After the debacle that was the attempted upgrade from Kubuntu 8.04 to 8.10, I sat back and thought about using Ubuntu for a while. In fact, I’d been thinking about it when I wrote the blog post on the upgrade. And the conclusion I came to was this; I started using Linux with Debian, way back in the days when 3.0 was in testing; I used it on my desktop, on my laptops, on my robot, on the lab server and anywhere else it could fit; and I stayed with it up to the point where I needed some hardware support and was too lazy to build from source, and tried Ubuntu because “all the cool kids were doing it”.
And that was a bad mistake. They may bar me ever re-uping with SAGE for saying something as basic as this in public, but stability is far more important than having the suspend-to-ram function working or faster graphics regardless of whether it’s a mainframe or a laptop, if that is, you’re actually doing work with your computer. I did know that at one point. I blame reading too many Rails sites 😀
At any rate, plugged in the external 1394 hard drive, backed up everything (~50Gb in under an hour, sweet), stuck in the netinst cd for Debian Lenny’s amd64 version (feck it, if it didn’t install, I had the i386 handy as a fallback), walked through an incredibly improved installer process, and now I have a pristine system running Gnome, KDE (3), Openbox, Windowmaker, XFCE, LXDE and matchbox (for a project).
The only nonstandard thing in here is that I went and got the 1.2.1 version of Mercurial from the testing repository by hand because otherwise it wouldn’t hg pull from the 1.2.1 repos in the lab.
It’s very stable, it’s got support for everything, and the parts which don’t work are trivial (starting wireless after the wireless kill switch is used seems to be utterly broken and hibernate isn’t working either, nor are the brightness softkeys but there are menu options).
So that’s that, the Kubuntu experiment is over. Back to Debian and breathing easier…