Grey-Bearded Geek

Random Thoughts Of A Middle-Aged Software Engineer

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron Upgrade on Dell Inspiron 6000 Laptop

April 27th 2008

gnome-logo-icon-tran.pngI upgraded my laptop (a Dell Inspiron 6000 with ATI Mobility Radeon X300 video card) from Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” to the 8.04 “Hardy Heron” LTS release. Since my internet connection is through Comcast (who tends to severely throttle large downloads), I downloaded both the main distribution CD and the ‘alternate’ CD through an encypted bittorent via Azureus – this (at least for now) keeps Comcast from throttling the connection to the point of unusability.

I popped the “live” CD into the laptop, and rebooted it, to check out basic compatibility between this new release and my hardware.

Things looked pretty good – my wireless connection worked flawlessly, and the video came up at the proper resolution, though Compiz wouldn’t work because the proprietary ATI video driver wasn’t installed. I  didn’t worry about this too much – I figured that since Compiz worked ok under Gutsy, it would probably work at least as well under Hardy once the driver was installed.

So, then I upgraded Ubuntu using the “alternate” CD. That took a while – I’m not sure how long – I left it running while I went out all day. Again, no issues with the installation.

I’m happy to say that generally, everything worked.  Compiz did work just fine after I re-enabled the ATI driver that the installer disabled.  Here are the minor issues that I had:

  • As expected, it broke the VMWare console application. This is quite common, even with minor updates. This time, I had to rename some libraries that shipped with vmware, so that Ubuntu's versions would be used. I followed the instructions at http://whocares.de/2008/02/25/running-vmware-server-console-on-ubuntu-hardy, and it worked. Thanks, Stefan!
  • Since, like a lot of folks, much of my time with the computer is spent using a web browser, the forced  upgrade to Firefox 3.0 is causing a bit of frustration:
    • Firefox uninstalled all of my extensions, and many do not yet have versions compatible with FF3.0 Most were just convenience items, but the big sticker here is Firebug. I did find version 1.1 of Firebug, which claims to be compatible with FF3.0, but it doesn't work properly. The major thing is that it won't open "in-line" at the bottom of the page - when that is attempted, it just never appears - it only works if you open it in it's own window.
    I'll be looking to figure out how to install the previous version as well, so that I can continue to use Firebug, and so that I can continue to check website compatibily with that verison.

I’ll post more later if I find other issues.

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Categories: Chariot, Linux