Saturday, March 10, 2012

Upgrading to Ubuntu Precise Pangolin Beta 1

I'm over a week past the Beta release date, but better late than never.

This past week Ubuntu 11.10 has been giving me shutdown/restart issues and from the forums it seems I'm not the only one getting the bug. There also doesn't seem to be a solution as far as I can tell just partial solutions that work for some but not others.

So, I may as well give the Beta a shot. I typically jump in around Alpha 3 or Beta 1 anyway.

Ugrading to the development release is a simple command away. Just press Alt-F2 then run update-manager -d to start the ball rolling.

Update Manager at work
It'll take a while depending on your connection speed. Once upgrade completes, you'll have a nice "cutting edge" Ubuntu installation. The only downside is, of course, third party repositories won't work until a while after official release.

The shutdown bug

Ubuntu 11.10 started not shutting down for me about a week ago. I had to do a reset, boot back into Ubuntu then attempt a shutdown again to succeed. Same goes for restarting. It's annoying.

It's clear from the forums that I'm not the only one seeing this.

Fortunately, the upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 Beta seems to have fixed it for now. We'll just have to wait and see.

Wi-Fi down

My Linksys wireless card using the rt61 driver was working in Ubuntu 11.10 but doesn't work anymore in the Beta release. Past experience shows this is pretty normal during development so it'll probably clear itself up soon.

The upgrades

So what's new in Ubuntu 12.04? Lots, as usual. But mostly things we wouldn't pay attention to.

We're running on kernel 3.2.0-18-generic for one.

Firefox 11 is the browser in Ubuntu 12.04
Firefox got upped from 10.0.2 to 11.0. It feels faster, but I'm sure that's the usual upgrade effect. Use it for a few weeks or months and it gets all sluggish again.

We're back to RhythmBox instead of Banshee. Looks like you can't not include the music folder in your home folder anymore. The library's always set to multiple locations and ~/Music is always a part of that. You also can't see where are all the locations RhythmBox looks into although I'm sure it's possible to find out if you're willing to dig in the configuration files.

Unity's panel doesn't seem to autohide anymore which somewhat reduces the screen real estate available for running apps, but it's not big deal on desktops. I can't comment on notebooks but it's probably a regressed experience.

That's it for now. Beta 2 will be coming in a few weeks which might bring further version updates along with behavior tweaks here and there.