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Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Upgrading to Feisty Fawn (7.04)

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on April 30, 2007

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This is one of a number of posts detailing how to install Ubuntu 6.10 (codename Edgy) on a Thinkpad X41. This post focuses on upgrading from Ubuntu Edgy Eft (version 6.10) to Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (version 7.04).

Upgrading from 6.10 to 7.04 is a relatively straightforward operation, however there are a few issues I’ve found so I’ll start with those before you decide whether or not to upgrade.

  1. Ubuntu seems to be running more slowly than before. Applications take longer to start up, with the desktop freezing while they’re loading in some instances. I can’t remember seeing this happen before. Other people have reported the same issue.
  2. The Beryl desktop manager seems to have some issues with the new release. Sometimes when a new application is loaded it doesn’t initialise properly when Beryl is enabled. E.g. an xterm window will load but you can’t type in it, or when I load QuickSynergy I can see the contents of the application window but can’t click on them. In each case, logging out then in again solves the problem, but I’d rather find a proper fix for it, obviously enough.
  3. The update failed the first time I attempted it. I got the following error:
    Could not install ‘/var/cache/cpt/archives/fuse-utils_2.6.3-lubuntu2_i386.deb’
    This package is used to map to the Windows NTFS partition on my hard drive, and this failure caused the upgrade process to fail. However, trying the same upgrade a few days later, the problem seems to have been resolved.
  4. Another problem with accessing NTFS partition is that it seems to have problems allowing me to rename files using the File Browser. It’s not a permission issue, I can rename them just fine using the Terminal (I have the ntfs-3g package installed which gives me read/write access to NTFS partitions).
  5. The Desktop Effects option (aka the Compiz window manager, admittedly it’s labelled as a beta product) seems pretty flaky, displaying many of the same issues that Beryl seems to have with this Ubuntu release. This suggests to me that the 3D graphics drivers for my Thinkpad may be faulty, and it is something I’ll look in to.
  6. Java seems to have gone back from version 1.5 to version 1.4.2. Some applications require Java 1.5 or later, and refuse to execute without it.

Long story short, I’m less happy with Ubuntu now than when I was back on Edgy, and there’s nothing in the new release that makes me glad I upgraded. By far the worst issue is the length of time it takes to start a new application. Pain in the ass. So, if you still want to upgrade, read on!

Update May 3rd 2007: Problems 1, 2 and 4 seem to have gone away after installing the latest updates with Update Manager, so I am now very happy with my new install of Ubuntu

Performing the Upgrade

  1. Click System->Administration->Update Manager
  2. There should be a notice on the top of the window telling you that a new release is available. Click on this button.
  3. Follow the simple steps, essentially just clicking OK at each prompt.
  4. The upgrade seems to uninstall the ntfs-3g package, which allows you to mount a Windows NTFS hard drive partition in read/write mode. Apparently it’s a known problem. To reinstall this:
    1. Click System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager
    2. Scroll down to ntfs-3g, right click on the check box and choose Mark for Installation
    3. Click the Apply button then close the window.
    4. To mount your NTFS partition (if you’ve already set it up to be mounted at boot time, if not see here), open a terminal window by clicking Applications->Accessories->Terminal
    5. Type sudo mount -a and hit Enter. This remounts all mount points listed in your /etc/fstab file.
  5. To upgrade to Java 1.6.0 from the system default of 1.4.2, do the following (source link):
    1. Open a terminal and type:
      sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-plugin
      sudo update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun
    2. Type: java -version and you should be told that you are using version 1.6.0.

As I mentioned, there are still some issues that I have with the upgraded version, and as (… if…) I solve them, I’ll update this post with extra information.

Posted in Feisty Fawn, Linux, open source, Technical, Thinkpad, Ubuntu | 4 Comments »


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