Upgrading Ubuntu, problems and solutions

I’ve just upgraded my Ubuntu linux distribution from “Hoary Hedgehog” to “Breezy Badger”. I ran into some trouble, I’m pretty sure it was all caused by me running out of disk space during the upgrade. For the record I’ve added the process here to go from a broken upgrade to one that works. I also note how to fix Azureus in Breezy (it needs Sun’s java, not the GNU version).

After following the instructions at UbuntuGuide I saw I had errors. I restarted the machine and noted that nothing had changed (time so far – 3 hours of downloading). I started the process again and left it for another 3 hours.

This time it appeared to work so I restarted – and that’s where it all went south. The reboot got as far as the console before stopping. I ran
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
again from the console (for 30 minutes) and it got a bit further. I restarted and got stuck again. The software suggested I run
sudo apt-get -f install
and again it got a little further (about an hour), another reboot, another
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
and now I had a total of 7 errors: postfix, lsb-core, lsb-graphics, lsb-cxx, lsb, mailz, mutt

After this reboot I got to a the Ubuntu graphical log-on screen. Trying to log-in gave me the message "GDM could not write to your authorization file...".

Switching back to the console (Ctrl-Alt-F1) and running
sudo apt-get install
showed that there was a problem with postfix. I used Shift-PgUp and Shift-PgDn to read the messages. Running
sudo postfix stop
stopped the postfix script, and running
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
again resulted (finally) in all packages installing. It reported that mplayer-k6 and gparted were not upgraded (I don’t know if that’s a problem, they seem to work fine now though).

After rebooting again and trying to log-in, the message had suggested I might be out of disk space, a little digging on-line reveals that this was likely to be the case. Using
at the console (I used Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to a console), I saw that I’d used 100% of my root drive. It seems that apt-get leaves files in the cache, running
sudo apt-get clean
removes about a half-gig of cached files. Switching back to the graphical log-on screen (Ctrl-Alt-F7) and my log-in works.

When I logged in the Language Selector (System->Administrator->Language Selector) asked to upgrade itself, I allowed the defaults and then closed it when finished.

Azureus needed to be fixed, exactly the same problem led to the same solution. I checked
java -version
and saw I had gij v1.4.2. Previously I had Sun’s java, so I ran
sudo update-alternatives --config java
and saw that I had 3 Javas, currently I had /usr/lib/jvm/java-gcj/bin/java, I chose
and then Azureus worked fine.

Now Ubuntu once again works fine and I’m running the latest version. Next time I’ll make sure I have a gig of free space on my root drive.

Update: My HP LaserJet 1010 printer worked first time. I just plugged it in and used System, Administration, Printing, New Printer, chose the HP LaserJet 1010 and it just worked. Woot! I hadn’t even tried installing it in the previous version of Ubuntu over fears I’d need to mess around with a stack of packages.


  • i nearly had a similar deal with Python on OS X recently. Trying to install matplotlib (or pylab as it seems to be now) and it wasn't too happy. In the end I actually upgraded to Python 2.4 so I could take advantage of some ready made binary packages. Matplotlib seems to work pretty well now. Though I did find that it broke Tomato Torrent, but the "official" bit torrent client worked and they'd overhauled the interface, so it wasn't so dog ugly as last time I'd used it.
  • Patrick Brouillé
    Many many thanks for your help!!! I did not have the room problem on my hard disk but had the same errors on: postfix, lsb-core, lsb-graphics, lsb-cxx, lsb, mailz, mutt To solve the problem I ran: sudo postfix stop sudo apt-get dist-upgrade Merry Christmas!!
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