Warning! Geekiness ahead!
I was going to post this, but I was too far along in my “dist-upgrade” to be able to have this work. The kio_http handler was broken at the time I tried to post, so I’m finishing now, after a reboot.
I downloaded (what I thought was) Kubuntu’s Breezy RC, but it was the stable 5.04 (Hoary) version. Looks like Ubuntu has fixed their upgrade issues as the releases have gone by. That’s a good thing.
I chose to download the installer version and replaced Mepis on my hard drive (nothing seems to be a good Gentoo replacement, though). The install went quite quickly – about 25 minutes. There was an option to boot without DHCP, which was nice. When the networking was to be set up, the installer stopped and asked me what my IP settings were, which is the way I wanted it to. Not too many recent “Live-cd”-derived distributions seem to do this. Since the Ubuntu crowd seem to have developed with a lot of things borrowed from recent hardware discovery tools, I found this to be a pleasant addition to the bootscripts.
The installer also asked me how and where I wanted to install. Since I’ve been installing Linux to the slave drive on the first controller and putting the bootloader on the first drive (with Windows XP on it), I have been paying close attention to how much work was involved on my part to get this to work, as there should be no extra work or headaches. There wasn’t. It installed GRUB neatly in the MBR of the master drive, which is what I wanted it to do. Mepis also passed this test with flying colors.
When the installation was finished, the cd ejected and the installer asked me to reboot, when some configuration would occur. So, I did.
This is where Kubuntu reminded me that it really was Debian underneath. This paragraph also applies to my feelings on Mandrake/Mandriva. When the computer rebooted, the install continued, informing me that it would need to fetch 350MB of packages from the net to complete. Now, is this reasonable? I have a really fast cable connection so it doesn’t matter as much to me, but what about Kubuntu’s intended audience, the new user? Nobody seems to want to admit that if you really want a comfortable means of keeping your Linux system up to date, then you’re going to need a broadband connection to the internet. I mean, c’mon! 350 MB? Some dialup connections couldn’t download that much data over night, let alone do it sporadically while installing. These updates, I’m assuming, came from the directory with the bugfixes found after the officially release of “Hoary”. Why didn’t they point us to an updated ISO for download? 5.04 was released 6 months ago. It seems that if you don’t want all updates in a big chunk, you’d better download and install a release the very day its released, to avoid tremendously large updates. I shouldn’t say that this is the Debian way, because when enough bugfixes exist, a new ISO (point-release) is put on the mirrors and its announced.
Well, it booted and seems to run, at least for the 10 minutes I explored it. Now, after going to the forum, I read that I should be able to “dist-upgrade” to the latest RC of 5.10, so I’m trying that now. I’m writing this post from within my new Kubuntu install right now. I’ll let you know shortly if the system survives the upgrade…
Well, guess what! I’m back (obviously) in the new system and it seems to have been upgraded successfully. If this is what we’re to expect from Breezy, then K/Ubuntu, then its going to be a fun time in the Linux world. There seems to be quite a bit of polish in this release. Who knows, I may actually have a new recommendation for newbies (providing that there isn’t a huge update the second you install it). Kudos.