenom Quad, First Generation, ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard, 2 GB DDR2, ATI 5670 HD Graphics, 2 160GB and 1 320GB SATA drives. I have multiple versions of OS’s running offa these hard disks. Linux Mint 9, Linux Mint 7 and various Windows versions. Grub2 boot manager manages booting into them. I had a bit of trouble setting up Grub2, since I am not familiar with it but managed it after scouring Googlacle. I am still having some purty serious problems with HPLIP version in 10.04 and Nvidia drivers. Always had to fix them by hand including the binary provided by Nvidia. A seance with Googlacle has resulted in solutions till date. Never done an upgrade excepting tried it out with I think Ubuntu 6.04 to 6.10 and may be that to 7.04. Accelerated graphics I did not have then so it was not much of a problem.

  16. Mani says:

    Nice post. I downloaded the ISO of 10.10 and ran in live CD (actually live USB) mode, and found nothing great in it. Therefore I have decided to stick with 10.04 itself for now, till gnome 3.0 comes out.

    By the way, what prompted you to continue with VGA till recently when both your computer and monitor had working DVI ports? Is there something good about VGA that I do not know yet? For my home desktop, I got a cheap (passively cooled) graphics card just for the DVI port, as it outputs much better quality at 1680×1050, with no spill-over of colors to nearby pixels in corners of rectangular boxes and tables in web pages.

    • DeviceGuru says:

      “By the way, what prompted you to continue with VGA till recently when both your computer and monitor had working DVI ports? Is there something good about VGA that I do not know yet?”

      My original, older and smaller monitor only had a VGA input, and when I upgraded to the larger one I simply plugged it into the same cable and it looked so good I didn’t even consider switching the connection to DVI. I guess I can thank Ubuntu 10.10 for forcing me switch to DVI :p

  17. bluerfoot says:

    my ethernet does not work after the upgrade. I can use a kernel from the 10.04 days and I am ok but common. I posted some diagnostic info on the ubuntu forum and asked for help. when no help came I asked again and still got no help. meaning not one person answered me thread.

    so I will move to fedora 14 when it comes out (well if that works). I have a feeling that that community is better, though smaller.

  18. Praxis says:

    I wouldn’t recommend an upgrade install to someone who didn’t have a fair bit of Linux experience, generally at least something breaks. That said, I’ve successfully upgraded Ubuntu dozens of times. I have one system that I’ve upgraded from 5.04 to 8.04 (where it will stay until next March when I upgrade to 10.04 because I prefer KDE3.5 to 4). It has one minor bug (amarok’s Properties meta-data isn’t working, may just require a fresh amarokrc), but otherwise is responsive and just fine, much better than a 5 year old Windows install. Probably something broke on each of the upgrades but I’m a reasonably experienced user and can generally fix things. I’ve also done a successful 8.04 to 10.04 LTS upgrade, & I install TONS of extra packages, including multiple desktops. That upgrade went well, but I did uninstall all the KDE packages first and delete the .kde directory (since Kubuntu upgrades were not supported, though Gnome & XFCE ones were).

    I have also upgraded a 10.04 Virtualbox VM to 10.10 on my main Debian Lenny desktop without issue. I only did that so I would have a model to support a friend who just did a fresh Maverick install. Other than that I really don’t see WHY someone would upgrade from 10.04 unless they were having issues. The changes were really minor (Ubuntu-One, the GUI package manager, neither of which I use) although I guess I have noticed a few modest improvements (particularly to KDE with 4.5.1). My Lucid installs are going to stay Lucid until the next LTS unless something goes seriously wrong or I see some major improvements in a future version.

    All that said, I would have saved time & gray hairs if I HAD just formatted my / partition and reinstalled (I always set up a separate /home partition for data, and in any case, make backups). The upgrades take hours of downloading and CPU thrashing. It is easy enough just to issue a dpkg command to list all the packages you have on your system and apt-get them after a fresh install. But I feel Linux SHOULD be upgradeable.

    One thing that helps is that my always-on Atom-based nettop Debian server runs an apt caching proxy server (approx now, I’ve used apt-cacher in the past) so I only have to download a package once even though I have maybe 10 computers in regular use. All subsequent upgrades just grab the deb off my LAN.

  19. Soda says:

    10.04 is LTS..

    Also, 10.10 didnt really bring anything new to the table meriting an upograde.

  20. wewa says:

    This story could apply to any version of Ubuntu over the last few years.

