My Ubuntu Upgraded from Gutsy to Hardy

I did the upgrading of my Ubuntu installation from 7.10 (gutsy) to 8.04 (hardy) actually when I was in Beijing. I really struggled a lot to make up my mind to do this because:

  1. The network speed when accessing the repositories in Beijing is not as fast as in Stuttgart. There are less mirrors in China and via my 2M adsl connection, it can not reach more than 100KB/s when accessing most of them.

  2. Because I did two times of upgrading before, both of which eventually brought an unusable system and everything just messed up, I always preferred to do a clean installation when new version of the system was released or close to release.

Well, this time I firstly found out a faster server located in Taiwan, then all the new features I’ve already known for months attracted me to do a final decision to give it a try.

Before the upgrade, for safety reason, I downgraded all my packages which are not installed from the official repositories (especially those which have lower version in official repos). Because old experiences told me always these 3rd-party packages would bring a lot of problems, like dependency etc.

A easy way to do the downgrading is to write some policy into the file “/etc/apt/preferences“, like:

Package: *
Pin: origin
Pin-Priority: 1001

which means the packages from the official server will have the highest priority even the currently installed are with higher version. Then a simple apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade will do the trick.

Then I did the upgrade on command line:

do-release-upgrade -d

The “-d” argument is because it was before the official release of Hardy.

You let it download some essential packages and information, then answer several questions before let it change your repository settings and start downloading all the packages for upgrade.

With a 200KB/s speed, I waited around 2 hours for the downloading. Then came the long installation procedure, during which you also have to do some interaction with it because some settings you may have changed manually before and the installation script asked whether to overwrite them with new configurations shipped with the latest packages. In most cases I would let it overwrite because I assumed there would also be some improvements made to the default configuration file. But before that I would noted down what changes I may have made by myself by starting a temporary console and checking the content of the file. These changes may later be added to the new configurations.

After another hour or two, everything seemed fine and I rebooted the system.

With a pretty smooth start-up, the new system blew away most of my concerns. Although there were some bugs and the compiz didn’t get started when entering the desktop, more than 95% percent of all my apps kept working as well as before. Not to say the new features of Gnome and Ubuntu really brought a lot of enjoyable experience.

Following are the 2 bugs which were annoying me at that time (till now they have been solved already, just note it down here):

  1. Compiz doesn’t start with a laptop with some types of the ATI graphic card. (

  2. Mount point doesn’t get cleaned upon unmounting, so an underscore “_” will be attached to the old mount point next. time. (

Another thing that didn’t work is the fcitx. In “en_US” locale, even after using the old trick (modifying the file /usr/lib/gtk-2.0/2.10.0/immodule-files.d/libgtk2.0-0.immodules), it still refused to start with X. But luckily you still can explicitly execute it to make it work so now I have to have it added to the start-up programs list.

Nearly everything else just works, so I am very happy with my new Hardy. Just want to mention, that the new clock applet combining the weather report and timezone display really rocks!

OK, I’m gonna stop here today and go to bed. I will be adding more information if I found out other tricks/tips later.


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