Hardy Heron is hardly a snap

When I received my super-cool Android PC from Eric Burke he thoughtfully installed a copy of Ubuntu 7.10 for me, so naturally when the new Ubuntu 8.

When I received my super-cool Android PC from Eric Burke he thoughtfully installed a copy of Ubuntu 7.10 for me, so naturally when the new Ubuntu 8.04 ("Hardy Heron") was released I wanted to upgrade it to the latest and greatest version. "Installation is a snap," writes Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. Ubuntu is user-friendly and ready for the mass market, so this should be easy, right?

Just to be sure, I asked a friend for advice on the best way to do it. "Wipe your disk and re-install from an ISO image," he said. "If you have anything on the machine, make a backup first." Eh? That seemed extreme to me. Since I have such a deep respect for my friend's opinions, I proceeded to ignore his advice. That was my first mistake.

A little searching on the Ubuntu web site turned up these instructions. Following those instructions was my second mistake. First, it says, open System > Administration > Update manager. Aha, there's a new release available:

Hardy Heron is hardly a snap

But wait, according to the destructions, first I have to make sure my previous release is up to date. So I click on the Check button, and sure enough, there are several updates for 7.10. I've been a bad boy, and haven't been keeping up. So I click on Install Updates. That was my third mistake.

The download sites are just too overloaded to let me download the patches. I'd get one or two, install them, and start over. I could never get a complete set. After trying to install the updates for 2 days, I finally gave up.

I know somebody's going to say, "use a mirror" like they told Jason Perlow. But do you see any instructions for using a mirror on that web page or in the dialog? You can't have it both ways -- either it's ready for Joe Average to use or it's not. I'm pretty sure Joe isn't going to go hunting on newsgroups or digging through config files like /etc/apt/sources.list. Make him sit through one of these and he's going to run screaming back to Windows, saying "Rebooting every Tuesday isn't so bad".

Long story short, I finally pushed the Upgrade button to install Hardy Heron. I watched it try to download things for a while on Friday but it was very slow so I let it go over the weekend. When I looked at it again Monday, the install had failed due to network errors. No big surprise there. So I started the upgrade again. It seems to be getting further this time, though I think the progress meter has said "About 11 minutes remaining" for the last 3 hours. Must be dog minutes or something.

It'll work eventually, I'm sure. I'm just glad I don't depend on this computer for any real work. Wait, now it says "10 minutes remaining"... Oh boy, can't wait.

Update: A couple hours after I finished this post, the install finished without further errors, and I haven't had any problems with actually running 8.04 so far.


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