Ubuntu 9.04 – A very buggy affair!!!

Just a few months ago, I decided that I would install a linux operating system in my notebook, though being a Windows fan. So I decided that I can directly jump to the latest version of Ubuntu, Jaunty Jackalope, version 9.04. It was just released, and many reviews said it was a good one. I actually installed Ubuntu 8.10, but it was very problematic in my system, for it does not boot unless I hold on to some keys on my keyboard. I don’t know why it happens, but maybe the version of Ubuntu is not fully compatible with the AMD Turion processor that my notebook has.

So I made a USB startup disk of Ubuntu 9.04 (as my DVD-drive is not functional….:)), and installed it straight away, the file-system being ext4. Okay, the installation process was pretty fast, and the boot up time was fast indeed. And, yes, it is partly compatible with my AMD processor, although it would show the same problem if I don’t connect it to a power source.

So days went by, and I was happy with the ubuntu. But then, I started toying with my system. I formatted the partition with windows vista pre-installed, and put some of that space to my ubuntu partition (using GParted). And after that, it gave me sleepless nights. My ubuntu started behaving  oddly, and the windows 7 that I’d installed earlier could not be booted, because it had written into the vista boot-loader, which was gone forever. So I was stuck with the ubuntu, and the problems never stopped popping up.

It was becoming a real headache using the ubuntu, cuz some problem or the other used to arise. Every time it takes a while to load processes, like system monitor, firefox and all, and the worst part is that these applications began to crash after some time. I tried to reload the gdm, but even the console began to show some errors, something that it cannot read from disk sector due to I/O error. Finally it came to a grand halt, not able to boot into the ubuntu at all, showing some DRDY error. I checked the BIOS hard-disk check, and it showed – “Replace hard-disk”. I tried live-cd through USB, and even that could not load. Eventually I decided to replace the hard-disk, and installed ubuntu 9.04 again.

Now, a month after that incident, the problems seem to creep up again. Just this morning, the firefox crashed, I was not able to load the system monitor, the processor working more on I/O operations, and not able to login into my user in the console. So now I really doubt whether the Ubuntu 9.04 is stable, even the computer professionals at my university suggested to install some other version of the ubuntu, that version 9.04 is very unstable, that they experienced similar problems during usage.

But I’m quite prepared for it this time, as I’ve installed ubuntu 8.10 and windows 7 just in case. I really doubt whether it caused my old hard disk to fail, as I now can access the data in it through external case and USB. So, I think though it has some pluses, it is still not recommended to install it in your system, be safe with the older and tested versions of Ubuntu.

Oh, by the way, here are some of my notebook’s specs…

HP Pavilion dv6602au

AMD Turion 64bit dual core processor (1.9MHz)

Samsung 160GB Hard-drive (Old one – WD 160GB)

NVIDIA GeForce 7150M/nForce 630M

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30 comments

  1. I have been using ubuntu for a while. I started using ubuntu 8.04 and now its 10.10. It was good in the beginning (I meant the 8.04) but as it started to mature it became buggy. Here are some issues that I cannot stand in UBUNTU now.
    1. You cannot play games on POGO.COM
    2. Skype video does not work everytime you upgrade your ubuntu. somebody came up with a fix for UBUNTU 9 and after upgrading to 10 I had to wait for quite a while until somebody came up with a fix again.
    3. Flash videos don’t work properly. The same page that plays video without any problem in Windows will not play in UBUNTU.
    4. Ubuntu seems to be getting more heavier on the system resources.
    5. I use some websites that only use internet explorer and now I am unable to install internet explorer for linux in ubuntu using wine.
    6. Wine is getting buggy for other applications as well.

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  4. I have had issueks with 9.04 as well since shortly after install. This is almost bad enough to drive me back to that viral code from Microsoft………there is an fsck error message that is recurring, regardless of running a manual fsck……what gives???? I am not a code writing computer guru. Just someone who wants to use a stable, I repeat STABLE, operating system that is hopefully not putting anymore money in Bill Gates pockets. I think he all ready has enough.

    At first I thought it was a hardware issue, but after reinstalling an old version of XP there were no problems….I also put Ubuntu 8:10 back on the system on another hard drive and it worked.

