Re: Oh, please, please, COME ON Ubuntu development people!

What I want to add to the debate is that this is a "BETA" version. We
are talking about a product not yet finished. Not yet ready for
mission-critical use.

I understand Basil being upset. But in a way, he "asked for it". When
one downloads a beta, one does so expecting to get into trouble, and to
report these bugs. And complaining strongly that a beta is buggy is,
well, to say the least, not what is expected of a user of a beta.

That kind of complaining *MIGHT* be justified *ONLY* once the product is
final... :)


On 15/04/2011 10:58, Alan Pope wrote:
Hi Basil,

Hope this mail reaches you in the way it was intended, informative and helpful.

On 15 April 2011 09:07, Basil Chupin <blchupin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I installed Ubuntu Beta #1 a day ago or so.

This morning Ms Kate Stewart informed me that Beta #2 was released. Fine -
been waiting for it; so I go and download the CD.
Ok, first question. Why do this?

If you install Ubuntu Beta 1, and keep up to date with update manager
(or sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade, whatever you're
more familiar with) you _will_ be on Beta 2. There is no need to
reinstall to go from Beta 1 to Beta 2, or from Beta 2 to final

The only exception to that is if you're doing this as an exercise to
test the Beta 2 installer / upgrade process with a view to giving the
team some feedback (in the form of bug reports or testing reports).

Then I started the installation of Beta #2 and was asked if this was a new
installation or simply an upgrade to the earlier version (Beta #1).

I chose the latter: the upgrade to an existing installation of Natty.

And then the wheels fell off...... :'( .

Ok, worth pointing out a few things. This is a new feature in the
Natty version of Ubiquity (the installer). I haven't tested this in
Natty but the way I understand it works is as follows:-

{Here begins my understanding of the new natty installer that I
learned whilst drinking cocktails in a noodle bar with the lovely guy
who maintains Ubiquity. So my understanding may be slightly broken}
You have a version of ubuntu that you want to upgrade, and you have a
CD containing Natty. You don't want to run the "upgrade" process using
update manager for whatever reason (e.g. you already have a CD, why
download all over again, or maybe you are running a very old version
of Ubuntu (such as 9.04) which has no direct upgrade path to Natty).

As I understand it the installer will look for any 'non-standard'
packages (ones that don't ship on the CD) and makes a list of those.
It also figures out what 3rd party apps (like skype for example) that
you had installed on the 'old release' and repackage those up (as
installable debs) and put them to one side. The installer then wipes
out your entire install except the /home directory, so that means it
deletes the contents of /bin /etc /usr and so on, but again,
crucially, not /home.

It then does an install (which is essentially copying the contents of
the live environment from the CD to the hard disk) giving you a new
set of packages (in /bin /usr etc). At this point you have a clean
Natty install with your existing /home directory. Next it installs the
packages that were listed as non-standard in the paragraph above, and
download/installs those. It also takes the packages that were
repackaged (e.g. Skype) and installs those over the top. The goal of
this is to get you upgraded from "old ubuntu" to "latest ubuntu"
without losing your home directory data, and trying to reinstall any
old non-standard apps that may have been installed previously.

This is _great_ if you are running anything older than 10.10. 10.10
has a direct upgrade path to 11.04 via update manager. All releases
older than 10.10 do not. Therefore if you have been running Ubuntu
older than 10.10 this is a great way to get to the latest release in
one go, without losing your home directory, and without losing all the
apps you had installed.
{end of my understanding}

So in a nutshell "Upgrade" in update manager means "upgrade each
individual package", "upgrade" in ubiquity means "make a list of
everything, wipe everything except home, blat a new image on the disk
and re-add missing packages".

Well, 5 hours of sitting here and looking at the screen with Ubuntu's Natty
Beta #2 showing me that it is, firstly, "Installing" files - fine, no
problem with this, but.. - and then "Restoring previously installed
packages" (if they are already installed why the f**** then DOWNLOAD the
damn things!?)
See above explanation - this would be it re-adding all the apps you
had on beta 1.

at a download rate which makes a drunk snail high on
snail-killer bait look positively faster then a speeding bullet! I just had
to hit the computer's SHUTDOWN button.

Had to? Do you have another computer? Might be worth in the future, if
you get into this kind of "omg, I'm gonna kill it" position, to jump
on #ubuntu IRC channel and ask for some pointers there, rather than
resort to the power button.

A few days ago I downloaded and installed another distro (openSUSE if you
are interested). The whole operation took a frection of the time I just
spent with Beta #2. Why? Because that distro is using a "something-Brain"
which selects the most efficient local to you mirror to grab all the
necessary files.

Sounds like we have a bug in Ubiquity which doesn't select the nearest
mirror. Perhaps look for a bug or file it here:-

While this may be "rant" to many people, this really is NOT a laughing

Indeed it isn't a laughing matter. It's an issue that may bite lots of
other people too. The community spirited thing to do would be to let
the developers know about this issue, and the best way to do that is
file a bug, see link above. I'll also point the Ubiquity developer at
this thread to see if there's anything he can learn from it.


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