Category Archives: linux-upgrades

linux upgrades

wow!

well, it’s done… and, so far, i think i like it…

i reformatted the USB drive, made a startup disk out of it with “Startup Disk Creator”, actually INSTALLED kubuntu bionic on my computer, without remembering to back up the last few items on my list (which were desktop settings that i probably would have immediately changed anyway), and finished up yesterday with the search for how to get my cloud drive to show up. today, it started with the search for how to get my cloud drive to show up, and, with a few false starts — i had to search for the correct file system, install autofs and cifs-utils, and then discover that i didn’t need them — i managed to get my cloud drive to show up, which meant that i could restore the backup of my email and the backup of my browser bookmarks…

and now it’s more or less finished.

i still have to figure out why the new OS isn’t finding my mailserver all the time — sometimes it finds it without any problems, and other times it can’t find it, and says the socket operation has timed out — but i think that may just be new shit getting it’s shit together, so i’m not going to sweat it until later in the week…

and i still haven’t installed the new hard disk i bought, specifically for the task of upgrading the OS, because i discovered that i could do it with a USB stick instead… so now i have to figure out whether i want to install the new SSD and have another terabyte of goodness hanging around, or whether i want to return it and have an extra $300 in my pocket.

ETA: there is now a problem with kontact: i sent a message, but i apparently moved it from the “sent mail” folder too quickly, because, now, when i start kontact, it loads two windows: the kontact window, and the message composer window, with the message in it… and then it hangs up, and when i try to do anything more than move windows around, it crashes… and it eventually crashes anyway. ☹ NOT GOOD!

ETA: it may just be everything settling into its new places… i started kmail separately from kontact (yes, you can do that, no, i did not know that), and resolved the conflict with the sent mail message, which hadn’t actually been sent. who knows what happened to it the first time around, but when i processed it with just kmail, it did exactly what it was supposed to do. then, i started kontact and it had a tizzy, but instead of killing it and starting over, i went for a walk, and when i came back, it was in the middle of a totally unrelated process that looked like the aggregator synching its database… which is a totally normal thing to do, and i wish kontact would have put up a status bar or something to indicate that it was, actually, doing stuff and not just hanging up. 😐

start — stop — start — stop…

so according to two different experts, there’s a good chance that i’ve got a spammer that has cracked my email server. if that is the case, then changing my IP address will only be a temporary solution, and what everybody is recommending is the third party “gsuites” which is, basically, a google relay to my email service. i continue hosting the web sites, but the MX records for every domain i have gets changed to google’s IP addresses, and they basically take over managing all of my email services for me…

except i still don’t know how much it will cost: potentially $10 per user per month, and i’ve got 5 or 6 email addresses, just for myself… and i WILL NOT pay more for email services alone than i am for the entire hosting package i currently have.

apparently there’s another alternative, which also costs more money, which is a virtual private server, which would allow me to do things like summarily block all email from a country — brazil, china and russia immediatey come to mind…

and then, on the other hand, i’ve also been seriously considering giving up being an internet “reseller”; giving up my hosting clients, and focusing on MY web site (and my wife’s web site) without all this extra stuff adding chaos to the whole scene.

and then there’s the local computer upgrade, which was put on hold while i figure out the whole email fiasco. it turns out KDE has this nifty “Startup Disk Creator” application, which installs a bootable copy of the operating system on a removable USB flash drive… except that it doesn’t work if the USB flash drive is formatted FAT32, and they don’t tell you in the user interface that the beginning of the process is changing the BIOS of the computer to boot from the USB drive… which i had to find out the hard way… 😕 i actually succeeded in wresting control of my computer back from the jaws of certain disaster before that disaster actually happened, and i actually figured out how to reformat the flash drive to EXT4 so that the startup disk creator is more likely to work this time, but with the whole email fiasco, plus the screen door installation tomorrow, plus time for me to settle down and quit panicking over the computer that wouldn’t boot when the BIOS had been changed and i didn’t realise it…

means i’m probably not going to try again for a couple of days.

seriously, this is ridiculous, and there’s no way it’s going to get any less complicated any time soon. it would be just as well for me to get out of the business of providing internet services to other people before i truly get myself in trouble. 😕

sigh…

i’m installing clean. it’s too much of a hassle, and i’m too old and tired to be FUCKING around with a machine that doesn’t do what i want.

