Sunday, April 4, 2010

Installing Lucid beta -- Adventure Story or Buddy Movie?

It seemed so simple. I went to and downloaded and installed the update yesterday afternoon, no problem! This morning, KpackageKit informed me that I had over 1000 updates, and since I was busy with Alsachat, I decided to just let it go, although I was a bit apprehensive about the power situation. We had a wind advisory going on, and I know that disconnecting during updates is a very bad idea. With about 30 minutes to go, however, KpackageKit crashed! When I tried to use the console (as I should have in the first place), I couldn't because KpackageKit had crashed, and not cleanly quit. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have used the command killall kpackagekit, but I thought it was named "kpackageit" -- and didn't look it up. So I restarted, and got a kernel panic!

I didn't panic, though -- I attempted to start in safe mode, without success. Then I selected the next oldest kernel, and dropped down to the command level. However, I was unable to successfully use apt-get update, even there. And I still couldn't boot into kubuntu. I decided that a fresh install of Lucid beta was the best idea, so I decided to write the disk on Anne's old laptop, which now runs opensuse. The problem I ran into there was that the CD drive wouldn't stay closed with a CD in it! I had to tape it closed to successfully write the CD. And my laptop booted with the LiveCD. But when I got to the place in the install where one must decide where to install it, I really was stymied, and scared to wreck my computer. I don't know the last time I backed up my home directory -- I know, bad Valorie! And I knew it was it was on its own partition, but.....well, I poured out my story in IRC, so here is the rest of the story.... [scroll to the bottom if you don't want to read the gory details!]

valorie: I'm so discouraged
valorie: my laptop is borked
valorie: I downloaded and installed lucid beta yesterday and everything was cool
valorie: today, there were over 1000 updates, and stupidly I told kpackagekit to go ahead and download them
valorie: part way through, it crashed
valorie: but anyway, I tried to re-do them with apt-get
valorie: but I couldn't because of the kpackagekit crash
valorie: now I can't get the computer to boot at all
valorie: tried an older kernel, and apt-get update there
valorie: but it kept throwing error messages
valorie: :(
valorie: I dl'ed and burned the lucid beta CD on this old laptop of my daughter's
valorie: but I'm afraid to bork up my computer even worse
valorie: it does look like my son made a separate partition for /home
valorie: but how do I know which one it is?
valorie: I did an fdisk -l /dev/sda
valorie: and can see how big each of the partitions are
valorie: and I know which one is swap, because it says
valorie: but that leaves 3 other possibilities
maco: blkid helps there
valorie: I don't know what that means
valorie: I see the IDs
valorie: 83, 83, 82, 83
valorie: for /dev/sda5, 6, 7, 8
valorie: this SUCKS
valorie: lucid worked just fine last night
valorie: as an upgrade
crimsun: well, sda5 is your extended partition, and sda7 is your swap
crimsun: so either sda6 or sda8 is /home
maco: valorie: 83, 82, etc... sounds like filesystem types. UUIDs are those loooooooooooong strings that identify the partition itself
maco: try "blkid /dev/sda5" for example
valorie: do I have to run that as root?
valorie: it gave me nothing
maco: i was just explaining what they were because of the confusion above
maco: you can type it without the /dev/.. stuff to just get a list of partitons and UUIDs
maco: do what as root?
maco: what gave nothing?
maco: (blkid does not need to be done as root)
nigelb: apparently yes
nigelb: gives me nothing here too
maco: iiiinteresting. i can run plain old "blkid" as not-root and have it be happy
crimsun: as well it should. access to a block device requires elevated privileges.
valorie: as root, it says 5 has uid=0caf054f-9d98-453d-9ab0-d2baf34bcld0 sectype=ext2 type=ext3
valorie: or pretty close to that
valorie: hard to copy from one screen to the other
maco: apparently i'm in a group i shouldnt be in
crimsun: maco: you upgraded; that makes sense
maco: oh
valorie: 6 & 8 are both ext4
valorie: anyway folks, do you think trying to install over top of my previous install would be the best idea?
valorie: I can't recall how old my most recent backup is
valorie: so I really do not want to wipe out /home!
