Friday, April 29, 2011

Avoid Ubuntu 11.04 Upgrade!

Upgrading an Ubuntu installation has never been a safe move, much less days after a release. This time around such statement is particularly true due to all the stuff that is being introduced as part of the switch to Unity.

My recommendation? Stay away from Natty Narwhal for some months. If you want to use it, don't upgrade, use a clean installation instead, BUT...

DON'T EVEN TRY IF YOU ARE USING AN UBUNTU DERIVATIVE!!!!

The Elementary OS team have stepped forward and publicly warned their users not to upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04:

"It has come to our attention that on Thursday, April 28, 2011, users of elementary OS Jupiter may be prompted to upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04. We strongly urge you not to do so if you are prompted to; not because we do not want you using Ubuntu, but because the upgrade process may render your install unusable."

You can read the full public service announcement on the project's own WEBSITE.

Unfortunately, this potential risk applies to all Ubuntu derivatives. ZorinOS, MoonOS, Pinguy and Linux Mint users (to name just a few popular examples) could wreck their systems with this upgrade process as well!

NOTE: I am currently testing Natty, working on a review which I will publish in the next few days. From what I am seeing, Ubuntu 11.04 could use some time to mature further, so no need to rush an upgrade!

31 comments:

  1. Upgrade to Fuduntu instead (http://www.fuduntu.org)! teehee

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought Mint has another upgrade policy, how could that affect also Mint?

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's what I thought. Mint also disables upgrading through synaptic

    ReplyDelete
  4. Linux Mint is indeed a bit different, you are right, but given how much has changed upstream, I thought it was a good idea to through it in there as well, just in case anybody was trying some kind of manual upgrade of some kind...

    ReplyDelete
  5. i just reinstalled 10.10..regret installing 11.04...thank god i made back up

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi chema i would have to agree with you. i did 2 installs of ubuntu 11.04 both failed.this wasted lots of my time lots of it. even when upgrade from 10.10 was offered it was not until a day latter that 10.10 was able to attempt the upgrade. now zorin core 4 which is based on ubuntu in comparison is just well polished to detail has a very professional feel to it this is not a plug for zorin core 4.its an honest assessment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Was planned to reinstall the whole of my laptop with another distro and decided to check for myself all these reports of "death from upgrade"... impressively (or luckily) upgraded and found no issue at all...
    Apart from issue with compiz all was well ... well of course I am not enjoying unity as a whole but that's another matter....

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks all for your comments!

    @Alien: Good to know that it works at times, but I still think it is a risky move.

    ReplyDelete
  9. _Never_ Upgrade an Ubuntu from any version to any version. Always issues long term. If Ubuntu wanted this to work smoothly, they would be rolling release. As they are not their upgrade process is less than fine tuned.

    Even LTS to LTS upgrades are riddled with bugs.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I filled the remaining partition on my triple-boot machine with a fresh install of Ubuntu 11.04.

    I'm still grappling with it. I'm trying to keep an open mind. I'm _so_ glad I didn't try upgrading my 10.10 partition which is working beautifully.

    I'll be stopping by your blog a lot in the next few months. I've said it before, but THANKS AGAIN for your efforts, Chema!

    ReplyDelete
  11. @danny8: Thanks for the positive feedback, buddy

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yet another reason to stay far away from Ubuntu.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Not necessarily. Ever since Canonical made it public that they would choose the Unity route, I said 11.04 would be a "skip-release", and nothing I have seen makes me think I was wrong. Now that Canonical decided to rebase to GNOME 3, I wonder if 11.10 may be another release to forget about, but that does not mean Ubuntu won't get there...

    Canonical made a risky move, but I think it will eventually pay off. Might take more than two years, though.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I attempted an upgarde at home over the weekend. Everything seemed to be working fine, until it failed to fetch some files. I changed the download mirror to the main server and restarted the upgrade. All it had to do then was download those few files and install.

    All working now, and I love it. Unity rocks, and I am in the process of upgrading my computer in the office too.

    Good work Canonical, I can't wait for October.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I did a fresh install of Ubuntu 11.04 on my netbook to try it out. My wifi card slowed down to a crawl and after several trawls of the forums and tinkering I still wasn't able to rectify the problem. The jury is still out on Unity, I'm not sure that it adds any functionality to the desktop that wasn't already available with customization, and in some cases it actually takes more clicks to get to where you need to be. For the moment I am sticking with Mint 10 and the Compiz cube. I am looking forward to seeing what Mint do with Gnome 3.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi chema,update i did a ubuntu install of 11.0.4 this is one time people who say just have linux are wrong. not only would ubuntu not boot black screen,but it did something to windows 7 too. managed to repair windows 7 but the firefox 4 was corrupted uninstall firefox 4 reinstalled firefox 4.reinstalled drivers too.windows 7 works im having a break at the moment from ubuntu and zorin core 4 only windows is working.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Made a clean install on my daughters netbook and it worked a treat. However trying a upgrade on my VM and it crashed out twice. Glad I too had a backup :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I upgraded my DELL laptop from 10.10 to 11.04 and it all went very smoothly. Ran it for a few days without problems then decided to do the same with my ASUS netbook.....BAD move!! Took forever and (12 hours plus) and didn't work..ended up doing a full clean install.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The title seems bit deceiving. The article is for warning Ubuntu derivative users not to upgrade but on reading title at first glance gives an impression "Ubuntu 11.04 is bad. Do not switch to it."

