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Late Night Computer Update Adventures

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posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 03:47 PM
I dunno if ATS is the best audience for this rant, but hey, it's not politics.

I'd been running an older version of KDE Neon a while now and for about a year, i'd been getting the dreaded, 'new system upgrade available, support for this version ending' popup.

Upgrading linux operating systems can be an interesting experience. Sometimes, it's all good no problems...sometimes # gets ugly.

Well, after yet another newer software package refusing to work because of unsolvable dependencies due to being stuck on old versions of libaries where the workarounds are getting increasingly more convoluted and difficult, I decided to take the plunge and try updating last night after work.

Oh boy...

Normally, i'd just avoid the hassle and just reinstall with the newer version, but I figured, maybe it'd be ok. Famous last words.

So, I popped open a console and clickedy clacked in

sudo do-release-upgrade

Things start off alright, then bam error message. There's a problem with third party repositories...alright so I disable all ppas and do me a

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

A bunch of packages get downgraded and removed and such...ok.

Give the upgrade a try again...same error, tells me to check the log.

Open up the log, hundreds of lines of a bunch of stuff I have no idea about. Scroll down to the bottom, see a bunch of messages about broken packages. Scroll up to where that starts find a line that warns about several hundred broken packages.

Scroll through a bunch of them, see no rhyme or reason to it....ok....

Open up synaptic package manager. Start removing a bunch of the packages on the list, luckily removing a few auto removed a bunch of the other ones.

Try upgrade again...same error.

Check log again....list is smaller now, but still at least a hundred broken packages. Notice many of them are from the 'universe' repository.

Back to synaptic, time to go full demolition on that #. Start just removing as many of the packages from the universe repository as I can. End up uninstalling the entirety of my desktop environment.

Luckily, on linux anything in running in memory will stay there until closed, so as long as my computer stayed on, the desktop stayed.

So, now I was stuck, I couldn't turn my computer off until I fixed the problem, or # was gonna get real ugly.

Fingers crossed, I tried the upgrade again.

Another error...

This time, I was lacking about 8GB of space in one of my drive partitions. That one was easy. My steam folder happened to be there, so pop over there, delete a bunch of random games and got me some gigabytes.

Finally, do-release-upgrade starts doing it's thing which takes several hours.

At around 2am it was finally finished. But things weren't over yet. I still had to fix my desktop environment before turning off the computer.

Seemed easy enough, just needed to reinstall plasma desktop right?

Nope....more broken packages. now what?

I start to look through the broken packages and notice they're all system libraries stuck on old versions that should have been updated with everything else but for some reason hadn't and could not be. Which was pretty weird.

So, I checked through the software sources list and noticed the actual kde neon repository was disabled and still set to the older version. I updated it to the new version and re-enabled it. Then I try a

sudo apt-get update internet....

I guess during the update while installing the new network manager, something screwy happened and it disconnected me. I tried reconnecting but there was errors with the password entry window and I couldn't get it to connect.

Ahhhhhh # # # # #

Not sure what to do at this point. Notice my phone sitting nearby, get an idea. Turn on my phone's hotspot with no password, try connecting on the computer.


Update repositories, find updates for all the broken packages, update them.

Try reinstalling the desktop again. It works. Finally, going on 4am by this point, I can turn off my computer.

If you managed to make it down to the end of this you probably deserve a gold star or something.

Also, if this makes linux seem even more terrifying than before, I gotta say, if i'd had that kind of update issue on a windows computer, i'd likely be sitting here staring at a blue screen of death contemplating doing a complete system restore or something instead of writing a long winded nerdy rant on ats while I wait for my music production software to reinstall.

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 03:57 PM
a reply to: dug88
This post needs a like button of its own.
Uni Mate full on Linux user so I've forwarded this for conment

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 03:59 PM

If you managed to make it down to the end of this you probably deserve a gold star or something.

Why ?
This is no Rant , this sort is everyday life for me...
Good news ?
You pulled yourself out without too much of a mess.

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 04:14 PM
a reply to: Gothmog

You pulled yourself out without too much of a mess.