maco: thats what i always do
nigelb: now, thats better :)
valorie: if people will be here to hold my hand
nigelb: valorie, there always will be :)
valorie: ok, I'm to the scary place
valorie: it advocates shrinking /sda1 from 178.5 GB to 105.2 GB
valorie: Kubuntu in 73.3 GB
valorie: sda5 to 235.3 MB!
valorie: I think that was swap, and I had problems when it was too small before
valorie: gads, I don't know if I have the courage
valorie: does it know which one is /home?
valorie: is it preserving it?
valorie: it leaves 6 unchanged in size
valorie: and 7
IdleOne: valorie: use gparted to display your partitions to you and take a screen shot of it. Make notes on paper in "real words" of which partition is what.
valorie: eliminates 8, which used to be 160 GB
maco: valorie_: are you in manual partition mode?
valorie: abort the install and do that?
maco: if you want to reuse the same / partition, you have to choose "manual partitioning" at the partition step instead of one of the guided ones
valorie: Prepare disk space is where I am
valorie: ok
maco: did you figure out which one is currently / and which is /home ?
valorie: no, I have no clue
valorie: I know 1 is windows
valorie: 7 is swap
valorie: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
valorie: the manual bit expects me to know
valorie: and I know nothing.....
maco: you can mount them and look
valorie: how?
valorie: abort the install?
maco: do you have a desktop right now?
valorie: what do you mean?
maco: or did you do the "just install and don't give me a desktop to use during it" mode?
maco: you're on a live cd right?
valorie: yes
maco: are you able to get to a terminal?
valorie: no, I think I should quit
valorie: this is too scary
maco: no no its ok!
maco: i'll walk you through
maco: let me quickly read back through what you did before
IdleOne: valorie: relax :) remember before you click anything ask yourself this " Did I triple check my double checking?"
valorie: each click so far has been easy
maco: valorie: try sudo mount /dev/sda5 /media ; ls /media and see if that looks like /home or /
valorie: speak english, etc
valorie: maco, there is no way to do that
maco: valorie_: ctrl+alt+f1?
valorie: just the install window
valorie: ah, ok
valorie: ok, no -- it is all abi, config, initrd,, vmcoreinfo, vmlinux
valorie: etc.
valorie: so that must be /, correct?
maco: do you have a separate /boot ?
maco: that looks like /boot
valorie: grub is in there, so maybe
maco: those are the files i see in /boot
maco: ok so we know 5 = boot
valorie: and memtest
valorie: yeah
valorie: ok
maco: now sudo umount /media ; sudo mount /dev/sda6 /media ; ls /media and see what 6 is
maco: if you see root, bin, sbin, var, lib, etc, etc... thats /
maco: if you see your name.... /home
maco: and once you know what that is, since we know 7 is swap, then you can guess what 8 is
valorie: ok, bin, cdrom, etc, home, initrd., etc
valorie: so maybe that's home?
valorie: or perhaps /
maco: thats /
valorie: gotta be root
maco: ls on home in there though
maco: make sure your data isn't really hiding in there
maco: as that'd be bad
valorie: just ls home?
maco: ls /media/home
valorie: k
valorie: nada
maco: ok good
valorie: cool
maco: so then 8 is home
maco: alright back to the installer
valorie: this is making me feel so much better
maco: click on sda5, hit the edit button, and tell it use as /boot, and go ahead and let it format
valorie: control alt which?
maco: probably f7
valorie: nope
maco: try different f#'s til you find it?
maco: (this is what i do)
valorie: 8 did it
maco: ok
maco: click on sda6, hit the edit button, tell it to use as /, and format as ext3 or ext4, as you prefer
maco: click on sda7, hit edit, swap, no mountpoint for swap
maco: click on sda8, hit edit, mountpoint /home, use as ext3 (since thats its current format), and make sure you do NOT have it set to format that partition
valorie: when I click on 5, it brings up a edit partition screen
valorie: new size
valorie: use as
maco: leave the size alone if you want
valorie: format
valorie: mount point
valorie: but use as doesn't have root as a choice
maco: sda5 should be /boot
maco: and thats the mountpoint
maco: sorry, i mixed up when the dialog says "use as" blah. "use as" means "what format do you want?"
valorie: right
valorie: one of the choices is swap
maco: you have ext3 now. you can stick to that or go to ext4 or reiserfs or whatever
valorie: perhaps I was wrong and that was swap?
