Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Upgrading to Hardy Heron

With 7.04 version of ubuntu I was quite happy, most of the hardware worked and GNOME was already very usable and cool. I was looking forward 7.10 to polish some issues and be THE DISTRO for masses. I even got new Dell Vostro laptop with mostly Intel hardware.

Ubuntu 7.10 is quite cool distro which delivered some very nice features but many things didn't work. It was probably because most of the open source conferences where held at spring and then came summer and not much time was left to polish and test. Laptop was without a sound at all, email client evolution gave a lot of nasty bugs, cisco vpn client didn't compile and few more. Similar situation with friend's Dell Lattitude which also includes problems with Boradcom wifi driver. However over time I managed to get everything working (except for the integrated microphone). But I had a wierd issue with Cisco VPN client which corrupted my username in config file whenever I presses Ctrl-C on login promtp. The microphone and this was the only thing I was not happy about. Otherwise the system was fast (I never experienced "window refresh is being rendered" feeling like I regurlary get when working with MS Windows), stable and joy to work with.

However I discovered new version of Cisco VPN client is out, so I compiled and it worked.... for a few minutes. Then hard freeze, only holding power button for 4 secs (I wonder how many people know this trick and how many are pulling the cable) helped, something really happening in the kernel. I managed to track it to:
  1. recent upgrade of ubuntu kernel
  2. recent wierd behaviour of ipw3945 (likely after the kernel upgrade)
  3. cisco vpn client
  4. SMP system (as others suggested)
One of the solution was to upgrade to kernel 2.6.24 so I tried. I got new kernel (2.6.24-12), compiled latest Cisco VPN client ( and it worked. No more hungs. Nice, problems solved. Oops my sound subsystem is gone again. No wonder, there is new alsa out there and my system is inconsistent.

So I typed 'update-manager -d'

and updated my system to latest version of Ubuntu Hardy Heron, scheduled to be out in about a Month. Rest of this page tracks what is not working and possible solutions.

First I was very pleasantly surprised by the update process (very simple, not error given), system was updated and while being updated most of the desktop still worked. After update I rebooted (it took a little bit longer than 7.10 but this might just be only a issue of not updating the progress bar) and was presented with working GNOME environment, working evolution, working VPN client, webcam, wifi and sound ;) Just integrated microphone refuses to work. After I got home I discovered couple of more bugs, but something might be because it is not integrated yet (Gnome 2.22 is to be released tomorrow).

Current bugs preventing "THE DISTRO" syndrom:
  • #182284 - slow scrolling of webpages (Xorg going to 100%), seems to be fixed by installing xserver-xorg-video-intel - 2:2.2.1-1ubuntu4
  • #176090 - no LED activity for wifi (Intel iwl3945)
  • #200950 - wifi cannot connect to WPA+WEP based networks, likely bug with WPA supplicant
  • #183968 and #180766 wifi is renamed to wlan0_rename
  • #201326 - Shutdown button does not work
  • #188972 - Integrated microphone does not work
  • #201338 - Evolution crashed with SIGSEV in camel_exchange_journal_delete()

So lets see what mighty ubuntu team can fix before the Hardy Heron is out.


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