26 April 2008

My first OS upgrade

Despite using many, many different operating systems on my personal computers (dos, most versions of windows since 3.0, many different linuxes, etc) I have just performed my first OS upgrade. Previously I've always backed everything up, repartitioned, formatted and then installed from scratch.

Well yesterday I installed an update for Kubuntu 7.10 via the automatic updater (actually just a minor bugfix in firefox) and when it had finished it told me that there was a new version of Kubuntu 8.04 available. It offered to upgrade me to it automatically. I was planning to install it anyway so I clicked yes.

It had a look round my system, told me that I would need to download 1006 meg of updates and that this would take 2 1/2 hours on my connection. I went to bed and this morning everything was downloaded and waiting for my permission to install.

So I'm now typing this on a nice, shiny kubuntu 8.04 system :-) The whole operation was amazingly painless and has upgraded not only the core OS, but also all of my software to the latest versions.

So far the only thing I've noticed that wasn't how I would have liked it is that it upgraded firefox to the version 3 beta 5 release which isn't compatible with many of my add-ons. I opened the add/remove programs tool, searched for firefox and asked it to install firefox 2. I also uninstalled version 3 to be on the safe side. Click "accept changes" and bingo! Firefox 2 is back.

Could you imagine an experience like that on windows? My move from XP to Vista on the same machine (now reversed) was a torturous process that involved me sitting in front of the computer typing in arcane product keys, downloading drivers, calling MS for activation, installing every application I needed from a different CD or web site and finally culminated with a pop up bubble telling me that my motherboard wasn't supported by Vista. Even after getting through all that the resulting OS was intrusive and annoying.

Kubuntu never ceases to amaze me.