Nerdin’ out with Kubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”

My venerable old vprMatrix (I think it was a Best Buy house brand) computer has gone through a power supply and video card and I’ve beefed up the hard drives on it a couple times. Now I think it might be time for its second video card. I upgraded it from Kubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) with the intention of going straight to Kubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” LTS, but alas, the 8.04 “Hardy Heron” release of Kubuntu was not deemed an “LTS” release, so I have to hop, skip and jump my way around here a bit to fully modernize the OS on that box. If I even get all the way there.

The upgrade seemed to go OK to 9.10, but once I rebooted into Kubuntu 9.10, I noticed one thing immediately: the snazzy new (to me) KDE4 environment was not drawing the windows properly – parts of most (but not all windows) were displaying ostensibly correctly, but the title bar of every window was garbled with a repeating pattern of lines — some vertical, some horizontal. So much so, that I couldn’t read the titles of any of the windows I clicked on. I had to rely on my old friends, the keyboard shortcuts, to call up a console session and turn the machine off via command line. I googled around a bit and found this: Window corruption with older ATI graphics cards

The tips there fixed my window display problems, but I wonder if I should just upgrade the video card anyway. Scrolling seems clunky; 32MB of RAM on the graphics card just might not cut it anymore. We’ll see how it looks when I get to 10.04 (another 1500 files have to be downloaded and configured and installed and …).

3 thoughts on “Nerdin’ out with Kubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala””

  1. Kimsal

    Has Lucid been officially released? or is it still in beta? i ask b/c i haven’t been forced the updates. seems to me like it took a long time for the updates for each of the past two releases to make it to me via automatic updates. i suppose i could go reach for it, but i’m a little too lazy for that.

    1. cliff1976

      Yep, it has (see http://kubuntu.com for details).

      I got it working — after upgrading all night from Karmic (9.10) last night.

      Couple weird things:
      — there are still some window corruption problems, but only at the splash screen, while trying to mount filesystems…skip that mounting (!?), and the window corruption disappears
      — why does mounting the file systems fail or take for ever at the splash screen, but then apparently work OK if you skip that mounting step and log in via KDM?

    2. cliff1976

      Oh, one other slightly weird thing.

      The built-into-KDE wireless networking stuff seemed just peachy for the few minutes I had Karmic running on this machine, but I’ve been messing with it for most of the morning, trying to get it working with my static IP and stuff here on Lucid. In the end, I caved and managed to get online via DHCP in the interest of checking my email.

      Some quick googling suggests uninstalling all GUI tools for networking (well…OK) and managing the /etc/network/interfaces files yourself. I can live with that, but it’s still annoying that Kubuntu / KDE seems to get wireless networking messed up with every release.

      Furthermore: this is a desktop box, only expecting it to have one network connection via WLAN because I don’t want to drill holes in the walls of this apartment to run ethernet cable around.

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