Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) to 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)

I had been using Ubuntu for quite a few years and lately had been using Ubuntu 16.04 along with Windows 10 as dual boot on my Lenovo Z510. Ubuntu for pretty much everything and Windows for any software which is not compatible with Ubuntu. This has been a deadly combination which worked for me pretty well.

Why the upgrade in Ubuntu?

In Ubuntu 16.04 pretty much everything was working well, except the suspend and hibernate. The system was not able to resume from suspend every time. The only option left was to shutdown and restart the computer along with all the applications, which is not really nice.

Checking the different Ubuntu forums and trying out different suggested solutions didn't fix the problem. So, finally decided to upgrade Ubuntu to the latest version. There is a probability that the upgrade process got messed up and the data is lost. My data is backed up automatically to the different Clouds, so this was not an issue.

Ubuntu released 18.04 in April, a few months back. But, upgrade process from 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) to 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) is not recommended. Upgradation to the point release 18.04.1 is the safest approach. It gives Canonical time to fix the bugs and make the transition smoother.

So, as soon as 18.04.1 announced, I took a shot and upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04.1 by following the instructions mentioned here.

How was the Ubuntu upgradation?

During the initial days of Ubuntu, upgradation from one version to another messed up the Operating System, but it was really smooth this time. Here I am with the latest Ubuntu after a reboot.

Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) Desktop

The download and installation process took about 2 hours with a good number of prompts in between. Wish there was a 'Yes to all' option during the process which would have made the installation process unattended.

Was everything smooth after the upgradation?

Usually any software upgrade will have some major/minor issues which will get fixed overtime, same is the case with Ubuntu. Here is a list of some issues to start with. I am sure to update the list the more I use the latest Ubuntu and also with the possible solutions if any.

  • Ubuntu was using Unity UI and moved to GNOME, so it takes some time to get used to the new UI. But, my initial impressions are good with GNOME.

  • I had been using Phatch to batch mark the images on this blog, but it has been removed from the Ubuntu repository. Quick Googling around gave Converseen as an alternative which I am yet to try.

  • Right click on the mouse stopped working and has been replaced with two-finger click. There were a couple of solutions and quick try of some of them didn't work. Again it will take some time to get used to the two-finger click.

  • The good thing is that suspend start working and I was able to resume where I stopped. This basically increased the productivity and the focus. When I used the Nvidia display driver instead of the default open source Nouveau display driver, the suspend functionality broke and I had to revert to the Nouveau display driver.

  • Should I upgrade?

    If Canonical is supporting the Ubuntu version which you had been using for the next few years and there is no hard pressing issue like suspend in my case then I would recommend to stick to the current OS. Again, if you want to try the latest technology like me, then go ahead with the upgrade.