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    G-AVLN in front of her home

    G-AVLN in front of her home

    Mostly Unix and Linux topics. But flying might get a mention too.

    Thursday, October 09, 2008

    Upgrading Ubuntu 7.10 to 8.04 - lesson learnt

    I never liked upgrades - so many of them had gone wrong for me in the past... But having now been using Ubuntu for so long, I have become comfortable with it, and although I tried to document all add-ons and changes I made to the system (and I have a full data backup), I didn't really fancy re-building the system from scratch, just to go a version up.

    So, for the first time in ages - I decided to take a plunge. I went for the network upgrade, using the front-end software tool - which, coincidentally kept encouraging me to do just that at least once a day ;-)

    I left it overnight - no point in watching and agonizing over every slow down or apparent freeze.

    However, next morning it sat on a message " Generating locale... en_AU.UTF-8...". Clearly, that was it. The process was well and truly stuck. I ended up doing a hard restart - nothing else responded.

    Having tried several things (that got me into a system without GUI) I could not progress the upgrade any further. What was worse, the fresh installation didn't work either - the hard disk was not recognised (that bit I still need to investigate!).

    I left it for a few days, using my little toy EeePC as a stop gap (a pretty effective one too!). Last night I decided to do a bit of googling - and bingo - within the first attempt! The full discussion and the actual solution is at

    In summary: if you got stuck like me, reboot into the older kernel (-15 or -14) failsafe mode and run :

    dpkg --configure -a

    Then boot the old kernel (-15, proper, not failsafe), at GUI login screen select in Options Failsafe Gnome session, the run the dpkg command again:

    sudo dpkg --configure -a

    Next reboot - standard kernel and GUI session - all is well!

    Lesson learnt?
    Do your homework before embarking onto a major system upgrade/maintenance, etc. The problems with upgrade from the latest 7.10 kernel to 8.04 are very well documented, if I only looked...

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