Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Experiments with Ubuntu 11.10

The upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 went through smoothly on Lenovo S10-3 netbook. It looks very similar to 11.04. An application would normally use the full screen as expected. I tried to start a new application and couldn't. No matter where or how hard I pushed the mouse, the dash would not appear.

Finally, I remembered the 'window' key! Having found the workaround, I have not had a chance to experiment with it more as I normally use Arch Linux on the netbook and Fedora on the desktop.

At IIT, Ropar, the default desktops are Ubuntu. So, I decided that I would try to upgrade my LTS desktop to oneiric. I certainly wasn't going to upgrade in steps. The choice was between a fresh installation or an forced update and do what is not recommended - strongly.

The latter is more fun and I hoped to learn something. I changed the sources file to use the oneiric repositories. My installation was fairly simple so I did not expect any significant issues. At worst, some packages would be broken.

Unfortunately, the upgrade failed - too many errors. The last error was a fairly simple error of some conflict in a file in two packages. I made the mistake of rebooting inspite of the broken packages!

The system no longer boots - not even grub menu :(

Well, I will now have to do a fresh installation - and haven't understood what went wrong.

Fedora 15 takes too long to boot: traced to Systemd?

I filed a bug report - "System takes over 2 additional minutes to boot after updating to kernel".

This was in July. The problem was erratic. If I tried to trace it, it seemed to disappear. It persisted even after upgrading to 2.6.40. In fact, it seemed to be more consistent. Removing VirtualBox 'solved' the problem but not for long.

Then finally an entry in the system log messages helped!
Oct 25 15:22:28 amd avahi-daemon[1792]: Registering new address record for fe80::217:31ff:fe93:e65a on eth0.*.
Oct 25 15:27:26 amd systemd[1]: network.service operation timed out.  Terminating.

Fortunately, I had not rebooted the system and let it try to boot for over 5 minutes.

It led to the realisation that I had been running network service even though it was not needed any more when using NetworkManager.

Now for the last three days, the system has been booting fine after I disabled the network service.

I will wait a few more days before filing a bug report against systemd - just to be sure.