Upgrading from (X)Ubuntu 13.04 to 13.10

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I decided to upgrade my laptop and desktop to Ubuntu 13.10, the Saucy Salamander, this weekend. I don’t run Unity, so I expected things to go pretty smoothly. I’m pretty sure that the operating system on my desktop was installed using the “alternative” Ubuntu 12.10 installation media. If I am remembering correctly, that was a requirement at the time if you wanted to use whole-disk encryption.

The operating system on my laptop was installed more recently using the regular Xubuntu 13.10 installation media, and I performed that installation using DriveDroid. Both machines are running XFCE and using Sawfish as the window manager.

Things went pretty smoothly, but there were a few small obstacles.

The xorg-edgers PPA blocks the upgrade

The first time I tried the upgrade, update-manager gave me the error “Could not determine the upgrade,” and it advised me that unofficial software packages might be blocking the upgrade. I took a look at the logs, and I found a lot of problems with video and x.org related packages mentioned in /var/log/dist-upgrade/apt.log.

I’m using x.org and Nvidia driver updates from the xorg-edgers PPA on both of my machines. This certainly counts as unofficial software, and it is most definitely video related. I used ppa-purge to downgrade to the stock versions of these packages.

Removing the xorg-edgers PPA
wonko@zaphod:~$ sudo ppa-purge ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa

The upgrade went smoothly once the PPA was disabled and all of its software was removed.

The Nouveau driver hates my monitors

The upgrade completely removed the proprietary Nvidia driver and stuck me with the open-source Nouveau driver. My new QNIX QX2710 monitors are very picky; their EDID information is broken, and they will pretty much only run at a resolution of 2560x1440. I have some specific configuration in my xorg.conf to account for this.

I’m sure some of those configuration options are specific to the Nvidia’s driver. The simplest thing for me to do was just install the proprietary drivers again and reboot.

Installing the (slightly outdated) Nvidia drivers
wonko@zaphod:~$ sudo apt-get install nvidia-319

The reboot was required because the Nouveau kernel module was being used to drive the text consoles, so I couldn’t manually remove it from the running kernel.

I’m not sure exactly what I did differently on the laptop, but the proprietary Nvidia driver was already installed on there after the update. It was the old 304.88 version, though.

The best upgrades are the ones you don’t notice

Aside from the small driver issues, which were really my own fault, everything went smoothly. There were no issues with my encrypted root file system, my RAID 1 came up just fine, and no ugly window grips showed up in my terminal windows. In fact, everything looks exactly like it did before the upgrade.