maco: no, it'll offer all possible filesystems one every partition
maco: since its a new install, if you *wanted* you could make that partition be swap, so it's offering that
valorie: so ext3 journaling file system?
maco: yep
valorie: ok
maco: but i'm assuming you're sticking to the same disk layout you had before
maco: this making sense?
valorie: yes
maco: good :)
valorie: should ANY of them be set "format this partition?
maco: i don't think its necessary, but maybe for /boot might be a good idea since i don't know if it'll actually clear out the old kernels if you dont
valorie: weird, because it shows a check under format for /home and /
valorie: ok
maco: thats because you haven't gotten there yet
valorie: I'll re-look
maco: you'll remove that checkmark when you edit them
valorie: it's grayed out
valorie: the only one that's got a black check is /boot now
maco: you're looking at the table of all the partitions right now, right?
maco: that's read only
valorie: right
maco: you have to click on those partitions and hit "edit"
valorie: so do I do anything to those ntfs partitions?
maco: nah, leave your windows alone
valorie: so click change?
maco: valorie: well i'm not looking at the screen right now, but if the edit button is now the "change" button...sure!
valorie: no, i think forward is the way to do
valorie: otherwise it will create a new partition
valorie: and I don't want that
valorie: correct?
maco: valorie: there's a "new" button and a "edit" one, right?
maco: valorie: you want to use "edit" on each existing linux partition and not use "new" at all
akk: I think I right-clicked on the partition and chose Edit from the context menu.
valorie: right, I edited each
valorie: no new
maco: oh ok
maco: and you got rid of the "format me!" on /home right?
maco: (thats sda8)
valorie: well, it's still got a grayed check mark
valorie: as does 3
maco: but 5 has a black checkmark?
maco: ugh i dont like this UI. it should have *NO* checkmark if it's unchecked. grr.
maco: not a but-look-we-greyed-it-out checkmark to mean unchecked
valorie: 5 has a black checkmark
valorie: yeah, it's confusing
akk: Yeah, having a checkmark at all sounds scary.
maco: ok then i think you're good to hit "next"--just make sure when you get to the end you read the confirmation screen
valorie: but I've tried 3 times ad I can't get rid of it
maco: this is a kubuntu lucid install disk?
valorie: yes, kubuntu lucid beta
valorie: it says that 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be formatted
maco: O_O
valorie: yeah
maco: go back
maco: did you set them to a different filesystem than what they were before? (all ext3)??
valorie: ah, I left a mounted system
valorie: grrr
maco: oooh
maco: sorry. sudo umount /media
maco: then maybe it'll let you edit things properly?
valorie: it will umount, I think
valorie: but I have to go back and redo it
valorie: bleah
maco: sorry :( i should've told you to umount before switching back to the installer
valorie: I'll scroll up -- it will be faster this time
valorie: damn, it's the same
valorie: says all 4 will be formatted
valorie: still with the grayed checkmarks
maco: valorie_: hmm you might need an alternate cd. sounds like a bug.
valorie: yeah, I can't allow that
valorie: :(
valorie: too much there on /home
valorie: gads, burning another damn CD on this machine -- if there is a cd in it, the cd tray keeps coming open
valorie: I had to tape the damned thing shut to get it to burn
valorie: lol
maco: hahaha
valorie: I wonder if my thumb drive is big enough
valorie: rats, I don't have it right now
valorie: :(
valorie: all right, I'll try to burn the alternate CD
maco: valorie: bug filing time too it seems
valorie: I guess as a good netizen, I had better
valorie: searching for liveCD bugs....
maco: ubiquity is the installer package
valorie: bug filed
valorie: now to write another CD
valorie: ok, alternate cd booting
valorie: the autoconfig for network fails, probably because I can't get the wireless to turn on
valorie: can I use the IP address from this machine to manually config?
maco: you can just tell it to skip
valorie: ok
valorie: actually, it is insisting
maco: what?
maco: it doesn't need net to do an install
maco: so it should let you just skip configuration of the interface
valorie: there we go
valorie: ok, i'm to partitioning
valorie: and again chose manual
valorie: then....configure the logical volume manager?
maco: eek!
