I downloaded Kubuntu 6.06 LTS over the weekend and it’s been sat in my backpack waiting to go onto the laptop. As I’m too used to being able to jump straight to a directory on various Linux boxes using fish:// or have WebDAV drives on-tap, I’d decided to stick Kubuntu onto my laptop for use at work. Having seen Dapper Drake running briefly on my desktop, it looked very slick.
But, it’s been a nightmare.
First off, I don’t agree with this idea of live CD’s and running an installer from inside it. The boot menu gives some nice options such as running a memory test and booting from the hard drive which previous versions didn’t, but why not then stick in an option to go straight to a normal install? Sure, you might want to give it a go to simply see how it runs, but performance will always be poor running from RAM + a CD, or for checking hardware compatibility, but I just want to be able to go straight to an install. Gentoo 2006.0 does the same thing, and failed to run through the installer a couple of weeks ago which annoyed me, though at least I could revert to a standard text-based install quite easily.
Anyways, aside from the annoyance of it loading up a live version of Kubuntu, the Espresso installer just didn’t work. Tabbing between menu items jumped all over, the actual order of the installer options didn’t seem very logical, and when the page for disk partitioning came up, the installer closed down. As it wouldn’t start again, I restarted the system. The installer wouldn’t run the second time round, so I just went to reboot back in to Gentoo.
“Grub error 22“. Bugger.
Quite impressively, the live CD managed to erase the hard drive. Not just corrupt the bootloader or partition table, but actually wipe the drive. Even Knoppix couldn’t repair it! Although I easily dropped a Windows image across the network back onto it (minus a dozen or so Windows updates since I don’t slipstream them with running a separate system for handling updates with the RM network), it wasn’t too bad as I don’t store any work on it, but it took out a Gentoo install which took a while to do. For those that have used Gentoo, you’ll know what this means!
To be fair, the Kubuntu website is now (under)stating “there is a bug in the live CD installer known to cause data loss, please wait for beta 2 before using it“, but that wasn’t there when I downloaded it, and it must be one hell of a bug! Again, to be fair, it is a beta, but the Kubuntu team are normally pretty solid and this is not at all what I was expecting. Annoyingly, whilst running the live version of Kubuntu, it did seem to have ACPI working properly to detect power usage, battery life and temperatures so it’s not all bad news.
I think I’ll use a 5.10 CD and simply change the sources.list to update to Dapper rather than try running another flight or TLS CD, and can only hope people haven’t lost any data trying to run this release in order to help out with testing + development of what will hopefully become a great release!