Being the upgrade junkie that I am, I decided a month or so ago to upgrade my desktop to Ubuntu's next OS, not even in Alpha yet, called Gutsy Gibbon. I've actually been generally happy with the choice, as it always has the latest versions of just about everything, and hasn't really caused me any troubles. But since there's constant flux in the packages now as they're developing, you never know what an update is going to do to your system. To keep my sanity, I've set the scheduled update daemon to run once a week, and it just happens that's Saturday Morning. (I know today is Sunday, but I didn't get a chance to do the update yesterday). I wake up on Saturday look at the task tray and there's a bright orange Ubuntu update icon with a bubble waiting for me to set it in motion.
It's sort of like a Russian roulette of productivity, which is fun, in its own masochistic way. :-)
Actually, it's been weeks since I've had any problems, and even then only once or twice where I had to downgrade a kernel update via the command line in order to get my box to reboot (not a strenuous process at all, really). As time goes on, and we get closer to the Fall release date for Gutsy, you can really *feel* the OS getting more and more solid, which is really great to see. In fact the other day I started bitching about Rhythmbox to someone over IM, I went to re-try the things that were giving me trouble (streaming media) so I could describe exactly what was going on, I found that everything suddenly was working as it should. And I can honestly say that more times than not, apps continually improve rather than suddenly get flaky. Or if they do, I simply wait a day or two, and whatever it is has usually been corrected. It's absolutely astounding to be able to see the process of an OS being improved constantly like this, and the reason I think that Ubuntu is gathering such an amazingly strong following.
By the way, I had a few people (MattC and JimH on #mobitopia) bitch at me the other day to quit using apt-get and move to aptitude. I hadn't actually given it much thought, as I've been using apt-get for a few years now on my server. Then I saw this Aptitude vs. Apt-Get post which explained *exactly* why to use aptitude. Basically aptitude handles the functionality of 16 of the older tools. As someone who just learned about "apt-cache search" (I had been using the web interface until then), this is something I obviously could benefit from. I never use the curses interface - every time I start to use it, it seems to tell me that it's going to go through and remove every application I have installed or something. But in general aptitude's command line stuff is pretty cool. Consider me a convert (now if someone will just remind my fingers... they keep typing apt-get!).
Update: I figured I should probably try to understand why aptitude is always giving me weird messages and wanting to uninstall all of "ubuntu-desktop" (a virtual package which basically represents the entire GUI). Turns out the database wasn't synced, so it was confused. Doing an update from within aptitude cleared that up.
Also, great tip from that post I linked to, this will purge all removed packages that haven't been cleared out. Very nice!
aptitude purge ~c
Also, aptitude search needs a ~d flag in order to look within the package descriptions as well. Important to remember. My aptitude install now returns the three 0's (nothing to install, remove or upgrade) that I love to see. :-)