Karmic Koala

26 11 2009

In my previous post I was blaming Karmic Koala for being the most buggy Ubuntu since I remember (which means Hoary 5.04). After three weeks of using the newest stable Ubuntu Linux I feel much less irritated than I was just after the system installation. See what changed.


In my previous post I wrote about problems with sound and booting. Both are now (more or less) solved.

First problem was occurring during the system boot. I found a workaround but it made booting last longer and required user’s (my) attention. I didn’t give up searching and I’ve finally bumped into another idea. I simply disabled fsck on my fat32 partition and miraculously Karmic started to boot like Jaunty with no “one or more mounts…” error.

The second issue was related to the sound system. One day I googled this thread on UbuntuForums.org. Other posts on other fora suggested purging PulseAudio. I read some more about PulseAudio and decided to give it a chance. I followed the steps described in the tutorial and sound, miraculously again, seemed to work correctly. At least openarena works fine. Great!


Ubuntu is said to be a Linux distribution for everyone. That means it should simple as possible. I don’t consider myself being a Linux guru – I’m a regular experienced user but I encountered problems which I couldn’t resolve just like that. People starting their adventure with Linux would never jump them over. It’s sad because I would really like to make Linux (most likely in form of Ubuntu) more popular. But what would I say to someone who sees Ubuntu – “the best distro for beginners” – causing irritation?


To disable fsck on fat32 partition in Linux one should change the latest column (6th) in /etc/fstab from 1 to 0.

# /windows was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=3440-10F6 /windows vfat utf8,umask=007,gid=46 0 0


Krotchety Koala

2 11 2009

On 29th October 2009 the newest version of Ubuntu linux (9.10 Karmic Koala) was released. Being a big fan of this distro I installed it on the same day. I didn’t play with RC because I prefer stability in day-to-day work. I expected that this release would follow the straight path that would lead the distro to the bright future. The RC version of Ubuntu 9.10 was issued on the same day the Windows 7 was, so I considered those two OSes as equal competitors. Was I wrong?

Few words on Win7

Couple of days before the final release of Karmic Koala I got Win7 RC DVD. The minor issue was that the license keys were really hard to be found. Finally, I found one (on official MS website!) through Google search (Bing didn’t help). But after that everything went surprisingly well. I don’t know Vista so I compared 7 to XP. I found several things which ensured me that MS went into right direction with Win7. The setup was much easier than the XP’s one. Win7 run smoothly on my VirtualBox being installed on external USB HDD. Of course, none of its graphical fireworks was enabled but without Aero I could work on quite an old laptop I have. It wasn’t the speed-demon but I was surprised it worked after all.

Kapricious Koala

Few days later I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 9.10. I had known it had quite a lot of important changes (ext4 by default, grub2 etc.). From previous releases of Ubuntu I was used to not to expect any troubles.

First problem arise during installation. The step before partitioning (“Checking disk” as far as I remember) took so much time that I rebooted the machine, unplugged external USB disk and retried. I thought that was a problem. I was wrong. Even without the external drive that step also took a hell of time (7-10 min? don’t remember but too much!). Finally, the image of disk partitions showed up. Here’s how my disk was organized:
/dev/sda1 fat32 mounted as /windows
/dev/sda5 ext3 mounted as /
/dev/sda6 ext3 mounted as /home
+ swap
+ IBM/Lenovo hidden fat32 partition

Since my very first time experience with Ubuntu I keep a separated partition for my /home. I decided to format root partition as ext4 and keep /home as ext3. Than the installation went without any problems.

Shutdown. Plug external USB HDD. Reboot.

First whoops!. During system startup I’ve got “One or more of the mounts listed in /etc/fstab/ cannot yet be mounted” error. I was stunned. Anything like this never happened before.

Shutdown. Unplug USB HDD. Reboot.

The same situation. I entered the recovery console and find out that my root partition has ext3 (not ext4) file system. Hmm… I thought maybe the new FS is buggy.

Reinstall. Againg waiting for “Checking disks”. Set ext3 for root. This time I kept external HDD plugged. Finally, I found that it didn’t cause any problem.


Again: “One or more mounts…”. What the hell? Asking google. I didn’t find solution but a workaround that works. I enter the recovery console and mount partitions manually:
mount -n -o remount,rw /dev/sda5
mount /dev/sda6

And CTRL+D. Ubuntu boots up.

I installed the soft I want/need/like. No surprises here.

Than I wanted to find out the new UXA mode for Intel GPU. I run OpenArena. Wow! It really goes at full speed… but… hey dude where’s my sound!? It turned out that some applications have problem with sound. In my case it looks as follow:

  • When I start the application from gnome menu the sound in the intro sometime is normal, sometimes sounds like “grkrgrg”, sometime disappears completely
  • Moving mouse very fast over menu positions turns the sound into “grkrgrg” mode 😉
  • During the game sometimes the sound acts as above. Sometimes come back to normal… sometimes not.
  • When I start the application from terminal (simply typing openarena) the sound lags sometimes.

Sometimes the sound disappears completely and I have to restart pulseaudio daemon. It’s really annoying.


I wanted to put in this article my opinion about changes that the Karmic Koala brings to Ubuntu. But I won’t do that. Maybe with 10.4 I’ll write something about Ubuntu One, Ubuntu Software Center and other changes.

I was promised to get faster boot (not the case if I have to enter recovery console and mount partition manually) and new graphic driver mode (true but with sound issues).

For now, I’m quite disappointed with this release but I won’t go back to Jaunty. I really like Ubuntu and a week ago I would suggest it for everyone. Now, I wouldn’t.


Laptop I have:
Lenovo 3000 C100
CPU: Celeron M 1600
GPU: Intel i915