Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ubuntu 12.10 - One Step Forward, Two Back

About this time last year I wrote a post about how in many ways the latest Ubuntu was a better windows than windows itself. So when it came time to go back to Linux to address my RAID needs, I have to say I was expecting a journey of minimal hassles - outside of the networking issue that finally forced me to adopt Windows again last year.

You can imagine my disappointment when installing the 12.10 release was harder than setting up the RAID device turned out to be. It seems that since 12.04 was a long term release that it's main goal was to be rock solid. This meant that 12.10 was the first release for last year where they could try to build in several new items. And it appears that for a lot of folks (myself included) the new stuff is great fun - once you can actually get it working.

At the moment this means that while I got the RAID setup and the copy completed I am still working to get Ubuntu to use my nVidia card correctly. The current fix I'm in the middle of trying is to bring in a package of Unix Kernel headers to allow the system to rebuild the nVidia interface as needed when I upgrade to the proprietary driver. If that sounds rather complex, well it certainly is more so than I would expect for someone casually using Linux. Now, I used to compile my own kernels so in my case it's just an extra bit of hassle. But it seems like something I really wouldn't expect to run into on a system that is supposed to be "Linux for the rest of us".

I've noticed that some early reports of the upcoming 13.04 release indicate it might be more stable. However I am not inclined to jump into that right away until I see some of the same folks reporting the same problems I am having saying they have found it to be easier to work with.

Given how much I need the RAID storage, it is unlikely I will decide to jump back to Windows on this machine. Whether I try to get most of the rest of the household on Ubuntu is a different story. How much grief I go through will likely play a part on this.

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