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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

Gutsy Upgrade Problems

Saturday, October 20, 2007

On a day when everyone was decking up their cars and bikes with flowers and whatnot I decided to upgrade up my laptop with the shiny new Gutsy Gibbon. After spending a few hours at it, its finally done. So here's how it went.

My laptop is a Dell Inspiron E4105 also known as 640m. A standard configuration with Intel 945 GM graphics driver and Broadcom 43xx wireless card. I have been running Ubuntu on it since the last year, first Dapper Drake and then Fiesty Fawn. The upgrade to Fiesty was smooth. I only had to reinstall ndiswrapper on it to get the wireless working.

This time it was much more involved. The first thing which happened post install was that kernel 2.6.22 refused to boot with the error
dm-linear : Device lookup failed
After some Googling it turned out to be this bug. To fix it I had to remove the evms package.
sudo apt-get --purge remove evms
The next problem was the Broadcom 43xx driver. The restricted driver manager pointed out that a driver was available and after a warning that it is not free, allowed me to install the firmware. Had to reboot the laptop to get it working.

The third problem was very slow scrolling on Firefox and other apps. A bit of searching on Ubuntuforums led me to this. Removing xserver-xgl solved it for me.
apt-get remove xserver-xgl
I dont use Compiz usually. So this solution works for me.

The next issue was slow internet browsing speeds. The DNS lookup used to take ages. There seems to be no resolution to this problem yet although a lot of people are facing the issue. I tried disabling IPV6 in firefox and using Open DNS servers and now the speeds seem to be better. Had to manually edit the /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf file and add the Open DNS name servers to it. These two lines specifically before the request statement.
prepend domain-name-servers
prepend domain-name-servers

The last was a minor issue with fonts. Firefox fonts had changed as soon as I had upgraded. The issue was with msttcorefonts which I had installed for Fiesty. Had to remove the package before things started looking better. Its still is not as good as before though. But I can live with it. This didnt solve the font problem with console which had changed as well. Finally selected the Courier 10 pitch font after trying out all the 100 fonts on my system. Not many among them are usable though.

All this took up the entire day for me. If you are looking to upgrade to Gutsy, then keep a day aside for it. Right now its not all that stable enough. Or just wait for a few weeks more before the initial hiccups are sorted out.

Wishing everybody a very happy Dassera and the festival season. Enjoy!


To solve the fonts problem, I used this trick.

I discovered weird sound issues when it used to stop playing sometimes and speaker and headphone used to work together. To fix this, I had to update Alsa. Used the commands mentioned in the this thread.

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posted by Rajiv, 10:08 AM


I think the general rule you can learn from this is never upgrade. There is way too many combinations of software configurations for Gutsy to handle smoothly during an upgrade.
Said Blogger Martin, 10:48 PM  

I think your tone in this post is excellent. Many people tend to look at a few small difficulties in upgrading an entire system as reason for damning a distribution entirely. You managed here to point out quite simply and succinctly that you did have a few problems but they weren't earth-shatteringly difficult to fix. People who just throw a blanket statement over a process, like "just don't upgrade" are completely ignoring one of the most important things in the open-source world today: working through processes, painful though it might be, to end at a superior end product through the experiences of a multitude of users. Free upgrading to the latest features is going to be a very important aspect of the desktop user's experience, and doing so through a distribution-upgrade is the easiest way to handle it. Seriously, everybody needs to recognize that especially in Open Source, sometimes a step backwards can mean two or three quick steps in succession forwards.
Said Blogger Micah, 8:40 AM  

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