BUT unlike last time, i only lost my address book… and all of my old emails back to 2009 (which is the last time it happened). and, because of the fact that i backed up all of my email directories, i MAY not have even lost them, but if i did, so be it. it wouldn’t be the first time.

sigh… i knew it was going to come to this eventually… 8/

the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings. of why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings…

no, no, no… that’s not right… 😐

the time has come to upgrade my computer from kubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), which was the last LTS version of kubuntu, to the latest LTS version of kubuntu (12.04.1: Precise Pangolin), because the version of amarok that i am currently running (2.4.0) will no longer upgrade, and it has decided to do EXTREMELY STRANGE things, like playing multiple tracks at the same time, and not stopping playback when i select “file -> quit”…

this is being posted from my mac, as my linux box begins the upgrade process. the last time i went through this, several years ago, it took four days before my linux box was working correctly. i’m hoping that, this time, it will be a more painless process.

we will see.

ETA: the system upgrade seems to have gone okay, but i’m still having difficulty getting my mail to migrate. there’s apparently a known problem with migration to kmail 4.7, but mine is (now) 4.8, and it is still giving me a “Migration of kmailrc has already run, not running it again” message, after failing to run a migration. i’ve deleted and re-created my akonadi/mysql configuration, and have discovered a web page that has a description of a possible solution, but i’m still waiting for my most recent backup to open so that i can retrieve the old mailboxes (i knew this was going to happen, so i backed up all of my mail directories) and re-deposit them in the new “correct” place…

also, i still haven’t tried the new amarok yet, but i’m pretty sure it couldn’t be worse than multiple tracks of everything from wildman fischer to karlheinz stockhausen playing all at the same time.

ETA x2: i think i may do what i planned originally, which is to wipe the disk and install a clean system, instead of upgrading… the new version of amarok doesn’t work at all — or, rather, it plays music files, but no sound comes out of the speakers… i’m pretty sure if i installed clean, this would work the way it’s supposed to… 😐

huge sigh of relief…

i don’t have an emoticon for a “huge sigh of relief” (yet), but i should… it wouldn’t get used often, but it would be entirely appropriate here…

kmail works, akgregator works… amarok mostly works (it still has this problem determining track lengths), but i can deal with that… the file manager(s) works again… and now i’ve got this nifty icon in the task bar that gives me access to USB devices, tells me when they’re plugged in and gives me the ability to unplug them without the rigamarole that i used to have to go through when i wanted to unplug the USB devices: now i go to the icon in the task bar, select the device i want and select “Remove Device” from the menu, then i can unplug it. before i had to open the disk in the file manager, then select the actual device, right click, select “Eject USB Device” from the menu, and wait for the light to stop flashing before i unplugged it, otherwise it gave me this dire warning that said i unplugged the device before it was ready, and that there may be damage to the files (which there never was, but it made me nervous when it appeared).

the interface is somewhat different… some of the icons are not what i expected: the network icon in the task bar, instead of looking like a networked computer, now looks like the CAT5 network cable connecter going into the network connection. there’s a new “klipper” icon that wasn’t there before, and the “notifications” icon is different, but mostly it looks the same… of course that’s probably at least partially because i have customised my interface pretty heavily to start out with… i have the task bar at the top of the screen (like it was on old macs) and i have desktop patterns that change every five minutes or so, from a directory of pictures…

i may have the latest unicode fonts installed by default… i have noticed a number of scripts that i don’t remember seeing before (including mah-jong tiles, dominoes, egyptian heiroglyphics, tifnagh, and that sort of thing)…

i’ve still got a lot to do, moving my home directory, which involves figuring out why kubuntu doesn’t mount my second internal hard disk on bootup (like it apparently does to the two USB hard disks that i keep plugged in pretty much all the time), and figuring out how to partition my new 3tb hard disk…

but, for the time being, i’m breathing a HUGE sigh of relief.

holding my breath…

i worried and fretted about my computer all day today, but i didn’t actually do anything about it… i just waited for kubuntuforums.net to come up with an answer that i hadn’t tried yet. to keep my mind off the computer, i went out and bought new batteries for lucy’s training collar, bread, bagles and dishwasher detergent, and a three terabyte USB hard disk, which i intend on partitioning approximately 1tb/2tb, and throwing my ENTIRE home directory, and my entire 200gb music collection into the 1tb side, and using the 2tb side as backup storage…

and i AM going to use something like Keep to back up my ENTIRE home directory about twice a month…

so that this kind of thing WON’T happen again… πŸ˜›

and when i got home, kubuntuforums.net had come up with an answer i hadn’t tried. a kubuntu expert from indonesia suggested apt-get install libakonadi-contact4, and when i did that, kmail, kaddressbook, and akregator all started without a problem.

