Notes from the edgy

Volume 9, Issue 96; 10 Oct 2006; last modified 08 Oct 2010

I'm giving Ubuntu's Edgy Eft release a whirl. Notes and miscellany follow.

I have this unreasonable, subconscious desire to live my life on the bleeding edge of technology. I don't know why; like I said, it's unreasonable and subconscious. I did have to build a couple of things from source recently because the packages I found on the net required more recent libraries than ship with “Dapper”. If there's a rational explanation, and I'm not saying there is, that's probably what pushed me to try “Edgy Eft”.

Step 1: Upgrade. Step 2: Download and burn the ISO image and perform a fresh install from the CD-ROM.

Save yourself a little time and skip step 1. I don't know what went wrong, not anywhere near well enough to file a useful bug report, anyway. After the upgrade, X wouldn't start and a few minutes poking about didn't reveal why.

I recall that I had some deeply mysterious issues with networking or ACPI or something after upgrading from “Breezy” to “Dapper” that net-wisdom suggested were the result of leftover cruft from the upgrade so I pretty quickly jumped to step 2.

The apt-get system works so incredibly well day in and day out that I'm not going to fret if it doesn't cope perfectly with totally rebuilding the system.

On the surface, not much has changed. Something's improved about the wireless networking. It used to take a few minutes after a reboot for my laptop to figure out how to get the bits flowing. Under Edgy, the bits are flowing by the time I get through the login process.

There are still some bugs though. A few I've encountered:

  • Someone thought it would be a good idea to replace /bin/bash with /bin/dash as the default shell. I beg to differ. I also cursed in apoplectic rage but I'll spare you. Let me just say that having dash set $SHELL to “/bin/bash” is simply evil.

  • Encrypted partitions can't read the passphrase during the boot process. In my case, the boot partition isn't encrypted so it's just an inconvenience.

  • For some reason urxvt doesn't seem to be reading font settings from X resources anymore.

  • The gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 package isn't installed by default but appears to be required in order for Rhythmbox to play MP3s. (Aside: streaming DAAP audio from my WL-HDD and playing it on my desktop is very cool.)

  • Last night it didn't suspend properly. But maybe that was a fluke.

  • Not a bug really, but I got extremely lucky. My DSPAM training database is stored in MySQL but I've never figured out how to backup that database in a portable way. Had the version of MySQL changed between “Dapper” and “Edgy”, I think I'd have had to rebuild it from scratch. Whew! And note to self: figure out the right way to backup MySQL databases.

I'll add more notes here if I find anything else worth mentioning…


Shouldn't that title be: Postcards From The Edgy?

—Posted by Ian Phillips on 10 Oct 2006 @ 06:04 UTC #

Yes, that would have been a better title. C'est la vie.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 10 Oct 2006 @ 06:13 UTC #

Regarding backing up mysql, are you looking for something more sophisticated than mysqldump ?

—Posted by Parand on 10 Oct 2006 @ 07:35 UTC #

So, the herpetological connection wasn't relevant to your decision to upgrade then? :-)

—Posted by Ed Davies on 10 Oct 2006 @ 07:36 UTC #

No, mysqldump looks like the right thing. Thanks :-)

The herpetological connection did not escape me. The fact that I don't have any photographs of an eft is a real disappointment though. Something for next spring :-)

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 10 Oct 2006 @ 08:05 UTC #

If you want stuff that only runs in bash, put it in .bashprofile, not .profile. Stuff in .profile should be written to run correctly in any Bourne-compatible shell (ash, dash, ksh, bash, ...).

There are real advantages to running scripts by default using a minimal Bourne shell like dash or its ancestor ash -- in particular, it's small and fast, properties bash seriously lacks. This is what's done on Solaris and BSD.

I'm not sure what the rationale is for having dash set $SHELL to /bin/bash is, though.

—Posted by John Cowan on 11 Oct 2006 @ 02:20 UTC #
My first question was "What's dash?" Google found me this and this, so now I know: The "Debian Almquist SHell".

You're sure making it the default shell wasn't a fluke/failure of the installation? Did you file a bug report? (it sounds like behaviour I don't won't, but I can't properly file a bug report until I've run into the problem myself, which won't be in a while I think).

FWIW I'm currently running pieces of software I'm depending on, that hasn't been installed using APT, because what I need is newer than what's packaged on Dapper (or on debian unstable for that matter). The packages are eclipse 3.2 and subversion 1.3.2.

—Posted by Steinar Bang on 22 Oct 2006 @ 07:01 UTC #