Ubuntu 9.10 = easiest, cheapest upgrade ever

Ubuntu 9.10 = easiest, cheapest upgrade ever

Summary: My budget manager has already told me to be really conservative as I begin the FY11 budgeting process. I have a few sacred cows and some key line items that I know will be funded, but those Windows 7 upgrades I was looking at? Ummm, yeah...I'm not looking at them anymore.


My budget manager has already told me to be really conservative as I begin the FY11 budgeting process. I have a few sacred cows and some key line items that I know will be funded, but those Windows 7 upgrades I was looking at? Ummm, yeah...I'm not looking at them anymore.

What I am looking at is a web server and a netbook, happily running their upgrades to Ubuntu 9.10. The web server (I just built it yesterday, actually, to run the Joomla! CMS to which I'm porting our distinctly unfriendly district website) was running 9.04. The netbook was running a beta of 9.10. Both cheerfully told me this morning that an upgrade to Version 9.10 was available.

"Would you like to upgrade?" they asked.

"Sure," I said, as I clicked the upgrade button.

That was it.

[See also: Yes, Ubuntu can absolutely be the default Windows alternative]

Even though the main download mirrors have been hammered today, the server informed me that with my connection, I should expect the download and install to take a few hours (the upgrades happen from software repositories, not the mirrors that contain the install image). About two hours for the netbook. Great. I need one of those Staples "That Was Easy" buttons. [

Having run the upgrade from 9.04 to 9.10 beta, I'm not too worried about any snags. We'll see how my freshly configured Joomla! install holds up after the upgrade, but since I was already using the most up-to-date versions of MySQL, Apache, and PHP, there shouldn't be any issues there, either. I'll update this post when the installs finish, but that isn't really even the point here.

The point is that I don't need to budget for this upgrade. I don't need to obtain volume licenses and decide where to deploy them. I don't need to do anything except click the Easy, errr, Upgrade button. Even if we had to pay for it and properly license it, wouldn't it be slick if we could open Windows Update in XP or Vista, choose an optional OS upgrade, enter our volume license key, and then walk away?

Of course, it would be even slicker if it was free.

Windows 7 is great and a lot of people would argue that it's worth paying for. Since I work in a system that has a significant investment in Microsoft technologies, both on the back end and the client side, I'd actually be one of them. However, as I look for ways to trim my budget next year, I sure wish cutting costs was as easy as the most recent Ubuntu upgrade.

Topics: Software, Browser, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Open Source, Operating Systems, Windows

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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  • Ubuntu 9.10 = easiest, cheapest upgrade ever

    Worst OS ever! You should read what Dana Blankhorn had to say about your beloved linux! I'll give you a hint, its not good. I can't believe they would release a distro with known harddrive bugs. I'm going to laugh at you when you lose all your data due to corruption.

    Are you prepared to spend hours recompiling your kernel? Getting sound configured so it plays more than one at a time? Wishing you had a rich multimedia experience? If so, then linux is for you.

    The rest of us will see this as just another ho-hum yawn linux distro release that doesn't offer anything new. I wonder if ZDNet is even going to mention it. Remember how unsuccessful Ubuntu 9.04's release was? ZDNet only had the article on the front page for about 2 hours max because there was no excitement. Nobody gets excited about linux because it is boring! That and the fact nobody wants to use it including Linus T. himself who calls it scarey and bloated and is considering halting development of the kernel.

    Which is another point, when that stops you will lose all support and not having support is a bad thing within any organization. Telling your boss to wait a week while you look up the answer on the forums isn't going to fly over well.

    There are just too many things wrong with linux to make it usable!
    Loverock Davidson
    • For generating no excitement

      its interesting how you get in to the articles to post so quickly.

      Do you ever get sick of taking peoples comments out of context or exaggerate what they say instead of find actual evidence to support what you say?
      Viva la crank dodo
    • The fart goblin strikes again...

      The Mentalist
    • You make me feel young

      Loverock, whenever I feel like the years are catching up to me I read your posts and feel myself back in 2001. Such a refreshing deja-vu of FUD.
      • Do you get that when you read the posts..

        about windows and the continuing 1990s complaints still going strong in 2009?
        You know the ones about how Windows crashes and is full of security problems ad nauseum.
        When Ubuntu receives it's Daily patches, you chock that up to progressive thinking and all system crashes are always "3rd party application problems".
        • And The Blue Screen Of Death lives on... (win 7 edition)

          As recent as last wednesday, while playing a DVD

          The Mentalist
          • Wow, love the scientific analysis...

            With absolutely no testing, trouble-shooting, or research of any kind other then mentioning that "I didn't change my config in a while", the author of that link concludes "I think it's safe to blame Windows 7." Now THAT's quality journalism.

            Sarcasm aside A) in place upgrade of a Windows OS always bad idea - asking for glitches just like that one B) No testing on hardware done at all. Doesn't matter if it wasn't changed - hardware does go bad. Motherboards can short circuit, RAM can fail, Hard drives crash, and thats just the start of a very long list, any piece of which would affect any OS and could have caused the same issue.

            Your anecdotal evidence is.. well just an anecdote. The response to any and all such claims is, and always should be, show me the data!

