Ubuntu upgrade – 12.10

Just upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu 12.10 (aka Quantal Quetzal – although this is the first & last time you’ll hear me refer to it as such) and… well I guess I should be getting used to how painless this process (generally) is. Took exactly an hour from start to finish and left me with a fully working 12.10 system with all the post-release upgrades added.

It’s only been 20 minutes since the upgrade finished but things of note so far:

  • Some lovely style tweaks (see screenshot)
  • Somehow my compiz settings appear to have been reset… this resulted in the calamitous loss of my wobbly windows, the return of the horrible sticky edges and the loss of my ring task switcher. Only a 5 minute job to reset those (and if I didn’t have the skills to fix that issue, I wouldn’t have had the skills to set the non-standard options in the first place – so not a deal breaker)
  • New wallpapers! New wallpapers! I always used to be a default wallpaper / blank screen kinda guy, but the auto-rotating wallpaper set in 12.04 was so beautiful it converted me. I’ve now switched to the 12.10 wallpaper set & I’m looking forward to them revealing themselves one-by-one over the next couple of days
  • The installation process disabled my third party software sources (as it always does). Although this time it appears to have also updated the distribution section of the line to “quantal” so that, if I re-enable it, it should pick up the latest version of the 3rd party repository. Although when I tried re-enabling them & running update, it threw an error. I suspect this is the fault of the 3rd party repositories for not having a 12.10 section yet. Sure enough, a little poking confirmed that google & bumblebee are fine, but dropbox doesn’t have a 12.10 repository so I’ll have to hold that one back for now. Dropbox itself is working fine though.
  • Hot-keys for volume, display & keyboard backlight are still working on the Zenbook Prime. Not sure if this is because they’re now incorporated into the default release, or the patch I installed is still doing the work. Display brightness hot-keys still not working though… maybe it’s time to go & investigate a patch for that – the Zenbook’s gorgeous IPS screen is painfully bright at full brightness.
  • There’s a couple of Ubuntu One Music and Amazon icons appeared on the bottom of my launcher. Ho-hum… not a problem – I don’t object to Canonical trying to make some money. Those of us who don’t want them can remove them with two clicks.
  • The Amazon/Ubuntu1 shopping search in the dash is super-annoying, but turned off very easily (System Settings -> Privacy -> Search Results)
  • My desktop machine, still running 11.10, is starting to feel unloved. Have to do something about that.
  • Actually this should probably be the first bullet-point. If you’re currently running 12.04 and wondering why the update manager (aka ‘Software Updater’) isn’t offering you the chance to upgrade to 12.10, there is reason to this (and an easy fix). 12.04 is an LTS (Long Term Support) release. This means it’s supported for FIVE years rather than the 18 months that normal releases are supported for. This is great for people who heavily value stability over sexiness – eg major corporations with 1,000s of machines to support. To make sure machines running a LTS release don’t accidentally upgrade to a non-LTS, the default configuration for the LTS update manager is to only prompt you for an upgrade if it detects a new LTS release. There’s a how-to on how to change this over on the excellent OMG Ubuntu blog here: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/10/how-to-upgrade-ubuntu-12-04-to-ubuntu-12-10 . Although note that it looks like he’s upgrading a machine that’s 157 patches out-of-date – I’d recommend making sure your 12.04 is fully patched & up-to-date before upgrading it to 12.10 (I suspect the 12.10 upgrade will do that for you, but best to play safe I think)
  • Having said all that, what’s actually new & worthwhile in 12.10? Well… there’s things like GIMP 2.8 and Libre Office 3.6 which are both well worth the upgrade for, although these and other updated apps are of course available in PPAs if you want them badly enough. OMG Ubuntu (again) has a good list of actual operating system features and I can’t say I see too much “gotta have” stuff there. The “right-click on a song/file in the dash to preview it” is quite handy though

Overall: 9/10 would upgrade again.

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