From Lucid To Precise: An Upgrade Diary



Some of the software I mentioned being installed via PPA is software that I do not use.  It’s there just for the sake of this article.  What I’ve essentially done is ‘moved in’ to a few applications to see how those settings and accounts transition to the precise world of 12.04.  I’ve import all of my Gmail data to Thunderbird.  Almost 22,ooo unread emails no reside on this hard drive.  Will it all work after upgrade?  I’ve added my Facebook and Twitter accounts to Gwibber, which I’ve also never used at length.  Empathy is setup for Facebook chat and Google Talk.

I’ve also setup Firefox sync between Firefox 12 and the Firefox for Android application.  Chrome has already been setup for sync.  It’s my main browser, though the official Google PPA seems to have abandoned Lucid with version 18.

My desktop layout is pretty typical, using the standard 2 panel setup that Gnome is known for.  I’m using the wonderful Faenza icon set, delivered from PPA and the Equinox theme for Gnome that requires it’s own engine.  On my desktop is a shortcut to a WINE installation of Heroes Of Might And Magic, an amazing turn-based strategy game from the mid-90s (damn I’m getting old).


My expectations for a successful upgrade is simple.  All of the software installed on my system right now will be available in Ubuntu 12.04, regardless of its origin.  Launchpad requires all software in PPA channels to be later versions that what is currently available in the official repositories.  It also requires that they be packaged and named in such a way that later versions in the official repositories can supersede them, essentially ignoring the channel.

Personal Information

I expect that no accounts will be lost.  I expect the Empathy, Thunderbird, Firefox and Chrome, will be functional with all of my personal information intact.

Look & Feel

I expect that my Faenza iconset will break the default Unity theme.  The set currently installed is for Gnome 2.x, so I expect that Unity will look for Faenza, not find it where it needs to be or something along those lines, and I’ll be left with the default Tango iconset.  Also I don’t expect my Equinox theme or the engine to make a working appearance.  This should be broken and that’s OK.  Bonus points for Canonical if the upgrade decides to just apply the default Ambiance theme and the default iconset.  Also I have the font Telex, the same font used on this website applied system wide.  I fully expect for it to be applied system wide when I boot into the new system.


My expectations here are set pretty low.  I’ve seen both Vista and Windows 7 performance on this machine at various points in time.  Windows 7 performs amicably for a system of this age.  Granted, Windows 7 is a 3 year old operating system and should be expected to perform well on a mid-high-end machine from the Vista era.  Ubuntu 12.04.  Ubuntu does not compete with other Linux distributions.  It competes with Mac OS X and Windows 7.  Ubuntu, and specifically this latest release, is known for it’s great performance so it should be expected that it will outperform it’s competition regardless of it’s age.  I’ll be honest, I don’t think it will.  I fully expect that this upgraded software will perform so poorly that I will no longer be able to consider this system usable.  Only time will tell!

The Little Things

Even if everything is broken, I still want to be able to play my Heroes Of Might & Magic.  Will WINE be broken?  Will the upgrade make my handy-dandy shortcut disappear from my desktop?  Well, I guess I don’t really care that much, as long as it doesn’t find a way to destroy my save file, which I don’t count on happening.

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!