maco: no lvm necessary
maco: pick the manual-not-lvm one
maco: i've only ever used lvm once, and that was because i *had* to for my system administration class
valorie: guided partitioning
valorie: configure software RAID
valorie: configure lvm
maco: then go to guided partitioning
valorie: configure encrypted
valorie: ok
maco: sounds the most reasonable
valorie: that takes me back to these choices:
valorie: guided:resize /dev/sda1 & use freed space
valorie: use entire disk
valorie: entire disk/lvm
valorie: entire and encrypted
valorie: and manual
valorie: and you already saw the manual choices
maco: and manual is where it brought up the raid stuff?
maco: what the...this is weird
valorie: yes
valorie: maybe guided and use entire disk
maco: no that'd delete everything
maco: hmm i think i need to try this in a vm
valorie: no, not that one
valorie: that just erases the entire disk
valorie: gaaahhh
valorie: oh, duh
valorie: in the manual, I can choose the partitions
valorie: geez
valorie: fear and stress makes me stupid
maco: chamomile tea?
valorie: water, right now
maco: chamomile tea good for getting rid of the stress part
valorie: ok, gonna scroll up and do this
maco: ok
valorie: mount options? label?
valorie: reserved blocks
maco: ignore that
valorie: bootable flag
maco: you don't need to worry about it
valorie: ok,
valorie: for boot -- erase data on this partition
maco: bootable flag goes on your windows i think. iirc, windows won't boot if its not marked bootable, while linux will go "what? grub told me to!"
valorie: hmmm, it makes it sound like I shouldn't erase it
valorie: it can no longer be recovered, etc.
valorie: choices: resize, copy data from another partition
valorie: erase data on this partition
valorie: delete the partition
valorie: done setting up partition
valorie: I assume don't resize
valorie: but erase?
rww: In debian-installer (and Ubuntu alternate CD) speak, delete deletes the partition, erase writes over all the data on it (a la DBAN) and then deletes it, I think.
valorie: the thing is, the header makes it sound like it is going to be erased *anyway*
valorie: "You are editing partition #5 of /dev/sda. This partition is formatted with the ext3 journaling file system. ALL DATA IN IT WILL BE DESTROYED.
valorie: in caps, the last bit
valorie: so I'm thinking my goof in the last go around was telling it I wanted them formatted
valorie: no formatting is probably what I wanted
valorie: ::sigh::
maco: i think this installer makes it slightly clearer than the gui one whether data will be kept. gui one says "format? yes/no" this says "format or keep?" which is a bit clearer IMO
maco: when it shows the list of partitions it puts F if its formatting and K if its keeping, i believe
valorie: so I guess I'm done with 5
maco: ok. now on to the others!
valorie: BUT - if you don't change "use as" --it is "do not use"
valorie: so....
maco: for use as you set what the current partition is
maco: then below that it has a format or keep option
maco: er, what the current filesystem is
valorie: no, it has all the file systems, swap, physical volume for encryption, RAID, LVM, do not use
valorie: and then go back
valorie: I don't see a place to tell it to use 6 as /
valorie: blah
maco: set the filesystem there
maco: for each partition there's a list of things you have to set
maco: "use as" is the filesystem
maco: you also have to set the mountpoint
valorie: right, but it warns above it will be destroyed
valorie: gah
maco: did you not change the "format/keep" part yet?
valorie: which is fine for everything but /home!
valorie: so 8, I think I just don't edit, right?
valorie: do not use
valorie: done setting up this partition
valorie: that seems reasonable to me
valorie: it will want to re-write boot, / and swap
valorie: to re-write
valorie: and don't touch /home
valorie: correctomundo?
valorie: finish partitioning and write changes to disk.....
valorie: there is no K, by the way
valorie: F or nothing
maco: if you do not use 8 it wont know to mount it as /home
maco: but then again, you can always edit /etc/fstab to TELL it to use that as /home after installation's done anyway
valorie: but if I format it, it's dead
maco: I'm pretty sure you can inform it of what format to use AND tell it to keep the data
maco: it should be one of the other questions on the partition edit screen
valorie: no, it isn't
maco: got a camera on-hand? i gotta see this
valorie: it has all thefile systems, swap, physical volume for encryption, RAID, LVM, do not use
valorie: and then go back
maco: yes but those are the options for "use as:" right?