    I like how he ends the article with ‘The good news..I’m very pleased otherwise…’
    WTF.

    Hah. My time and energy is worth more than ‘free os’

    Let’s face it. Ubuntu is still a POS compared to other options.
    I run each new release with at least 3 different machines. Then I conclude that its a POS again.

    Let’s hope canonical wakes up and becomes real one day.

  21. Mike says:

    Ubuntu chooses its version numbers based on the year and month when it gets released. 10.10 was released in 2010, October. 10.04 was released in 2010 April, 9.04 2009 April, etc. The next release will probably be 11.04, 2011 April.

  22. cement_head says:

    I’ve had a really bad experience(s) with 10.04 so I’m staying with Karmic.

  23. FreeAndProud says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, buddy! Stop the lying! Listen, I’ve spent years listening to Linux users on IRC, in forums, and on countless websites. Pretty much everywhere on the Internet a person can type into a keyboard and post their thoughts. They all tell me Linux is superior to Windows or any other operating system. Trouble booting your computer after an update or upgrade is something that happens CONSTANTLY on Windows, but would NEVER happen using Linux. Sorry, those are the facts, and I could find a dozen other people on COLA who would agree with me.

    Nice troll though. Do you enjoy shilling for M$?

  24. chris_debian says:

    I had similar problems and overcame them with an install of the new Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). Only a 32-bit version is available at the moment, but this installed perfectly on my AMD64 box and seconds later, Skype was installed and I was happy. Very fast, too!

    LMDE is based on Debian Testing and will be a rolling-release. It also has Flash etc enabled by default. As a loooong time Debian user (11 years), I am very happy so far.

    chris_debian

  25. Eric Mesa says:

    It’s definitely hit and miss. Sometimes I’ve had to do a fresh reinstall after a botched in-place upgrade and sometimes I’ve been fine. It’s been fine more often than not. Of course, every OS from Windows to Linux to OSX usually benefits from a fresh install rather than an in-place upgrade.

  26. Tom Dison says:

    Update: I just wanted to update my comment above – initially the acpi stopped working and my processor would not scale when on battery (it stayed at 800mhz). However, somewhere along the line, an update has restored scaling on battery, and it now smoothly from 800mhz t0 1.6Ghz. Combined with the 3rd-party patch for the wireless, everything is back to running smoothly. I just hope a kernel update somewhere down the line doesn’t break it again. I guess I could just stop allowing kernel updates, but I hat to ignore any security patch.

  27. SidF says:

    I’ve had an install of 9.10 running for a year with no problems once I got 64 bit flash working and ndiswrapper for a Netgear WG311v3 wireless card. I decided to try 10.10 and immediately had mouse and keyboard problems, even during the clean install process. The mouse movements are jerky and unpredictable and it can take quite a while to get the mouse hovering where you want it. Clicks do work but the keyboard can refuse to type from time to time. Both mouse and kb were PS2. I’ve gone back to 9.10 with a clean install but with grub on the hard drive and in 9.10, the kb and mouse work OK with PS2 and USB. I’m now doing a side by side install of 10.10 and again the USB mouse and kb don’t respond properly even during the install.
    The mobo is an Elite C51PVGM-M, a cheapo as are the rest of the components in an E-Sys machine that was bought as a development Linux box without windows and Feisty Fawn installed. That worked well too, with no mouse or Kb problems.
    I’m at a loss to understand what I can do to fix the problems…the mouse and keyboard just have to work. Can anyone recommend a distro that would be as good as 10.10 and might not have the input device problems?

    • DeviceGuru says:

      have you tried linux mint? the standard mint version is derived from ubuntu’s kernels and packages, so it may have the same issues, but there’s a new mint variant that’s built directly from debian kernels and packages (along with gui and package additions from the mint team). could be worth a try side-by-side with the other two, if you have space to install it on that system.

  28. SidF says:

    Hi Device Guru,

    Thanks for the suggestion to try Linux Mint, I’ll take a look and see if I can get it as a Live CD or DVD and give it a go. The hard drive that 10.10 is on is 500 GB so there is plenty of room to install Mint alongside.

  29. avar says:

    wish i saw this before, but .. i just did upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 , after reboot and login box showed up, tried to type my user name and password, but keyboard is not working ..

    i tried recovery mode, but it freezes when it says something like running local-bottom and init-bottom..

    any idea how to fix this ?

    ps: saw couple of posts about losing keyboard and mouse on ubunforums, but no one came up with a solution.

    thx