Installing Kubuntu 13.04 or Luckily, I Get Paid for This

I have now spent many hours trying to install Kubuntu 13.04. As you can see by the time spent, it didn’t exactly go smooth. But before I begin the barrage, let me assure you that I’m a Linux fan, I’m using Linux for many years now, I’m using it at home and even after this ordeal, I’m not going back to either Windows or Mac.

Let’s start with the installer. It’s fast, looks slick … Why are there no keyboard shortcuts? 😦

Harddisk partitioning. No keyboard shortcuts. Why can’t I format the swap partition? The button is dead but it doesn’t look disabled.

Okay. Let’s put / on my SSD, add some swap, /home on my normal harddisk.

I live in Switzerland, so let’s select that … “ubi-console-setup failed with exit code 141” 😦 Googling quickly got me solution. Okay, let’s go back. Exit code 141 again. Grrr…. Close … Why do I get a desktop now?

Oh, nice an installer icon. Click … why is it asking be *again* for the harddisk layout? Still no keyboard shortcuts … and error 141 is back. Great. Reboot.

Trying again … okay, selecting the time zone triggers the ubi-console-setup bug. Thanks, I just entered my harddisk layout a third time. Reboot.

Germany. No, leave my ***** keyboard layout alone. Just shut up and … harddisk layout again … Maybe I can save some time by not formatting the partitions again?

Yes. Err … no. Now it tried to “backup installed packages” ARGH!!! Okay, that shouldn’t take long … 1 hour …. 2 hours …. Power off.

Harddisk again, yes, format everything. German keyboard layout. Waiting for everything to install from the USB stick.

Creating this stick was an adventure of it’s own. What is the difference between Kubuntu, Kubuntu HDmedia, Kubuntu active and Kubuntu 13.04?

Yay, a desktop.

Let’s switch the keyboard layout. Good.

Where is Chrome or Firefox? Ah, nice, there is a one-click Firefox installer. Click … wait … wait some more … is that thing doing anything?

How do I install software here? Where is aptiude? Where did the Software installer in the System Settings go??? Okay, it’s “Muon”, now. Well, let’s try that.

First, set the proxy. Checking the proxy in rekonq … works.

Starting Muon. Search for “Firefox”. No results. “Chrome”? Nope. “Vim”? Anything? What’s wrong with this software?

I added “Canonical partners” as a repository but there is no indication whatsoever that it accepts this change, that it downloads the new repo or anything. My first impression with Muon: Stay away.

Back to apt-get. Installing chrome works. Starting it … suddenly, my proxy settings in System Settings are gone? Okay, put them back and also add them to Chrome. Good, that seems to work.

Trying Muon one last time. Aha, when I prepare everything with apt from the command line (like downloading the repositories), Muon can suddenly find packages. But it can’t install anything. I click on “Install”, it flickers and that’s it. No error message, the UI gets corrupted and no software installed.

So. I’m now officially on 13.04. The UI looks nice enough.

Trying to upgrade the system. “Muon Package Manager” (what’s the difference between this thing and “Muon Software Center”?) seems to work and it shows me 289 packages ready for upgrades. Apply … wtf!? “The following software can’t be verified. WARNING: Installing such software is a security risk …” Okay, if the official Ubuntu updates are a security risk, why even bother???

*sigh* Go on. ARGH!! “Could not download packages” :-((( Details: “Unable to connect to …” Apparently, Muon doesn’t care whether there is a proxy or not … or … ah, of course, the system has again forgotten my proxy settings. Okay, f*** that. apt-get upgrade. Yes, install all those trojans on my computer, I don’t care anymore. Yes, yes, yes, yes, just do it already.

*Deep breathing*

How do I make the proxy settings stick???

Oh well, let’s just add them to /etc/environment – which is probably the worst way to do it but hey, if the obvious ways don’t work and Google doesn’t turn up anything useful, what’s a man to do?

Conclusion: That was my adventure with installing Kubuntu 13.04. Tomorrow, I’ll try to do some actual work on it.

Overall, I feel that many, many people put a lot of work into the system and all this was ruined by a few small bugs (Muon, proxy settings, Swiss keyboard in the installer).

2 Responses to Installing Kubuntu 13.04 or Luckily, I Get Paid for This

  1. anon says:

    Judging by the fact that you don’t seem to know whether you installed Kubuntu 13.04 or 13.10 (an early beta maybe?), have you considered the problem might be between keyboard and chair? 😉 Furthermore, I’d suggest Xubuntu, nobody ever gets any work done with KDE anyways…

    • digulla says:

      Judging from the fact that I have 115K points on SO, it’s probably not a PEBCAK. It’s also not the first time I installed a Linux distro (I have installed dozens of SuSE/openSuSE and a few Ubuntu versions). 12.04, 12.10 and 13.04 installed all smoothly without any incident. 13.10 was a mess. It was much, much, MUCH worse than anything I’ve encountered so far … okay, I’m lying … there was this time when I had to get the nvidia driver working so I could install SuSE 7.3 … and the nightmare to get pulseaudio to work on openSuSE 12.1 … and … uhm … you get the idea 🙂

      As for Xubuntu: If it would behave exactly like KDE, I’d give it a try. Desktop designers will eventually have to learn that users don’t give a damn how configurable their stuff is. Users only care about: 1. Does it work, 2. Does it work reliably, 3. Does it do what I expect, when I expect it, how I expect it.

      “It looks great” just buys you five minutes of user lover. After that, the system has to deliver actual solutions to real problems. KDE has it’s flaws but I have a script that deinstalls Nepumuk and the rest is good enough for me. Actually, I mostly use KDE to start 500 Konsoles and one web browser with about 512 tabs.

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