valorie: yes
maco: there are more questions than just "use as"
maco: one of them should be asking whether to format or keep the data
valorie: Partition settings:
valorie: use as: do not use
valorie: blank
valorie: bootable flag: off
valorie: blank
maco: if you change do not use to the filesystem, that blank line might change to "format/keep"
valorie: resize
valorie: copy data
valorie: no, then it changes the menu
valorie: use as: ext3
valorie: mount point
valorie: mount options
valorie: label
valorie: etc.
maco: ok chck out mount options then
valorie: right above it says: All data in it WILL BE DESTROYED
maco: because it hasnt been set to "keep" mode yet
maco: just have to figure out where that mode is hidden
valorie: ok, noatime
valorie: relatime
valorie: nodev
valorie: nosuid
* maco shakes fist at screen
valorie: noexec
valorie: ro
valorie: sync
valorie: usrquota
valorie: rgpquota
maco: ok thats not sounding like it
maco: what's after "etc."
valorie: reserved blocks
valorie: typical usage
valorie: bootable flag
valorie: resize
valorie: copy data
valorie: erase data
valorie: delete
valorie: done
maco: if you go to "erase data" what does it say?
valorie: that's the one that warns that it will overwrite with random chars
maco: hrmph
valorie: I don't see a way to do it except do not use
maco: did you go to "mount point" yet?
maco: does it maybe offer it in there?
valorie: no
valorie: no choice of home
maco: i mean does it offer the dont format thing in there?
valorie: oh, I'm wrong, it does offer home
valorie: but still warns that it will be destroyed
valorie: even if I choose home, then go back and remove the formatting option
valorie: the /home bit disappears
valorie: so I'm guessing the editing is the only way
valorie: oh, I could send the pic to your email
valorie: duh
maco: hmm ok. i *know* pre-lucid had a way to set the filesystem AND keep the data
maco: i used it a bunch during installfests
valorie: gosh, brain is dead
valorie: so, finish partitioning and write changes to disk?
maco: hang on i wanna see this picture...
maco: can you take a pic of the page before that? the one that lists "use as" and "mountpoint" and such?
valorie: ok, I'll go back to that
valorie: sending
maco: valorie: ooooh i see a reason!
maco: valorie: that one is currently ext4
maco: so picking ext3 would mean changing its format
maco: try picking ext4 in the "use as:" and see if suddenly you're allowed to not-format
valorie: voila!
valorie: you are right
valorie: so should I go back and change any of the others?
maco: /home is the only one you care about saving
valorie: ok
valorie: yay!
valorie: I guess my question better would have been
valorie: is there a use to have them all formatted the same?
valorie: ext3 or ext4
valorie: etc.
maco: ext4 for /boot and / tends to mean faster boot
valorie: ok, I'll go back and change 'em
valorie: good grief
valorie: so they are all ext4
valorie: now finish and start partitioning?
valorie: right, maco?
maco: yep
valorie: soooo scary
valorie: it's happening....
valorie: booting......
valorie: gonna unhook here and see...
valorie: btw, /home seems to be fine
valorie: you rock, maco
valorie: and I owe you big-time
maco: yay!
valorie: next, install konvi and uninstall amarok
maco: uninstall amarok???
valorie: I build it from git
valorie: has to be uninstalled first, though
valorie: what the hell
valorie: even though Knetworkmanager can see my wireless
valorie: it will NOT connect
valorie: no matter how many times I tell it to
valorie: grrrrrrrrr
valorie: finally!
valorie: had to restart

Thus endeth the lesson. One bug filed, two CDs burnt, one laptop restored to workability. All in only FIVE HOURS! I certainly wish I had filed a bug when KpackageKit crashed, but I've filed a few from a crash, and without all the -debug and -devel packages installed, they aren't much use. AND I wish I'd thought to look at the spelling of KpackageKIT. On the upside, I installed a new distro version without using Thomas' time. I do owe Maco for 5 hours of work, for sure! I would like to thank crimsun, nigelb, rww, and akk for their help also. #ubuntu-women, you rock!

While preparing this blog post, I needed to remove a bunch of IRC cruft like time stamps, such as [22:53:43] and [03:49:53]. It seemed like a good time to use regular expressions (regex) to remove them in my favorite text editor, Kate. Thanks so much to Afuna on #ubuntu-women who helped me learn a bit. By the way, the magic regex was: \[[0-2][0-3]:[0-9]{2}:[0-9]{2}\] . And I understand *why*! Thanks again, Afuna!