[ltp] How safe is ubuntu 11.10?

Steven J. Owens linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Thu, 10 Nov 2011 16:36:37 +0000


On Mon, Nov 07, 2011 at 04:01:32PM +0100, Joerg Bruehe wrote:
> I have met difficulties on upgrade much too often to risk an in-place
> update.
> Granted, they may have been due to my very unusual hardware setup (two
> monitors dual-head, one of them rotated), so I don't blame any distro
> for not catching them.
> I use my machines for my daily paid work, so I cannot afford extended
> periods of bug (or workaround) search.

     Same here.
> My solution:
> 1) Set up a second system partition.
> 2) Use the tool of choice ("rsync -a", "cpio -p", ...) to copy all files
>    of the  current system partition into the new one.
> 3) Adapt "/etc/fstab" in the new partition.
> 4) Ensure the boot configuration can boot from both partitions,
>    check that.
> 5) Check the system on the new partition works as intended.
> 6) Upgrade one of these partitions, leave the other unchanged.
> 7) Check whether the upgraded system works:
>    a) If yes, enjoy.
>    b) If not, search for the cause and fix it.
>       If the search takes longer than you can afford, boot the other
>       partition and do your urgent work; later resume the search.
> If for any reason you prefer a new installation to an upgrade, the
> procedure still applies, you just replace steps 2, 3, and 4 by the new
> install.

     That's pretty much the approach I ended up taking.  I backed
everything up, booted up a liveCD and used gparted to shrink my
bulkdata partition and free up 20GB and create a new partition to be
the new home for /.  Then I used the alternate install CD with
advanced manual partitioning to install 11.10 on the new 20GB
partition and mount the old 50GB /home and 300+GB /bulkdata.  

     The install CD detected the 10.4 LTS install and gave me the
option of installing alongside, which I took.  There was a moment of
uncertainty when the advanced manual partitioning didn't show the old
mount points for /home and /bulkdata.  I had to re-specify them (and
mounted the old / as /oldroot), but I was uncertain whether that was
safe or risked those partitions being overwritten.  

     I checked with folks on #ubuntu and was reassured it was safe, so
I went ahead and everything went pretty smoothly after that.

> The only caveat I must say:
> It might be wise to also backup your desktop configuration files in your
> home directory, otherwise the old system may have trouble when it finds
> the new files. KDE 3 -> 4 is such a moment.

     To paraphrase the movie _Ronin_, "whenever there is any doubt,
there is no doubt! Backup!" :-)

Steven J. Owens
puff@darksleep.com / (412) 401-8060 cell 
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