In Ubuntu We Trust

2009-05-05 by mira

And sometimes even a bit too much. I’m running Xubuntu for several years now and never had any big issue with it. But last weekend, I finally got my share.

I ran the usual updates on my system (Xubuntu 8.10) and was suddenly missing the Gnome panels after logging in to my xfce session. Normally I would search the web for possible causes, but this time I decided to just follow the suggestion of Ubuntus Update Manager, that told me version 9.04 is available. Without giving it any further thoughts, I started the upgrade process. The upgrade itself went smooth, no hickups whatsoever. But afterwards my xfce session stopped working completely. So I used the Gnome session as fallback, which worked. But suddenly the system froze. A completely frozen system (not even reacting to Ctrl-Alt-F1) is something I am not used to anymore.

The reset button has lost its virginity.

After passing a few ice ages I got fed up. I tried running Xubuntu 9.04 from CD. Again, strange things happend; after choosing the language and starting up the xfce session, my USB keyboard stopped working. WTF! Reboot, and still the same behavior.

It was time to clean the slate and rollout Xubuntu 8.10 again. But not without learning a lesson! Always try out a new distro version before replacing your working system. To do that, I decided to partition wisely this time; keeping my home on a separate partition and creating two pairs of /boot and / to be able to always have two systems at the same time. One for a working system and one for tryouts:

mira@apu:~$ df -h |grep sda
/dev/sda6              23G  2.3G   20G  11% /
/dev/sda1              92M   31M   56M  36% /boot
/dev/sda8             641G   33G  577G   6% /home

sda5 is /boot for the second system
sda7 is / for the second system