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OK so just about every cool new piece of Linux software is not available for Ubuntu’s Hardy Heron LTS (Long Term Release) so I am reluctantly pulling this massive 2 part upgrade. Now, this box has very limited hard drive space, about 7 GB for the main Linux install, an additional 20G drive or so for file storage, and a 11G Windows drive.

Ubuntu Hardy plus all the extra packages I’ve installed weighs in at just under 6 gigs, leaving too little headroom to go and download the Intrepid Ibex upgrade packages without some tricks.

I went ahead and moved my /var/cache/apt folder onto my storage drive and symlinked it into place. Apt was fine with this of course so I went ahead and launched the Kubuntu upgrade mechanism (opening Adept, fetch updates, “Version Upgrade”).

Now, I’ve never *ever* had one of these automated installers work properly, but it’s always been easy to continue the install process after it inevitably decides to abort because it failed once downloading a single package. It usually leaves the changed /etc/apt/sources.list and all the downloaded packages, so I just pop open a term and type ‘sudo apt-get dist-upgrade’. Upgrade process continues flawlessly until it’s done.

This time was a little more nerve-wracking. Apparently they “improved” the upgrade tool to immediately start reverting the system (after you click “OK” to the package download failure dialog) to the Hardy configuration (though they keep the downloaded packages for you). This happens without asking you whether you’d like to continue the process on your own.

Naturally, it would make sense for them to put a tiny itty bit of fucking sanity by retrying failed packages a few times, but instead they put more work into having it fail smoothly.

So it first reverted the Apt changes, THEN asked me if I was sure I wanted to abort the upgrade, you know, considering I never wanted to stop it in the first place. I did the smart thing and killed that fucker manually without clicking “No” to continue the upgrade so it wouldn’t revert anything else (maybe it would go back on it’s promise and delete the gigabyte of packages I just waited for 2 hours to download!!– not my connection, btw, Ubuntu’s archive servers start serving at full speed (500K/s) but after awhile it wobbles between 50K/s and about 1K/s).

So I had to go and manually fix my /etc/apt/sources.list, replacing ‘hardy’s with ‘intrepid’s all over. Finally, an apt-get update and dist-upgrade got the process rolling again.

This will be the last attempt to use these piece of shit auto-upgrade tools. When I upgrade from Ibex to Jaunty, it will be manual.

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