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Old 02-22-2015, 05:52 PM   #1
mark_alfred
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Seems something is kinda screwed up


After upgrading Ubuntu to 14.10, I find I'm encountering a lot of odd quirks. Sometimes my mouse pointer splits in two (with one working, and the other just following like some odd dead appendage). Logging out and back in solves this.

Often I get warnings that something has crashed, with requests to send reports in. Upon trying to fill out these reports, I'm told the following:
Quote:
There was an error creating the child process for this terminal

Failed to execute child process "apport-retrace" (No such file or directory)
I dunno. Stuff still seems to work. But these odd quirks aren't especially comforting.
 
Old 02-22-2015, 08:10 PM   #2
frankbell
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What process did you use to upgrade?

My inclination is that something went wrong in the upgrade--that's always a possibility. I had an online version upgrade go screwy when going from Mageia v. 3 to v. 4. As in your case, most things worked, but little glitches started to happen. I eventually backed up my home and my smb.conf file and installed v. 4 from disk and everything has worked smoothly since.

If you did not back up your crucial data in preparation for the upgrade, do so now. I'd suggest waiting to see other responses to your question, but it might be a good idea prepare for a full erase-and-reinstall.
 
Old 02-22-2015, 08:28 PM   #3
mark_alfred
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Yeah. I should back it up, I suppose, though I'm not really sure how to. I upgraded via some script or program that was provided on the website that automatically changed the sources.list and did the rest (it said the script was for server installs). Seemed to go smooth.
 
Old 02-22-2015, 08:37 PM   #4
frankbell
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What to back up depends on what you have done with your computer.

In general, back up the contents of your /home directory and any configuration files that you have edited. For example, if you have edited /etc/samba/smb.conf or the /etc/fstab, back up the edited versions.

As for the hidden files and directories in your /home directory, there is no reason to back up any that you left at default. You need only back up the ones you have modified. In most cases, that would be the browser configuration and mail store (what files they are depends on what browser and and email client you are using); your news reader configuration if you use a news reader; your LibreOffice templates if you have created or downloaded any beyond the default, and so on.

Ubuntu has a detailed article on backups: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BackupYourSystem

Last edited by frankbell; 02-22-2015 at 08:39 PM.
 
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:38 PM   #5
Miati
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_alfred View Post
Yeah. I should back it up, I suppose, though I'm not really sure how to.
Since pretty much all linux software is free, backing up generally means backing up user files and backing up config files you have personally set. Sometimes other various files you have edited (.bashrc, fstab) as well. But only if recreating them from scratch is too much work.
 
Old 02-23-2015, 11:53 AM   #6
JimKyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
As for the hidden files and directories in your /home directory, there is no reason to back up any that you left at default. You need only back up the ones you have modified.
Note that if you use Thunderbird as your Email program, all of your message files will be a few layers down in the $(HOME)/.mozilla hidden subdirectory. If you have any that you want to keep, you should back this directory up regularly! This wasn't at all obvious to me when I first installed Tbird, but fortunately I learned about it before running into any disasters...

Last edited by JimKyle; 02-23-2015 at 11:54 AM. Reason: spelling and clarity
 
Old 02-23-2015, 09:34 PM   #7
widget
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimKyle View Post
Note that if you use Thunderbird as your Email program, all of your message files will be a few layers down in the $(HOME)/.mozilla hidden subdirectory. If you have any that you want to keep, you should back this directory up regularly! This wasn't at all obvious to me when I first installed Tbird, but fortunately I learned about it before running into any disasters...
Yes.

Those ~/.foo (hidden) files are your user config files. These are in fact extemely important to backup. If not then any application that you have configured will need to be reconfigured when you reinstall.

If you have, for instance, set up a data partition or an entire drive for your music and video collection all those paths are in your media player as the source files for them to use. These also contain any play lists you may have generated for your media player(s).

If you have configured your office tools so that your documents are configured to a specific font, font size, head space, foot space, side margins, size of cells in spreadsheets and so forth these are all in the corresponding ~/.foo file.

Font size, behavoir on scrolling, font color, background collor, ammount of lines to remember if you want to scroll back to check errors and so forth is all in your terminals ~/.foo file.

All your bookmarks, if using a FireFox based web browser, are in /home/<user name>/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default. This makes it possible for you and anyone else using the same box with separate accounts to have their own bookmarks and cookies and so forth while usig the same application.

These are the files that are put in the /ect/skel file to preconfigure your desktop if you get a respin of any base OS for the same reason.

These are files you put in /etc/skel if you have multi users and want them all to start out with a preselcted desktop.

They are, in short, the files that make your system be what you want it to be.

I am a serial multi booter and my FF/IW/PM(Palemoon), TB/ID, Deadbeef ~/.foo files get transplanted to all new installs of any distro. In Debian based distros this also includes my ~/.bashrc and the /root/.bashrc so that I have my aliases available.

I also configure some of the settings for xscreensaver and so the ~/.xscreensaver file goes to installs that I intend to spend significant time on.

There are, in a multi user type OS such as Gnu/Linux, very few system config files that actually need to ever be used or backed up. The ~/.foo files for all users, on the other hand, are crucial.

The only system config files that need backed up are ones that affect all users. Ones modified in hardening the system for instance. Grub config scripts in /etc/grub.d if you have customized it in some manner such as login passwords.
 
Old 02-24-2015, 07:45 AM   #8
rokytnji
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If me. I'd open my terminal.

Code:
sudo apt-get update
Hit enter key and let it finish.

Then

Code:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
and look to see what errors get thrown out if upgrade went fubar.
Poke and hope can be fun sometimes. It teaches you things.

Looks like poke and hope taught you about making backups this time.
 
Old 02-24-2015, 04:39 PM   #9
widget
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
If me. I'd open my terminal.

Code:
sudo apt-get update
Hit enter key and let it finish.

Then

Code:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
and look to see what errors get thrown out if upgrade went fubar.
Poke and hope can be fun sometimes. It teaches you things.

Looks like poke and hope taught you about making backups this time.
Also a great suggestion.

When errors appear remember, as root;
Code:
dpkg --configure -a
Which will attempt to configure any (the -a) packages that failed to get configured.

And, also as root;
Code:
apt-get -f install
which is the command to fix broken packages.

There are times that you need to run one and then the other several times before there is an actual lack of progress. By then you have a pretty good idea what packages are the problem. Removing those not absolutely needed for the system to work will help many times, including the entire xorg stack if it is a problem.

Booting to recovery and running these things also helps if you have been doing them in chroot from a live session or another install.

Once stablized you can reinstall the needed packages.

This can, however, take longer than reinstalling. Sometimes that is not a bad thing. It is satisfying not to reinstall. It is also, as mentioned by rokytnji, educational.

While I have nothing to do with Ubuntu anymore I did learn an aweful lot about salvaging broken systems running Ubuntu-testing as my production OS for a few years. Using chroot even systems that will not boot can many times be salvaged. If one will boot to a tty prompt they can usually be fixed although, as I said, it may take some time.
 
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:48 PM   #10
widget
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You can also look at your;
/var/log/apt/history.log

To see what may be in there for the date you did your upgrade.
 
  


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