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks all for your comments!

    @SIDD: Not necessarily the idea I wanted to convey, but I can't say I want to encourage people to move to 11.04 either. In my experience, it is the worst Ubuntu release I have tried, unfinished, inconsistent and not as reliable as one could wish.

    Anyways, Ubuntu 11.04 is not bad by definition, but if someone gets the wrong impression from the title, they may end up thanking me for that! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wish I had read this sooner :-(
    I just upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04 and now it won't comlete the boot up, something to do with the video drivers. Don't they test their upgrades !! Anyway is there a way of reverting back to 10.10? what can i do?
    Great blog man just wish i read it sooner.

    KC

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi, KC,

    Sorry you had to go through that. I hope you didn't lose data. If you did, I would recommend booting from your 11.04 Live CD/DVD and saving such data to a USB Drive. Once you have backed up all your info, run a clean Ubuntu 10.10 installation. I have never upgraded like that, so not sure if there is a way back, to be honest, but what I wrote above should work.

    Just a suggestion, though: Always install from the Live CD desktop, as opposed to installing before trying a new release. If you had video card problems, they should have been evident on that first Live CD session and you would have saved yourself some pain.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I tried the upgrade to 11.04 from 10.10 it was an epic fail, turns out that my Nvidia card 7300 GS doesn't like unity although the unity test passes it, the G0 7300 series have been blacklisted but not my card yet still it fails even with a clean install of 11.04....basically the UI comes up but it's unresponsive, however the OS is working as you can click (your mouse pointer works) and watch your hard drive spring to life, it's just not updating the UI, it works (sort of) in Ubuntu Classic (no effects) but that's it Ubuntu Classic is the same as the Unity interface with no updating of the UI.....I was impressed with 10.10 and 10.04 but they've broken something in 11.04..... I've gone back to 10.10 until they sort this mess out

    ReplyDelete
  24. 11.04 uses nouveau as the Nvidia driver nouveau does not respond well to some Nvidia cards - my install attempt would not provide correct screen resolution and posted repeated errors while accessing the built-in S3 video even though it was disabled in BIOS settings Unity would not run at all (same symptoms ad Digamy) when the Nvidia non-free drivers were installed - KDE works fine in 11.04 with non-free Nvidia but overall 11.04 is slower to boot and runs apps slower than 10.10 I agree that upgrade of any Ubuntu-derived distro would be risky at this time.
    Best to wait until they get this sorted out

    ReplyDelete
  25. Upgraded to 11.04 a week after the release, actually liked the Unity interface, but I did notice the boot times dramatically increased. However, I did a fresh install of Xubuntu 11.04 and loving it. XFCE is so nice and snappy.

    The only good part of the release would have to be just the kernel update, but that's already possible to update in other releases of course.

    ReplyDelete
  26. One laptop and three desktops work great and I did the 'dreaded(?)' upgrade on all four machines. I did have to try three times for a fifth machine that was a fresh install, causing me to start looking for an unattended installer script. Oh well, what can I say, anything can break, just don't give up until you have what you want! As always, thank you devs, you rock!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have a strange set of activities, maybe someone here can help. I did a complete wipe and install of 11.04, and it seems to work well (unity is a bit weird, but hey). However, it will occasionally (sometimes frequently) boot, toss up some odd b/w graphics, and halt before any GUI (log-on screen) comes up. Other times, the b/w stuff crops up (mostly vertical colums of alternating b&w) but it continues on to the log-on. Is this just an annoyance, or do I have an underlying hardware problem? I could simply re-install, since I store nothing on the machine locally, or even downgrade to 10.10. I appreciate any advice.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This now is not a helpful advice but I really see how buggy this release is, the worst I saw. That dont mean that it could not work but its obviously not a good release. Even the other DEs on Ubuntu have some quirks even if generally working better in my experience.
    I think I will avoid not only the bad upgrades of Ubuntu, I will avoid to use it at all in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi there,

    is it safe to upgrade from 9 to 10.10? And how, my update manager warns that 9 is not supported, so I can not do it from there.

    cheers

    ReplyDelete
  30. So bad I've just read this blog post. I've just upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04... And now I'm facing my nightmare!

    I can't login because there's no login screen appears. Just the loading screen infinitely loading... Damn. Why didn't they test this! It's really a waste of time. Hey, I got deadlines!

    ReplyDelete
  31. load it in recovery mode and then select low graphics for this session only .... that will get you in .... failing that boot from a live 10.10 cd and re-install but don't format the drive and everything but your apps will still be there..... that's what I did to get it back

    ReplyDelete