Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04 (Intrepid Ibex and Jaunty Jackalope) upgrade notes

I’m at WordCamp San Francisco today and decided that running a year old version of WordPress (on a year old version of Ubuntu Linux) was undesirable. So, with the confidence that comes from many relatively easy Ubuntu OS upgrades, I charged ahead. For (I think) the second time ever, things went badly. Here’s what I did and how I fixed it.

First, I had to figure out what release of Ubuntu was currently installed:
lsb_release -a

I was on “hardy”, a.k.a. the Hardy Heron release, a.k.a. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

I had not bothered to install Ubuntu 8.10 / “Intrepid Ibex” because I didn’t have a reason to when it was release. I now wanted to upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” which has WordPress 2.7.1, the current release (as of today).

The way to upgrade from 8.04 to 9.04 is to upgrade to 8.10 first. So I did that:

Intrepid Upgrades: Network Upgrade for Ubuntu Servers worked really well. I had to do a little bit of manual file merging as usual (I still don’t understand why dpkg can’t merge changes from the old file into a new file) but that was it. Easy!

When I rebooted the VPS, it kernel panicked: can’t mount the root filesystem. Oh crap. /dev/xvda1 is missing? Really? I told the VPS to hard reboot and it came up fine. But that’s a little scary. (I think this is something more related to my VPS hosting provider than Ubuntu, but I haven’t yet upgraded my laptop VMWare Ubuntu VPS’s yet so I’m not sure.)

The second stage didn’t go so well. I did the same sort of simple upgrade: the Jaunty Network Upgrade for Ubuntu Servers instructions are the same as the ones for Intrepid. Upgrade, edit a couple of config files, reboot. Kernel panic again, same reason, reboot. Should work, right?

It booted, but had no network access. I was able to log in via my VPS hosting provider’s SSH remote console feature, so I was able to see that /etc/init.d/networking was failing to start. It was the same problem that’s described in Ubuntu 9.04 in an OpenVZ VE. Adding that one line to /etc/init.d/networking fixed the problem. Reboot, all better.

So if you’re doing this upgrade on a VPS, make sure you’ve added that little 1-line hack after you do the Jaunty upgrade and before you reboot.

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