Karmic Kubuntu

Karmic Koala was officially released a couple of days ago and I did not miss my opportunity to upgrade all my Kubuntu machines to it. However, my upgrade path was frought with peril and I felt that I should probably chronicle some of the lessons learned, for future reference.

My troubles started when I was unable to request a free CD from ShipIt because I had already exceeded my quota. So, I proceeded to download the alternate ISO image. Unfortunately, I had trouble with the burned media. I ended up burning 3 CDs from the image only to have 3 dodgy disks. One disk was good enough to at least go through the first stages of the installation with only a few files missing. This was when I discovered that the Debian installer could be tricked into using a ISO image loaded on a USB stick. All I had to do was to mount the ISO image under /cdrom for the first stage of the installation and then mount it under /target/cdrom for the latter stage of the installation. In fact, this was much faster than installing it using a CD.

Lesson 1: Do not use old CD-R media. I have since bought myself a 1.8″ DVD-RW media that I will use for all future kubuntu ISO image burns.

Next, I had problems with my home user files. I use the default ecryptfs to encrypt my entire home partition. For some reason, someone decided that the encryption keys should be stored in /var instead of /home, which it currently does. Since I had reformatted my entire root directory, which held everything other than the home directories, the encryption keys were totally lost (and so were my files). So, I had to spend my entire Saturday restoring my home directory from my backup. Thankfully, I backed up my entire home directory just before re-installing my laptop.

Lesson 2: Always back up my files before doing anything invasive like upgrading the operating system.

As for the new Kubuntu, I have been very happy with the upgraded user interface and utilities. Great job!

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

2 thoughts on “Karmic Kubuntu”

  1. As for running the installer off a usb stick, this guy describes a neat solution: you need to get a specially crafted vmlinuz, available from the official repositories, and just place that on the stick together with the iso (and of course make the stick bootable). Works like a charm.

    For the 9.10 upgrade though, I just tried the dist-upgrade, and everything seems to work wonderfully so far!

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