Nov 5, 2009

Is Karmic Koala Buggy?

The Register has an article reporting that early adopters are having a tough time with Karmic Koala. The article says that Ubuntu 9.10 is causing outrage and frustration, with early adopters wishing they'd stuck with previous versions of the Linux distro. (read more here...)

This brings us back to the testing debate again. Reporting bugs is the only way for developers to know about the bugs you experience and to fix them and make Ubuntu the best Operating System it can be. It is absolutely crucial that we have enough user to test the entire system on various hardware, and that these users provide the developers with good bug-reports. But Ubuntu doesn't lack users, in fact Ubuntu has never been more popular. So, what happened with Karmic?

As João Pinto pointed out, whether Karmic Koala is a good or bad release, it is all a matter of expectations. João also belives this was an accounted risked, part of the preparation for a much important goal which is 10.04 LTS. Martin Pitt posted the following on the ubuntu-devel-discuss:

Well, the bug tracker is full of regression and other reports. Karmic indeed was meant from the start as a "crack dump" release, with lotsand lots of new technology going into it. So in a way, it was the Fedora of Ubuntu releases so far. Perhaps we should have announced that more clearly...At least we now have a full cycle ahead of us to do bug fixing. :) "Unlike the usual blame game this was a much simpler and probably more realistic answer.

What has been your experience if you've moved to Karmic?

Read the entire article here:


  1. I feel like it's the most stable release in a while actually...

  2. Lots of bugs for me, it took a full day to get my system up and running again...

    - upgrade froze up halfway and caused a broken install which I had to manually fix from a live cd using the command line (Ubuntu wouldn't boot)
    - upgrade completely trashed my ati video drivers and xorg.conf, took me ages of messing around to fix (again from the command line as Ubuntu wouldn't boot to x)

    That said, now it's up and running it seems blazingly fast and stable.

    I can appreciate a "playground" release, but Ubuntu should flag it as such and not encourage installation via the Update Manager. Especially as the distro is touted as noob friendly. If I was a noob I'd have been completely screwed by the upgrade.

  3. For me it doesn't feel like there's more small bugs, than on other distros. I hated my upgrade to 8.04 back then (the audio problems), but this one is fairly nice :)

  4. thats what i thought too, karmic made very big changes and now its the right time to fix things up for the long term release, i can't switch to jaunty now because once you tasted karmic you can't go back.

  5. I always do clean installs, and have done so on 3 different machines with Karmic. They're all running well. Aside from the stupid flash issues (one of which is actually a GDK (GTK) issue,) I have only experienced a few minor bugs. At least the upgrade bugs can be fixed over time as karmic updates are issued.

  6. Obviously I would not expect even 50% stability in a bleeding edge release of an OS. Those who are complaining that Karmic is buggy should know that better than anyone.

    They should not expect it to be 99% stable. That is why there is the LTS, hardy is still available for download. You want stability, stick with LTS, you want bleeding edge, prepare for bugs and make provision for them. Simple as that.

  7. Ubuntu 9.10 is buggy. Install, sound and GTK issues caused me a lot of grief.

    I was able to correct all issues on my System76 Pangolin laptop. But I now have to use alsamixer to adjust sound, which is sad.

    But my System76 Starling netbook is a total loss. I could never get sound to work, using either pulseaudio, esound or oss. And I have to reload the Windows Manager after every restart. Finally, the new login process leaves much to be desired.

    I think it's fair to say that Karmic Koala has been a public relations disaster. And I suspect many casual users will move on to Windows 7 or Apple.

  8. That's quite interesting. I was actually surprised because for my system Karmic is the most stable Ubuntu release so far while in the past some releases caused me real trouble, including the 8.04 LTS release.

    But I'm aware that this might be coompletely different for other setups, so I hope the issues will be solved and we'll get a rock solid LTS release next year :)

  9. First, let's hope that 9.10 stabilizes over the next few months. And, yes, a rock-solid 10.4 would be awesome!

    But I'm beginning to wonder if Canonical has the resources to overcome the many shortcomings of 9.10 and build an ever better 10.4. I sincerely hope they succeed.

  10. Karmic's been perfect for me, other than a few sound issues, and I've been using it non-stop since alpha 3.

  11. I started using ubuntu after right after jaunty and karmic was the better it didnot take me a minute to upgrade to ubuntu. i did just upgrade and it was smooth i was writing my essay while the laptop doing the upgrade. and ubuntu karmic is very very cool. simply everything works!. and who said Ubuntu is for the tech geeks only?

    I got my W7 for $32 and i didnot even try it yet. I dont think i will use them though, they begged me to buy N i did for the price only.

  12. I think the 'upgrade' path isn't a good option for me - I simply rename my USER directory to USER-OLD and install, then take things I want from the old one (like my .bashrc and some settings) - also backing up the /USR/ resources is a good plan - otherwise, just a fresh install.

    Only one problem - the older nVidia driver was installed by the system, I had to manually upgrade that one to the newer 180 driver to get a smooth compositing experience. No other bugs!

  13. I didn't have any problems - I simply renamed my home directory to avoid over-writing it, backed up my /usr/ folders containing stuff I wanted to keep, and did a fresh install (my /home is already separate from the /root partition for safety - I think this should be a default option)

    Very easy, whole process took me an hour, plus an extra hour or two to copy fonts back, install non-free items (gstreamer good/bad/ugly etc) and restore some of those repositories from the old sources.list.

  14. installed karmic on a customer's gateway w350i 't-series' notebook. working great so far. one thing that i have to say as an admin, it seems harder to reconfigure as a power user (login themes, media keys, desktop themes, autoruns) a vast majority of these utilities were included in jaunty. i suppose that is why my main pc (in for repair) is running Mint 7 which is jaunty based. i didn't like the software centre, i prefer the power-user friendly synaptic package manager instead. for me, the software centre was too kid-like. my client is doing a cold-turkey vista to linux conversion. he is only 14.

  15. 9.10 has been a disaster on the netbook front. I too also farted around for about a day to get my Samsung NC-10 running perfect on 9.10. Had ipv6 resolve slowdown (honestly ip6 sucks balls, never has caught on for a reason and all it does is trip up the %99 of world that doesn't use it), backlight, and suspend/resume issues. That said once you get it running it so damn fast on even limited hardware there is no going back to 9.04 and especially winblows. The problem is %95 of the public doesn't have the patience and or expertise to mess with drivers, config settings, googling launchpad, etc. Most will say fug it and go to Win7 unfortunately. A rough around the edges bleeding edge release is not what Ubuntu needed to release at the same time as Win7 to win back the netbook market.

  16. Having made the switch from XP to Ubuntu, i feel its miles ahead of XP and dont feel the need to use windows 7 or go down the MAC route.

    BUT there was one thing thats keeping me on XP...the wireless issue. I use a netgear USB adaptor and even though it picked up a signal it just wouldn't load pages.

    It really is my only issue with ubuntu but it is a major one, for me anyway. I really hope this can get sorted for the 10.04 as i have been very very impressed with the rest of the OS! :D

  17. I love Karmic for its innovation and appearance and it ran perfectly for three weeks for me. Then I had a complete crash when downloading a large iso - the screen went into sleep mode and wouldn't recover. Two days later I was blanking a CD and Karmic crashed completely again although in that case it may have been my fault. I blanked a Cd in XP that wouldn't get recognised in Karmic then tried to copy a Mepis iso to it in Karmic which crashed it.

    I really like it but its not quite stable enough for me so I am using PCLOS 2009.2 until the LTS release.

  18. I have just loaded 32 bit Karmic on my laptop that previously had 64 bit Vista on it. I decided to switch when a Vista "upgrade" broke my printing setup to my 32bit desktop Vista.

    Here are some issues I've had:
    - had to manually enter DNS settings. (IPv6 DNS bug#417757) Caused VERY slow internet usage. Workaround in place for now

    - After configuring Evolution for gmail the applet does not let me know when new mail is available. (minor annoyance)

    - Had some problems installing msfonts. (related to DNS problem now fixed)

    - Rhythmbox visualization freezes
    ----Doesn't always update album art in applet when new songs starts

    - While downloading a large Slackware ISO after pausing it would not restart. Lost all progress. That was frustrating.

    - Have had one system lockup this week. Not sure what it was because I had Rhythmbox, OpenOffice, downloading an iso in Firefox, F-spot open, running Compiz with the cube all at the same time. (Honestly I was just testing to see how much it could handle)

    There are a few other things but for the most part they have just been minor annoyances. The major things for me like wireless, video, dvd, mp3, have all worked pretty well out of the box.

    I've determined to stick with it until I can see the LTS version in April but in the mean time I am going to try and mess with Slackware and Zen Walk in Virtual Box for learnings sake.

    One thing I have realized with Ubuntu is that while most things are working pretty well (my printing problem is fixed by the way :) ) I have absolutely no idea HOW they are working.

    Hopefully Slackware will give me some more understanding of the mechanics of linux so I'm not completely reliant on the GUI.

    For anyone who's interested there's a really good book called "A Practical Guide to Linux" by Sobell with alot of CLI information in it. He also wrote "A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux" which I also have that has been helpful.

    I've also found the Ubuntu-User magazine helpful in fixing a few things.

    The experiment continues. Wish me luck.

  19. You can't compare Fedora and Ubuntu. After updating to Karmic Koala, I decided to try Fedora 12. I am staying with it. I am constantly surprised with how well it works. I still have Jaunty in a couple of my computers, but I will not upgrade them.