    I am left thinking that Jaunty ain’t all it has been made out to be. This is hardly the way to go about getting folks to make the change to Linux.

    As I said, I am not a software expert by any stretch, but I have been a walking talking advertisement for Ubuntu since I switched over about six months ago.

    I am typing this from the Laptop with an XP os on it……should I just put the 8:10 back on the other machine and wait for the next Jaunty upgrade?

    Thank you,
    Craig Clark
    Houston,Texas

    • Well, it does seems to be the problem of file system checks, that jaunty doesn’t do often. Actually fsck must be done after 5 boots for this ubuntu!

      If ubuntu 8.10 works fine in your notebook, then why change to jaunty? After all there’s not much of a difference, except that it is a new OS, and supports ext4 and many more.

      If you still want to use jaunty, then you need to frequently do file system checks on a regular basis. There is a way where you can change the number of boots for the next fsck. Just check on this command…. tune2fs, which changes the periodicity of fsck checks…..
      Also you can do e2fsck from other ubuntu….

  5. I just love it when people use subject lines that cry out ‘I’m just looking for a fight/attention’.

    I’m old enough to have started on a DEC Vax and spent over 20 years supporting primarily IBM midranges, Novell Networks, and Windows.

    But, even for this old dog, moving to Ubuntu was a piece of cake. I haven’t had any serious issues (I have five machines running with a hodgepodge of components and processors) and certainly nothing even close to as time consuming as the issues I’ve had on the two remaining Windows partitions.

  6. The hype around 9.04 is overblown, I had plenty of weird errors upgrading from 8.10 to 9.04 (64 bits). However a clean install of 9.04 from scratch is OK.

    May be you are trying to play with complex features (dual boot) right the 1st time. If you are not yet committed to migrate definitely to Linux, you may want to try running Ubuntu in a virtual machine, I recommend VirtualBox 3.0.2.

    I setup a dual boot Vista / Ubuntu last year. During 8 months I didn’t boot Vista a single time. Finally I formatted the Vista partition in ext4.

    For your 1st try, you may want to test Linux Mint.
    Good luck.

    • Well, i did triple boot it at start (vista and windows7), now I installed only jaunty and then installed 8.10. After that I installed windows7.

      Actually, after doing the file system check, it became all right, except for one incident when everything came to a standstill. I couldn’t do anything, no keyboard input works, pointer doesn’t move, nothing does happen in that situation. I’d to manually power-off, but later there was no problem.

      Is it a serious issue? That I should take note of?

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  8. Before you go bashing Ubuntu, you need to rule out what’s happening with your hard drive.

    Install smartd and run full diagnostics on the drive and go from there.

    Also, if you have a CD of Linux, boot up and run fsck.ext3 or ext4.

    I use 9.04 and have been running ext4 for several months with no issues on an HP Pavilion dv200z AMDTurion64x2.

    Everything runs supremely well here.

    Good Luck.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz

  9. Just as a curiosity item: I’ve been running sidux (another Debian offspring) on my AMD Turion laptop, 3 years old, for the last year and it’s still performing very well. If you can spare 20 minutes to Read The Fine Manual before customizing the system (some things are not recommended), it would not hurt to give it a try. Just a warning: now it comes with KDE4, so it might be worthwhile to consider getting the Xfce version, if you still don’t trust KDE4.

  10. The fact that you DVD drive does not work and the issues you are having should tell you that the computer itself is stuffed. Clean out all the dust, clean and reseat the ram and try again. Try removing and reinstalling the DVD drive.

    Reinstall the original XP and see what happens. Maybe leave a bit of space for Ubuntu to use once you know the system works. I would use 9.10 and install all the updates before doing anything else. You will also need to update the ATI video drivers using the Restricted Hardware Manager.

    XP is more tolerant of hardware errors than newer OSs like Windows 7 and Linux.

    • I forgot to add here that I have nvdia graphics driver.

      The problem with installing XP is that I don’t have all the drivers for my notebook. Windows 7 works perfectly fine for me now.

