Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Upgrade to Natty Narwhal Alpha? Didn't work for me.

I've been using Ubuntu 10.10 for some time on my Dell E520 and everything worked fine.
As usual, I like to keep up-to-date with the Ubuntu upgrades although I normally wait for the first Beta before taking the plunge.
Nevertheless, two days before the Beta release date for Ubuntu 11.04, I went ahead and updated by burning a CD of the i386.ISO
The install was simplified from what I've grown used to over the years.
This time my install of 10.10 was recognized and I was asked I wanted to upgrade to 11.04 without loss of not just my /home stuff but also all my installed apps.
Yes, that would be nice so I chose this.
The install went fine without errors although it took quite a bit longer than previously presumably because it was installing all my extra apps.
However, that's where the good part ends. When I rebooted to 11.04 for the first time, I was greeted with a white screen although, mysteriously, the AWN dock and gnome-panels were visible. However, no amount of mouse clicking or swearing gave me anything that actually worked although I'll admit that the latter expedient never actually produces the goods.
A second reboot (hard reboot as http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifno other option available) gave a somewhat better result as I could see the desktop as well as the AWN dock, icons and gnome-panel. However, nothing at all was functional.
On a third reboot, the desktop improved some more as this time I additionally saw what I took to be the unity desktop with a bunch of icons on the left side of the screen. However, still, nothing worked.
So, I booted to single-user mode but this was even worse, as only a white screen with unintelligible hieroglyphics appeared with which I could do absolutely nothing.
Now, 11.04 provides in the Grub boot menu what it calls Previous Linux Versions which were just the kernels I had been using in 10.10.
So, I booted to the older kernel and this worked better as now I could use apps. However, the maximum available screen resolution was 1024x768 which looked very awkward on my 1920x1080 screen.
At this point I made a silly error which prevented me going any further.
So, I reinstalled 10.10 and reused my untouched /home so everything came back the way that it was before I started.
However, I ran into a strange problem in that the CompizConfig-Settings-Manager wouldn't open.
When I tried it from a terminal (command is "ccsm") I got this error

:File "/usr/lib/python2.5/locale.py", line 508, in setlocale
return _setlocale(category, locale)

I had never come across this before in many years of using Compiz in Ubuntu.
The problem is, however, noted in the forums and I tried various of the suggestions which all seemed to have worked for somebody.
Nevertheless, what's mentioned here and here dod not work for me.
I finally solved it after reading the last post in this thread suggesting running these two commands before trying "ccsm" again
$ LC_ALL=en_US.utf8
$ LANG=en_US.utf8

This worked fine for me.
A permanent solution was found by adding those two lines to my /etc/environment file.

Undeterred, I tried the upgrade again but this time using the command line
sudo do-release-upgrade -d

This proceeded fine for about 25 minutes when suddenly the screen froze -- not a good thing to happen during a major upgrade.
I don't know if this were just a chance occurrence or Ubuntu 11.04 just doesn't like my computer.
Incidentally, I was quickly able to downgrade to 10.10 again but the locale error I mentioned above happened above, and was resolved as before.

locale.Error: unsupported locale setting

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