From Lucid To Precise: An Upgrade Diary


This upgrade is directly inspired from an article by Joey Sneddon over at OMG! Ubuntu.  Joey upgrades a 10.04 installation to 12.04 and gets some really great results.  The jump from Lucid to Precise is a significant one, so seeing his success, minus the loss of his wallpaper, is great news for those of us that are able to stick with this Jurassic release.  I mean let’s face it, it just works.  The fact that Lucid ‘just works’ is its greatest achievement.  I remember when I was younger, a working computer was not such a big deal.  My machines were routinely broken because I was trying this or that, or testing something just for the sake of it.  That behavior has changed with age.  My argument for using Ubuntu over other distributions is a simple, philosophical one; Do you need something to do or do you need to do something.

I wrote recently about the long-term viability of Ubuntu 10.04 and how you can still benefit from using it as your main machine or later releases.  After all, this release still has 1 year of updates left for desktop users, and 3 years of updates on the server.  Those server updates can easily be had past the desktop edition’s EOL as well.  Ubuntu claims to support the desktop edition for 3 years, though lots of softwares are left behind collecting version dust in your Gnome menu  Thanks to Launchpad, there are quite a few PPAs to sate your need for up-to-date software too.  Thanks to these PPAs, I’m able to use Shotwell over F-Spot, and up until recently I was able to run the most current release.  With many softwares moving to GTK3, it’s the end of the road for updates on 10.04 regardless of another year of updates.


Here is what we’re working with.  My 17″ Acer Aspire 9300 was purchased in January of 2008.  This big lug was a pretty good workhorse in it’s day and with 10.04, it’s still not bad at all.  The system shipped with Windows Vista, which I immediately replaced with the latest version of Ubuntu, 7.10 Fiesty Fawn.  I’ve always been very confident upgrading Ubuntu, and that confidence never waned on this machine.  The system came with a paltry 160gb hard-drive, and the 7.10 installation was methodically upgraded all the way to the first release of 10.04.  Never did I suffer from broken packages, and never did I have any major road-blocks with upgrades that required a major technical intervention.  Here are the original specs for this lappy:

[one_half last=”no”]

Acer Aspire 9300
Processor AMD Turion™ 64 X2 TL-56
Graphics Nvidia GeForce 6100 Go
Hard Drive 160gb
RAM 1gb


[one_half last=”yes”]


Shortly after upgrading to 10.04, that little hard drive gave up on me.  I’ve since upgraded to a 750gb hard drive, which is unreasonably large for an old beast like this.  Of course with all this space, I was able to configure it to become a great test device.  I currently have Ubuntu 10.04 on a 100GB partition at the beginning of the disc.  The rest of the disc is my own personal playland.  Here are the specs now…

[one_half last=”no”]

Acer Aspire 9300
Processor AMD Turion™ 64 X2 TL-56
Graphics Nvidia GeForce 6100 Go
Hard Drive 750gb
RAM 3gb


[one_half last=”yes”][/one_half]

In Joey’s article he mentions that his installation is likely a lot like that of most other users, and he is probably right.  This scenario is a little different…  I use this laptop a lot, and when I’m away from my desktop (running Kubuntu 12.04), I’m using Lucid on this laptop.  Everything is as up-to-date as it can be, along with a ton of games and emulators, movies that the kids watch on it while I struggle through P90x, and various other odds and ends.  The thing that worries me most about this upgrade, and the thing that I have the least faith in, is the sheer volume of software installed on this system.  Not only the volume of software, but the fact that nearly all of the major software I use on this machine came from someone’s PPA and not the official repositories.

Let’s have a look at my software sources.

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.
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  • Scribe63

    They did specify in the release notes, thatt there are issues with a 10.04 to 12.04 upgrade, and not to do an upgrade until the 12.04.01 point release

  • John M.

    I have often heard or read the comment that “Ubuntu just works” (although I hear it less and less every year). I think that statement glosses over its bugs and deficiencies. For example, I’m still using Ubuntu 10.04 (Gnome) on my main machine at home. If there is more than one profile logged on, and one tries to log out of one’s profile, to this day the system goes to a blank screen that is impossible to recover from. That should not happen, especially two years after release. Oddly, it was fixed for a short while, then the problem returned. There are lots of complaints about this bug in the forums, but it still persists.

    When I upgrade to 12.04, I fully suspect that something else very annoying will take it’s place because there isn’t enough care given to quality.

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  • Gonzalo

    Did you have to input some new repository, like “deb…… precise main” ? Or the system checked and offered you to upgrade?
    I’m asking because I have a modified version of 10.04 and the upgrade doe snot happen!
    sudo do-release-upgrade
    Checking for a new ubuntu release
    No new release found

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  • Henry_mao

    Exactly the same problem, Nvidia 6100 native driver keeps crashing on me.

  • Todd

    Just got a new computer with 12.04 installed by default. I’m SO frustrated and disappointed by Unity and Precise in general. Seriously considering going back to Lucid up until it absolutely doesn’t work any more. It had pretty much everything I could hope for in a distro.

    • Kobina Jamieson

      if unity isn’t working for you, i recommend kde!