      Also my cousin mentioned that I must do a file system check, because of the DRDY error. Is it possible that ubuntu is not doing the fsck frequently enough?? I’m yet to do the fsck, I’ll let you know what came of it….

      Meanwhile, I did even more than what you said. I removed the DVD drive, cleaned it, put it back again thousand of times. Also, I’ve to try out installing windows 7 in my old hard disk and see if it works….Busy days ahead for me!!!

      • It has been suggested elsewhere that you should select ext3 rather than ext4 during install, that may fix your problems – it could be a disk write/cache issue.

        Linux needs to be shut down properly, especially if you use ext4 as the cache writes need to be flushed.

        If you are keen to try again then definitely select ext3 as the file system

        good luck

    • i now have ext3 file system, made sure that i not use ext4.
      It showed the same problems, but later i did e2fsck command on suggestion by my cousin, and now I’m using it, so far no problems at all. Maybe it’s due to improper file system checks. Is there any way I can make it a regular feature, that I can schedule a file system check after several boots?

  11. It’s not Ubuntu, it’s your hard disk. Your own BIOS says you so, your software crashes when doing I/O operations and you still think that it’s Ubuntu???

    Ubuntu 9.04 is very stable for me.

    • Even I thought so earlier, but when i could make the hard disk work using an external case usb connector, I now doubt ubuntu. The fact is that I don’t have another working OS, and I can still access the data in my hard drive. So how can you explain that??

      • An external USB case does not relay SMART information from the harddisk. So the OS thinks everything is OK.

        Asuming the disk has developed bad blocks, the problematic areas could be exactly where your Ubuntu install is.

        There is also the possibility that the data was trashed by the chiset driver or filesystem bug, and resulted into an unstable system.

  12. I installed it on my Eeepc and it run sluggish the thing works great on my 5yr old desktop maybe thats the problem putting it on too new hardware I have noticed that linux releases are at least 1yr behind hardware in a stable manner

    • well….my notebook’s 2yrs old now….and it’s showing a hell a lot of problems…. :)… even in my cousin’s dell pc, it’s working perfectly fine…maybe they didn’t test it in AMD based computers……

    • I agree with u too..it’s a good one…but it’s validity seems to be only for a month or so, after which it jst gets bugged down!!!
      I really liked it after a few days usin it….it was quick and good nifty features, but why the hell is it getting crashed???mayb it’s the problems with updates or somethin, otherwise why should it crash??
      i lik ubuntu for the fact tht it free nd stable, and kinda user-friendly too..but 9.04 is not stable as of now…i think d nxt version will…i’m waitin for tht…

  13. Although Ubuntu 9.04 was indeed rather buggy the first month (until several major updates were available) your problems still sound like hardware issues to me.

    When choosing Ubuntu, first look at the latest LTS release (currently 8.04) if you want stability. When bleeding edge (with the risk of “rough edges”) is what you you are looking for, then go for the latest Ubuntu release.

    • I did try installing Ubuntu 8.04, but it I could not, as I’ve my DVD drive that doesn’t work, and the USB install also shows some problem to me, because it goes to the shell directly when doing either install or live cd. Maybe it’s not supported.

      Actually many guys did have similar problems I faced. The computer profs in my university described to me the same problems I faced, and also suggested me the version 8.04 you mentioned as the best.

      Currently I’m using the 8.10 version, for which every time I’ve to hold on to some keys for it boot….. gosh…. when am I going to get a trouble free linux!!!! 😦

  14. lol 🙂
    for me ubuntu 9.04 was also very buggy.
    e.g.
    sound stopping to work with no reason
    openoffice crashs while doing writing my thesis /doing presentations!
    hadoop does not run on a cluster – same setup in centos: no problem
    openoffice randomly changing symbols in math formulas
    no keyboard input in okular when opening pdfs in firefox
    kde4 either 2% or 200% cpu – most of the time the latter
    random xorg crashes (i never have seen xorg crash anywhere before)
    i could go on and on and on… WTF happened to ubuntu!? 7.10 was nice, now debian testing for me is clearly better.
    hell. – i`d even prefer windows (+cygwin) compared to this crappy release!


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