and it works… so far… if it works again tomorrow, i’ll feel a lot better.

amarok still has difficulty telling how long tracks are, but at this point, i’m SO relieved to have kmail back that i’ll let it be wonky for a while…

more GROAN!… 8P

i got up this morning and nothing (and i mean nothing) had changed. kontact still wouldn’t start, nobody had responded to my many varied requests for help, and, according to skype-friend “You are now solidly into the area of problems that Kubuntu added to Debian”… πŸ˜›

so i put “kontact can’t find libkontactinterface.so.4 in kubuntu 10.04” into google, and came up with this article in kubuntuforums.net, which suggested reinstalling kdepim for a person who was having almost the same problem in maverick (kubuntu 10.10). so i tried sudo apt-get --reinstall install kdepim and then i read a little further in the article and discovered that it was also suggested that i try sudo apt-get --reinstall install libkontactinterface4, which resulted in some change… unfortunately, not in the desired direction. now kontact says kontact: error while loading shared libraries: libakonadi-contact.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory… essentially the same error as before, only now it’s looking for libakonadi-contact.so.4 instead of libkontactinterface.so.4

i feel like i should be making progress, but i honestly don’t know what to do next… πŸ™

i’m going to try putting libakonadi-contact.so.4 into google and see if that comes up with any new, relevant information that i haven’t already read… πŸ™

ETA: from what little reading i’ve done, it would appear that akonadi (the personal information management software that makes kontact work, and the thing that needs libakonadi-contact.so.4) doesn’t work that well (or, depending on where you read, at all) on 10.04 either, and the recommendation is to upgrade to 10.10… which isn’t a LTS… more motivation for me to switch distributions to debian (the parent distro to *ubuntu). this would obviously mean going back to KDE4.5, or KDE4.3, or something like that… but, as i said to skype-friend, i don’t need all these fancy bells and whistles, i just need it to work… reliably, consistently, and with a lot less effort than i have put into it over the past three days… i admit that, on the whole, kubuntu has been FAR better than windoesn’t, and even gives mac a run for its money, but when it comes to upgrading, kubuntu SUCKS!! πŸ˜›

groan! 8P

my email client (yes, i’m an anachronism, i know… deal with it) was working when i went to bed last night.

my email client was working when i got up this morning… however it turns out that my file manager was not. i fought my way through several different possibilities, and then i discovered that i did, indeed, have about a half-hours worth of downloading for “updates” that weren’t installed yesterday, so i installed them.

the file manager now works… but my email client doesn’t. 😐

when i try to start it from the GUI, nothing happens. when i try to start it from the terminal, it tells me this: kontact: error while loading shared libraries: libkontactinterface.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory which is next to useless…

so i go to google and put in “libkontactinterface.so.4” and i discover that it is installed in /usr/lib with kdepimlibs5 (whatever that is), so i type in sudo apt-get install kdepimlibs5 and it tells me
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
kdepimlibs5 is already the newest version.

however, when i go to /usr/lib/ and do a ls | grep libkontactinterface.so.4 it tells me nothing… which means that, despite the fact that i’ve apparently got the most recent kdepimlibs5, i apparently don’t have ANY libkontactinterface.so.4…

why does linux have to be so arcane? is it just to frustrate anachronisms like me? πŸ™

groan?

so “lucid lynx” appears to work well… which is to say, once i had got it installed, it hasn’t crashed or done anything non-computer-like…

dolphin (one of the file managers that i’ve been able to find) doesn’t work any longer… i invoke it in various different ways, but it doesn’t show any files (fortunately, i know that they’re there, otherwise i’d really be freaking out). instead it says: “Could not start process Unable to create io-slave: klauncher said: Error loading ‘kio_file’. this is probably a “non-computer-like” behaviour, but i’m fairly confident that i can, actually get it straightened out within the next few days…

however, amarok, the music player, has some difficulties… so much so that i actually logged a bug on the “new” version (2.3.0) yesterday. it plays music files of all kinds quite the same as it did in its previous version (2.2.4, or something like that), but instead of track lengths, it says that all the tracks are 0:00 minutes long. also, when i view the tags for an individual track, sometimes i can change them, and sometimes i can’t, even though all the files are set to permissions 644…

