Hating the Ubuntu Upgrade Process

I recently upgraded to the Precise Pangolin (12.05) … but it wasn’t a simple process. I had issues regarding dependency breakage which is probably a result of some of the ppa’s I had installed. After deleting some of the packages I had installed from ppa’s (e.g. Gimp 2.7, … its all I could remember) the upgrade seemed to go through fine. Of-course I had tried to upgrade using the nifty gui tool, the first few times and then went ahead with the command line tool. By the time I figured out the dependency issue I was using the command line tool.

The new command line upgrade opens up a screen session to run the upgrade command in. Which is cool to some degree, however its not a standard screen session, or atleast it didn’t seem so. I managed somehow (it wasn’t too complicated) to kill the screen yet the underlying program kept going. The reason I got in that situation is I saw the process deleting a package during the upgrade that I thought was disastrous, I got cold feet and frantically was hitting all kinds of Ctrl-C and Ctrl- trying to get it to stop which is how I managed to somehow get in this predicament. Checking ps aux showed me the upgrade was still running … I managed to find the log file which the upgrade process was tee-ing the console to, so I could see what it was up to. I decided to calm down and let it continue so that I can see if the result is a Frankenstein of a system.

After stepping back for a couple of hours the upgrade was obviously paused/stuck. Loading up strace, it was stuck on the infamous “read(…” it was waiting for my input on a console which I no longer have access to, it was stuck while configuring a package, probably asking me whether I want to overwrite the file or continue. I didn’t try to do anything fancy like try to attach myself and possibly attach a new file descriptor to stdin (which is something I think is quite possible and been meaning to try mainly to as a prank to mess with other’s bash shells) mainly because I still didn’t figure out how to do it … so I decided to kill that one configure. The upgrade continued for a bit and got stuck again at which point killing it just crashed the upgrade process. Running it again just came back with a emssage, you are already on the latest system. I ran aptitude safe-upgrade, watched it remove and install a few hundred packages and started thinking about planning more time to clean install the whole thing. Depressed as I was, aptitude finished what it was doing (after asking me a few mainly silly questions), I updated grub to re-create the new initrd’s in-case they were broken in this mess. I didn’t reboot right away, but the system was not very usable so I kind of had to. After the reboot, the system booted, and I got a login screen. Logged in and it was all fine! I was amazed, even after a mess of an upgrade the system was looking better than ever.
That being said, I noticed that this new Ubuntu is always doing something. Gkrellm is showing cpu usage on all 6 cores at a consistent pace … I need to take some time to find these new processes (I am guessing its some kind of indexing program to search the file system, like OS X’s spotlight) … and probably disable them … I like my PC idle 🙂