Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04

I’ve always been wary of upgrading any Linux box. Something usually breaks. So although it would be nice to have the latest software, in recent years I have never been too eager to be the first. I suppose I’ve lost the interest to live on the cutting edge of Linux. I just want a Linux box that works.

Not surprising then that Ubuntu 12.04, released in April 2012, hasn’t made its way around to my Linux box until now, in July 2012. It’s not even three months, so I suppose this isn’t really all that long. But considering Ubuntu’s half-yearly release cycles, with the next one 12.10 coming up in October 2012, it’s already like half-time to the next release. It’s already half-way to being out-dated. Oh wait, 12.04 is LTS (long-term-support). But still.

Anyway, to cut long story short, I picked an auspicious day where I could spare a little bit of time to baby-sit the upgrade. I’m pleased to report that the upgrade was quite painless. Maybe it’s also because I don’t customize or do lots of unusual things on my Linux box anymore nowadays. The box is just mostly serving as a SMB share, a IMAP mail storage (not my Inbox), and where I pull backups from other systems.

Upgrades should always have been like that. I haven’t noticed any glitch, and I’m glad that overall the desktop still looks the same as it did before the upgrade. Not too long ago I was still building CyanogenMod ROMs, Linux From Scratch distros, etc. But I haven’t got time to return to all that now.

I’m still not changing my position about Ubuntu, or Linux in general, being ready for prime time on the general consumer’s desktop or notebook. It’s getting better. It has always been getting better. It just isn’t getting better fast enough.

Simple Steps to Upgrade

If for some reason you’ve already dismissed the notification window about the 12.04 LTS upgrade, just search for Update Manager and run it. The upgrade process is pretty straight-forward.¬†There were some 1600 packages to be updated, and the upgrade will step through the following stages:

  • Preparing to upgrade
  • Setting new software channels
  • Getting new packages
  • Installing the upgrades
  • Cleaning up
  • Restarting the computer

It took me about 25 minutes to download all the packages before getting to the “installing” stage. The installation stage itself ran for almost 50 minutes. I’m surprised that the download was that much quicker than the installation. All in all, 1.5 hours later, the box was back up with 12.04 running.

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