Alvin Kerber

math and computers and stuff

Currently I do most of my typing and coding at home on a 2010 MacBook Pro. It is pretty good, but has the following issues:

I first tried installing Ubuntu on the / partition.. Reasons for picking Ubuntu:

I’ll be installing on an old Lenovo x300 that I previously ran Arch Linux on. It works fine, but Arch is now 3+ years out of date (I haven’t used this computer in ages). I’m terrified to think what will happen if I try to upgrade it. Unfortunately, my Ubuntu install failed!

Notes on Ubuntu install:

I next tried upgrading my existing Arch system with pacman -Syu. However, this ran into a bunch of problems. Checking the forums, this is basically impossible and a clean install is heavily encouraged. I was going to try that next, but after sleeping on it (and remembering all the forums like “you should really update your system every week”) I decided I’m too old and busy to mess around with Arch. I slept on it at this point.

After more investigation:

Thinking about it, it seems like the best strategy will be to back up my data and do a completely fresh install (rewriting the partitions and everything). Some more misc reasons this is probably a good idea:

It turns out thumb drives nowadays are REALLY big (64GB is cheap!) so it was straightforward to get a thumb drive and do the backup. I did the backup with rsync -rtv --delete --size-only. (It took a long time to figure out this command — in the process of trying to get rsync -av to work, I ended up deleting a lot of settings, cache files, VM images etc on the laptop.

Anyway, after that long headache, the actual from-scratch Ubuntu install was not difficult at all.

References

Various AskUbuntu threads: