April 29, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 hit by major bug on release day

a bug's life, I guessImage by [phil h] via Flickr

by Erez Zukerman

It's the end of April. Spring is here, and so is Ubuntu 10.04. Or at least, that's the plan. Canonical's rigid release schedule is awesome for many reasons -- one of which is the amount of excitement it generates around each new Ubuntu release. However, I don't think this is the kind of excitement Mr. Shuttleworth had in mind when the "fixed schedule" policy was set.

As it turns out, after the final release ISOs were already created (or "spun" in Ubuntu geek-speak), a critical bug came up; and no, I don't mean something like "OMG, we put the window buttons on the wrong side!". I mean something like "once you install Ubuntu, you will not be able to boot your other operating system." Oops. It doesn't kill the other OS, and it's fixable when it happens (it's a problem with the GRUB2 bootloader configuration), but it's certainly not something you want to have happen to people just trying out your OS (or even upgrading from previous versions).

Granted -- it doesn't happen with each and every installation, but it can happen. The Ubuntu team considered a quick-fix, but eventually went for the more responsible (and safer, in terms of PR) option of re-spinning the ISOs. However, re-spinning all ISOs would push the release into May, which would be a PR flop in itself. So they're just re-spinning some of the most popular ones, like the x86 and x64 desktop releases, as well as the Netbook remix. Exciting stuff!

The Fix
The partition(s) of the other operating system(s) are not being destroyed and the menu entries for GRUB can be re-generated using update-grub.

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TheComputerDoctor said...
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