That wasn't too bad of a mess. At worst I woulda had to boot from a live disk and reinstall. I downloaded and set one up while the upgrade was installing just in case. Though, all I had was an SD card and I'm not actually sure if my laptop can boot from an SD card so that may have been a whole other issue.

That's the thing, most linux problems aren't really problems as long as your personal data and stuff is stored on a separate partition than the os itself. You can pretty much break and likely fix anything and your data's probably going to be fine....

Well...I guess unless you do some dumb # like

sudo rm -rf /*

and wipe literally everything.

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 04:17 PM
I for one stay away from the bleeding edge software.

Hey, that’s just my 2 cents.

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 04:27 PM
Yep, one of the many hazards of Linux, one reason I switched back to Windows. I hated to, I despise Micro$oft.

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 04:32 PM

originally posted by: shaneslaughta
I for one stay away from the bleeding edge software.

Hey, that’s just my 2 cents.

Off sub...

But wow, here's an ATS acct that I've not seen in years. Welcome back I think

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 04:49 PM
a reply to: shaneslaughta

KDE Neon's kinda weird. It's bleeding edge kde and plasma on top of ubuntu LTS. I think the problem was mostly that kde neon overrides a bunch of ubuntu's libraries but for some reason the upgrade tool doesn't pull from neon's repositories meaning it couldn't fix any of the dependency problems while those libraries were installed, but the entire plasma desktop relied on them so they couldn't be removed without removing everything and the upgrade wouldn't continue until they were removed.

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 06:36 PM
Good job! You're learning Linux. You will run into these issues because you have control of this OS. This isn't Windows. Linux gives you control of YOUR computer.

Let me, or any of us here on ATS, know if you have questions or problems with Linux.
edit on 1/16/2021 by mockingmay because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 07:02 PM
Long time openSuse user (mostly for work. I prefer debian varieties). Even with sims, every time I get a kernel update I always wonder if my Nvidia driver will survive.

And always have a separate /home partition 🙂

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 07:07 PM
a reply to: mockingmay

I appreciate the offer. Been using linux solely on my computers since the late 2000's so i've got a pretty good grasp on things. There's always something new to learn though.

Linux gives you control of YOUR computer.

That was why i switched to begin with. Long story short so i don't write another giant post. Somehow the MBR died on my hardrive on a computer I had years ago, couldn't boot into windows or do anything. Ended up installing a xubuntu live image onto a flash drive and discovered my hardrive was still good, but dying fast. So I collected a bunch of flash drives I had lying around and a usb hub and installed xubuntu partitioned across all of them. I was in school and kinda poor at the time, so I had to wait and save a bit of money before I could buy a new hardrive and a sata to usb converter so I could rescue my data off the hooped drive. But my computer ran like that and I could still do my school work and stuff in the mean time.

That kinda sold me on linux and I never went back to windows.
edit on 16/1/2021 by dug88 because: (no reason given)

edit on 16/1/2021 by dug88 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 07:31 PM
a reply to: dug88

Well...I guess unless you do some dumb # like

What would life with computers be if one doesn't do dumb # ?
The only freakin way to learn.

I did dumb # back in 1978 (?)
I turned on a PC without even knowing what it was.
That was the "start" of a long career .

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 07:32 PM
a reply to: dug88

I always install new releases from scratch if I’m not running a rolling distro. Something about non-official Ubuntu releases always give me issues with upgrading.

Put your /home on a separate partition, never deal with this problem again.

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 07:41 PM
a reply to: rounda

Yes, please use a separate partition for /home. I would give you more stars if I could rounda!

posted on Jan, 16 2021 @ 08:30 PM
a reply to: dug88

Yeah, I typically just like to do a clean re-install. Just avoids the potential issues and I'm staring over fresh, like a brand new day ... a brand new life!

posted on Jan, 17 2021 @ 02:27 AM
Windows 10 user here. Never had such a misfortune. Guess I'm lucky?

symlinks for vital information. Any necessary reinstall is just a matter of recreating them.

And I get to use all the groovy utils that only run on windows.

disappears back into minesweeper

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