Ubuntu failed upgrade

This bank holiday weekend I was helping my neighbour, a long time Edgy user, through a "Ubuntu User #1" magazine he bought. The shiny new Jaunty CD inside the magazine was assumed to be a quick and easy upgrade path from Edgy.

Failed Ubuntu upgrade jump

You can't jump (upgrade) from Ubuntu Edgy to Jaunty. I tried and it failed horribly. Admittedly Edgy has been unsupported for more than a year now, but still you would think it could upgrade seamlessly. As a long time Debian user, I was surprised it didn't work. Sad. :/

So I had to backup my neighbour's /home and re-install with the help of the convenient Jaunty Live CD. Nevermind the issues of backing up someone's private data. This was tricky since the Matrox driver with X was not working correctly and I couldn't figure out how to jump to the console at first. Then I had to figure out how to mount LVM partitions. I don't understand why the mapper has to be manually prodded. When I re-installed Ubuntu LVM did not seemed to be used be default. Remarkable.

The user magazine

The firewall tutorial is a bit pointless. You should just be using iptables from /etc/network/interfaces. Although why should a home user bother? Most routers firewall by default.

The tutorial for writing Web pages is seriously bad. Exhibit Listing 1 the HTML template. A good Linux magazine for me should absolutely focus on Web applications. This magazine does a disservice to the open platform of the Web.

The Debian packaging tutorial is cdbs based. Which is awful compared to debhelper7. Although I would be alarmed if a developer actually used this as a guide. This is a beginners Ubuntu users magazine... or is it?

Don't understand why people should know how linux printing works, which by some miracle is explained in a magazine article. It should 'just work'.

Burning CDs? A better tutorial would be about transferring files via USB stick. Or conducting backups without using fragile CDs. Sad.

The Evolution article confused my neighbour, though he was on Gmail already. This really pisses me off.

I wish Ubuntu abandoned the non-Web Desktop applications like Evolution and concentrate on a minimal supported commercial core.

Upgrading Ubuntu is such a nightmare

I am really surprised that Ubuntu's upgrade UI is still so abrasive to consumers. The Web is leap years ahead of this sort of software in the sense that Web applications upgrade seamlessly. Ubuntu really need to focus on making the upgrade experience a lot less painful. That way my conservative neighbour might well keep up to date and I would have perhaps done other things this bank holiday. ;)


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