            "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
          • The author did'nt claim it's scientific but it proves that the BSOD lives

            The Mentalist
          • What does a linux stop error look like

            Every OS has a stop error of some kind the BSOD is just Windows stop error. But the poor journalist was quick to blame Windows and yet no troubleshooting or details about the BSOD, Software he was using was provided. Made a comment about a noise coming from the computer. Maybe the disc was unbalanced in the drive tray and the ROM abruptly stopped reading the disc.
          • Linux crashes regularly, it's a matter of which system...

            recovers more gracefully.
            Linux kernel panics occur regularly with Linux and normally troubleshooting is difficult.

            With Vista, I was experiencing the system crashing when I brought it out of sleep mode.
            But the only reason I knew the system was crashing was because after waking the machine I had a message that windows had recovered from an unexpected shutdown.
            With the message I had the option to troubleshoot the problem, which I chose to do and withing a few seconds it pinpointed the problem as my external hard drive. I tested it out and sure enough it was the drive. There were updated drivers for all WD drives similar to mine but not my model unfortunately.

            that is my story, which proves Windows is more stable than Linux based systems.

          • There's a problem with your logic xuniL_z

            @xuniL_z "that is my story, which proves Windows is more stable than Linux based systems."

            A story proves nothing. That's why they call it a story. I have a story too...

            I've been using a combination of Linux, MS, OSX and others for over ten years and I haven't had a kernel panic with Linux for at least four years. I do however experience the BSOD quite regularly on my 6 month old Vista powered Toshiba Laptop. So much so that I really don't use it more than a few times a month.

            Now does that prove that Linux is more stable than Windows?
          • I was addressing the OPs post.

          • Ov corse not you id=iot!

            Sop you ar es stupid cock sucker nd we all s know it that Mac is best. So bend over and take it like you need it!
          • And to repeat, even VISTA recovers on it's own and give you details AND...

            offers a choice to search for the problem, which, again, in my case, it found it for me w/o ANY troubleshooting.
            Now THAT is a modern OS.
            Let's see Ubuntu do any of that. I didn't think so. Back to the drawing board Shuttleworth, someday you'll get Ubuntu to be maybe half as good as Windows 7.
            I'm running windows 7 Professional now btw, and it's awesome. More than worth paying for, as are any worthwhile products in our free enterprise system.
            If you have to give your product away, the desperation is evident. <br>
          • Hmm

            No screen shot or text from the BSOD. Could have been crash caused by that third party software app or maybe is ROM drive experienced a hardware problem. I love his line that says "I think it's safe to blame windows 7.." and makes no mention of the third party DVD Player program he is using or does not mention if he checked his disc for scratches or where this noise came from. Sound like a media read problem to me.
          • Really

            "or does not mention if he checked his disc for scratches or where this noise came from. Sound like a media read problem to me. "

            So What you telling me is I can expect a BSOD in Win 7 if I use a dirty or scratched DVD ????? Should the OS not stop playback and inform the user of a "read error", surely a BSOD is a bit drastic ? or maybe i misundertand your stupidity ?
          • No I am just saying

            That there is no concrete evidence that the BSOD is the fault of the OS. A BSOD is just a stop error that Windows uses. Who knows maybe his ROM drive is bad, but he conveniently leaves out the details of the BSOD or any information that can be obtained from the event log that could give a clue what happened. Maybe his application had a memory leak? I could speculate all day but I would never jump to a conclusion that it was the fault of Windows without having proof. What does a stop error look like in Other OSes? BSOD's only happen if it is a severe problem so something severe had to happen. Back in the Win9x days and even the early XP days BSOD's were much more of a problem but Windows Error recovery is generally very good today. So unless you or this journalist can provide concrete evidence that the BSOD was the fault of Windows and not because of his own user error or something from a 3rd party I am going to trump this up as Rubbish. Get the BSOD details and maybe even the event log and we can take it from there.
          • Really? ...A BSOD is just a stop error?

            :bobiroc: A BSOD is just a stop error that Windows uses.

            Wow... I did not know that. I would have thought a slightly more subtle way of alerting the user of a problem would have been available so that they could save up their work before the system went down for a reboot.

            I'm just kidding, I realize that a BSOD is more serious than a stop error... I'm just yanking your chain :p

            Vista isn't that bad now that it's got patchesd and Win7 is probably going to be miles better but the issue still remains that the BSOD exists and that is a sore point for some of us who get them while others try and deny their existence.
          • Absolutely.

            The OS [b]should[/b] stop the playback and tell you that something's up.

            However, what caused the BSOD was some kernel-mode code crashing unexpectedly, rendering the OS in an unrecoverable state, requiring a reboot.

            Every OS has its equivalent. *N*X has kernel traps and stop errors, Windows has the BSOD.

            Chances are that a 3rd party driver for his CD/DVD crashed, taking the machine down with it.
          • @awasson

            I am not denying they exist but I have working in IT professionally for about 13 years and have been working with Windows since 3.0 and MacOS since OS6 and while BSOD's do exist today they are very infrequent compared to the days of Win9x and when they do happen it usually means a severe error and a BSOD is a stop error meaning that there was an error that caused Windows to stop and cannot continue. Looking into the BSODs (which sometimes can be hard due to the message displayed) almost always will give a clue that something other than Windows caused the error. Someone mentioned above that he gets a frequent BSOD with his Toshiba and while I am not calling him a liar I would suspect that if it is the same BSOD then he has something wrong with his laptop and maybe he should take it to a qualified tech for diagnosis and I highly doubt that Windows is the cause.