Yesterday I decided to update my netbook to the latest version. I was wondering whether to do it at all…there were nice btrfs updates, but I suspected that the update may be less than smooth. Well, I got little to lose, except for time, but I would sure learn a thing or two. So I started it. During the installation, I observed different parts of the OS falling of. First, network went down. Later parts of UI changed. It looked very bad with some parts that were old and some – wither new or LXDE defaults, I don’t know. Then I started getting errors. There were 2 of them, I don’t remember the details. I got a message that the OS is broken, might be unusable and the installation will be rolled back. The rollback took 5 seconds…hmm too fast, isn’t it? After that I got a message that installation succeeded, with errors (??).
Anyway, it didn’t boot.
After some investigation I found that my graphics driver (emgd) is failing. On the Ubuntuforums I got advice that it’s best not to try to fix it but make a clean install. Well, OK. Fortunately I had a spare disk where I could temporarily save my home directory. Things would be different if home and OS partitions were separated, OS reinstall wouldn’t wipe my data. But OTOH there are problems with space division. I always had troubles with it, when one partition got full, I started moving files to others, which was a terrible mess. ZFS solves the issue. I can have several filesystems that share the same space and as long as I have ANY space left, any filesystem can use it. I read that BTRFS can do it too. Doing a clean install is a good occasion to play with BTRFS, but I had doubts whether installer would let me set 2 filesystems in a single pool and I wanted to get the system finally running, so I didn’t want to hack the thing.
Before proceeding with the installation, I checked one more thing, the old kernel was able to boot. The OS UI looked bad, I think it wasn’t supposed to look this way. Well, I didn’t want to have it like this and closed the OS quickly.
So on to the installation. How did it go? Terrific! For the first 10 seconds, then the installer spit out startup errors. Good bye 11.10, I don’t expect to ever see you again.
Installing 11.04 right now. With BTRFS. Sadly, there were no BTRFS options to set during the installation. No multiple filesystems in a pool. And, what’s worse, no compression settings.
ADDED: Just as I posted it, the installer hung. I see a black screen with a ‘busy’ cursor. Yeah, 11.04 is not much better than 11.10…