of course, the immediate response to my bug (as was the case pretty much all the time when i was testing software for a living) was that i am “doing it wrong”, and that i have to upgrade to a version (2.4.0) which, from what i understand after having read a bunch about the process, actually won’t run on lucid… apparently lucid doesn’t have some important piece of the puzzle necessary to run the version of amarok that doesn’t have problems with track lengths and tags… or not, nobody’s exactly sure what’s going on at all. 😐

not only that, but, following the instructions that i, finally, was able to find for upgrading to 2.4.0 on lucid, only upgraded me to 2.3.2 – which isn’t really that surprising, because, from what i have been able to find out, 2.4.0 really won’t run on lucid – which has exactly the same bug as 2.3.0 did.

this is one of the reasons i’m REALLY glad i don’t test software for a living any longer… i don’t have the patience to reply to the “developer” and explain to them that i’m not “doing it wrong”, what i’m doing is EXACTLY the same thing that any other bozo would be doing on their computer, and if they perceive something as a bug, they’re not going to be as satisfied a “customer” as i would be… only i’m NOT a software tester any longer… and i only posess the patience to fume and rant on my blog about how amarok 2.4.0 WON’T WORK on lucid, without some forcing and installing some non-standard bullshit that nobody except the developers truly understand! πŸ˜›

groan

it got worse… the computer crashed before i went to bed…

then, i got up at zero-dark-thirty this morning (because i couldn’t sleep) and began yet another extended conversation with skype-friend, who eventually gave up at about 11:30. he recommended that i try kubuntuforums.net (a place where i have an established presence), so i went there, and took the first advice that came down the pipe…

after another 45 minutes or so of downloading and configuring, i went from booting to a terminal, to not booting at all. it wouldn’t boot normally, or in the latest kernel recovery mode at all… πŸ™

it would boot in the next kernel back recovery mode, however, and with a couple more hours of fretting and worrying, combined with frantic typing and getting as many messages as possible in between the times when the people who were helping me were online and offline, i managed to get kubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” up and running…

i’m seriously thinking of switching distros the next time i have to upgrade. this is ridiculous. 😐

groan… 8P

okay, so i decided, a couple weeks ago, to upgrade kubuntu, since 9.01 is coming to the end of its support period in a month or so, but i couldn’t figure out how to get either kpackagemanager (the default program, which i don’t use) or synaptic (which i use on the recommendation of this guy who is a linux genius that i met on skype)…

i futzed around with it a bit, and found the “sources list” in synaptic, but i didn’t know what to put in to make it work, that wasn’t already there. so i contacted my friend on skype, and he told me to do it manually (i.e. use the terminal instead of the GUI)… we thought we had the problem with the sources list – /etc/apt/sources.list – sorted out, and i ran “aptitude update” and then “aptitude -f dist-upgrade” which was supposed to do it, but after downloading what turned out to be only half-a-ton of stuff in three hours, it didn’t work, and left me with a system that, i strongly suspect, if i attempt to reboot it, it will be totally hosed.

it turns out that when i originally installed the OS, from a CD-ROM, it didn’t put a whole bunch of really important sources into the list, which meant that, despite my downloading for three hours, i didn’t get a “complete” upgrade. among the things that are “unresolved dependencies” or “BROKEN” are just about everything in the GUI for the entire machine, and the necessary software to boot up the machine once it has been shut down.

i suspect that it’s actually going to be easier to fix than the last time i had this problem, because it was in a pretty stable state when i screwed it up… but that’s only because i didn’t follow my gut instinct to reboot when it started giving me difficulties.

and skype-friend has a rehearsal for a church play this evening, so he won’t be available again until tomorrow morning – which is 2 hours ahead of me, which means that, by the time i’m usually getting up in the morning on a saturday, he’ll be taking his wife to lunch, which, i suspect, will take longer than an hour… i’m fairly confident that we can fix it, but it may be a few days until i have regular access to my email, RSS feeds and stuff like that…

i wonder why it is that i’m the one that has these problems… as far as i know, nobody else who runs ubuntu or any of its relatives has anything like this much difficulty with it… and when i bought this computer, i bought it specifically because it had high-quality “generic” hardware that i was sure would be supported… and yet, the only things that actually makes noise on the machine are the alert sounds, and the music player: everything else that’s supposed to talk to the sound card doesn’t, and every time i have had to update the system it has turned into a nightmare…