Let's get one thing straight from the get go, I love ubuntu and I enjoy 8.10 as much as I enjoyed 8.04 so even though this post is about to sound quite inflamatory be sure that I nontheless advise you to use this distro over other available linux flavours.
Yesterday I decided that it was time to upgrade ubuntu mostly because I had installed so much crap that it was starting to misbehave and my computer frequently crashed or otherwise behaved like a proper arse. A little upgrade won't do harm right? Can only improve things right? Ha!
And so I went and informed myself a little bit about the possible problems I might run into, didn't seem too major, some scary crap about nvidia graphics cards was the worst I found. The upgrade itself was very interesting, all I had to do was run Adept with a special flag so it showed the "Distro upgrade" button, clicked it and whoooosh, off I was.
After a surprisingly quick download (13 minutes) and a remarkably quick install (20minutes even though it warned it might take hours) the upgrade was complete and I had to reboot my computer. Great, _I thought, _just this reboot and I can get to work, this wasn't too bad. But little did I know just what a world of shit I was heading too.
The freshly rebooted computer greeted me with a very broken GUI, artefacts staying behind everywhere, I couldn't even scroll inside windows. But worst of all, internet wasn't working and since I'm using the computer as our main router for the apartment, there was NO internet. Scary stuff in this day and age. I finally had to resort to the radical step of simply using the old kernel with the new ubuntu; luckily it remained installed. This step gave me back properly working graphics, working sound and working internet connection.
So we come to my main gripe with the upgrade process. Somebody had the bright idea that it would be cool if all my kde configurations went down the drain. Now this is the reason why I keep a separate partition for /home, so configurations stay put no matter what I do to the underlying linux. So why the flying fuck did I have to completely reconfigure my desktop and everything? I can understand Windows users losing their desktops and settings after a major upgrade or reinstall, but we're geeks here. We understand that shouldn't happen, we even take steps to prevent it! Hell, I'd understand losing config if this was a major upgrade, but the fact is nothing much actually changed, just some apps had new point releases, and most of those I already had installed anyway.
Kids, don't think you will be quick to upgrade ubuntu, it takes much longer than anyone can anticipate and to add insult to injury, your fancy 12 button mouse is suddenly turned into a 5 button one. Yay.
Learned something new?
Read more Software Engineering Lessons from Production
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Software Engineering Lessons from Production
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️