Thursday, June 26, 2008

Be Careful Using Ubuntu Update Manager

Ubuntu Linux comes with a pretty cool Update Manager tool which searches for software updates and patches on the Internet and provides options to install them. I've been using this tool for months to install various updates on my system. The best thing about the Ubuntu Update Manager is that, it not only updates the OS but also updates the drivers and other utilities installed on the system. Everything seemed to work fine until I installed some kernel updates on my system using the Update Manager.

After applying the updates the Update Manager required a system restart to complete the update process. This has happened before so I patiently complied. But when the system rebooted I noticed that my system has gone dumb. Sounds were not working at all. And then I tried to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, only to find that my wireless network device is also screwed up. Luckily for me I have some friends who are professional Linux experts. I hooked up my computer to a wired network and contacted them over the Internet.

Fixing the wireless connectivity issue was not a big deal. The very Update Manager which got me into trouble helped me out. I installed a bunch of driver updates listed by the Update Manager. Then after a system reboot my Wi-Fi device was back up and running.

The difficult part was fixing the audio related issue. I had to fire up the synaptic package manager and install a couple of Linux backport modules and restart the system to get sounds working again.

However all in all it was yet another learning experience for me. If you are a regular Ubuntu Linux user like me, my advice to you is be careful when installing kernel patches using the Update Manager. Know what you are doing. Be ready to deal with some undesirable results.

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