Don’t Upgrade to Oneiric Ocelot!

The Ubuntu developers have outdone themselves this time. If beacons of disaster shone in the sky, their’s would be the brightest. I tried Kubuntu 11.10 on a virtual system and I loved it so much so I opted – against the advice of the little nagging voice in my head – to dive in and upgrade my main ‘non virtual’ OS from Natty 11.04 to Oneiric 11.10. What a mistake! I should have backed up and done a fresh install.

Don’t get me wrong. Oneiric is a great product. Very stable. The developers do magical things that I can only dream of. I appreciate their work a great deal. But the upgrade was a complete disaster that ended in no network connection (wired or wireless), no desktop and probably many other issues I’ve yet to address.

My advice is this: if you want to upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 from a previous desktop version, wait a week or two until a few more early adopters have upgraded, found bugs and Ubuntu’s excellent developers have had time to patch them. Otherwise back up the home directory to a DVD and, if you use your computer as a home server, backup your /var/www/ directory and any related databases (use PhpMyAdmin for this) then wipe clean and reinstall before restoring the home directory and anything else you backed up.

The Tale of Ocelot

Once-upon-a-time in a rural part of England there lived the Pot Bellied Apprentice Geek Called Lee

I thought the upgrade from Natty to Oneiric would be easier than the last one. Imagine my surprise to find I had over three and half gigabytes of data to download for the upgrade. From that point on I knew it was gonna be a frog….

…24 hours later, all downloads had been collected from the spell-weavers at Ubuntu and package replacements began. My sparkling quad core AMD Phenom II processor slogged its guts out to turn billions of naughts and ones into golden rays of software which twisted and bonded in a heavenly marriage to transform Natty into Oneiric.

But unknown to anyone, not even the spell-weavers, a wicked gremlin called Micro Stirpot, who just loved to wear a red apple hat, had crept into the Spell Development room to put a few drops of Buggerdy Water into the ingredients.

It turns out that Buggerdy Water is potent stuff. It turned handsome Oneiric into a big ugly wart-frog that no princess would ever dare kiss.

Whenever Oneiric stirred from his sleep he would mutter incomprehensible phrases like:

“Waiting up to 60 more seconds for the network configuration” followed by “Booting system without full network.”,

“Couldn’t connect to system bus: Failed to connect to socket /var/run/dbus/system_bus_socket: Connection refused.”, and

“Enter password to unlock your login keyring”.

When Lee shot an arrow key while Oneiric tried to awake, Oneiric yelled: “Client failed to connect to the D-BUS daemon: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.”

The Pot Bellied Apprentice Geek Called Lee had never before known such delirium. So he set off  on a quest along the Long Winding Google Trail to find a few brave wizards and (and blind) princesses.

His first few steps were almost thwarted by the No Network Connection monster guarding the Gate to Google but Lee came prepared and threw an Ubuntu Live Disc into the monster’s gigantic mush. The monster span round and round ’till it was dizzy and sick and begging for forgiveness.

After chopping the monster’s head off, Lee stepped over its body and the found himself at the home of The Node where he discovered a wise wizard called Jon who told him what Micro Stirup’s Buggerdy Water had done to Oneiric and gave him a solution that to revive Oneiric with.

Lee whistled happily as he headed home to cure Oneiric. Along the way he saw a strange looking figure lurking in the Ubuntu Forum Place who showed him another method for reviving Oneiric. Lee didn’t know what to do so he tried both solutions.

With a lot of noise, singing and dancing, Lee cast the spells:

sudo mv /var/run/* /run/
sudo mv /var/lock/* /run/lock/
sudo rm -r /var/run
sudo rm -r /var/lock
sudo ln -s /run /var/run
sudo ln -s /run/lock /var/lock
sudo rm /run/dbus/*

At one point he had to help a friend with a similar problem by telling him to create a “lock” directory with “sudo mkdir /run/lock” because he received the “/run/lock/” is not a directory rant from Oneiric at step two.

Lee discovered his new spells worked. They stopped Oneiric from nattering on about system bus and D-BUS connections but he had to keep deleting the contents of “/var/run/dbus/” before letting Oneiric rest or Oneiric would reawaken in the same delirium. Eventually our apprentice geek hit up the idea of creating a spell he could chant as a lullaby:


sudo rm /var/run/dbus/*

He wrote it down in a file called “empty-debus” and stored it on his desktop. He gave the file executable permissions by right-clicking it with his magic wand to change its properties. From this day on, until the gremlin’s Buggerdy Water has been fully removed from the Oneiric code, Lee will chant the empty-dbus spell before sending Oneiric to sleep.

But our hero’s adventure is not yet over, what about the missing Login Keyring rant?

Our hero found his next solution at Linux Questions where he was told to delete the default.keyring file found in/home/user/.genome2/keyrings. But Lee couldn’t find default.keyring. He did, however, find and delete login_keyring.keyring which was a file containing a couple of unencrypted passwords for a few websites our hero likes to visit.

After a long day of adventure and monster killing, Lee put up his feet and preped to rest with his favorite Facebook friends and games. But then, he had a flashback! he remembered the orange symbol in Oneiric’s notification bar that had been nagging him to restart Oneiric. No matter how many times Oneiric was put to sleep and reawoken he kept nagging to be restarted.

Instead of charging at his computer with a sword as big as a small tree, Lee took out his dagger and cut out the file named “restart-required” from /var/run/ then opened the “restart-required.pckgs” file in a text editor before opening Synaptic to install/reinstall/remove the software listed in the file.

Lee’s was immediately transformed into a novice geek with the casting of his final spell to Oneiric. Bellowed in a loud and deep, echoing voice:

sudo update-grub


The Pot Bellied Novice Geek Called Lee’s computer is not yet fully fixed but what else can we expect from a novice. It does, at least, load to a desktop with network access, without error screens. Never-the-less, be ready for Part Two: The Return of the Geek.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Doug Siew

I upgraded from 11.04 to 11.10 online.  The network connection went off after all filesets were downloaded and the installation began.   Network connection came back after reboot.  It was a smooth process.  Never had any Linux distributor managed to do that before.

From the reading I’ve done the past few days, many upgrades happened smoothly but some of the machines with multiple desktop environments and/or lots of software installed on them developed problems. In many instances, the updates have not run smoothly because of a failed transition from /var/run/ to /run/ and /var/lock/ to /run/lock/. It’s an old upgrade bug. The update of 11.10 alpha to 11.10 release on a virtual machine went very smoothly even with 1Gb of updates being committed. Overall, the developers have done a wonderful but I recommend people delay upgrading a week or two just to be… Read more »

I never recommend upgrade any version of Linux (Except a rolling release) heck not even windows or my android rom. I always do a clean install because you get the best result that way. In the case of Kubuntu, the changes are quite huge kde 4.6 to kde 4.7 and all the changes with Kontacts and network manager. Something is bound to go wrong and when there do its always gonna be hard to troubleshoot where the problem is for. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mean every upgrade would always end in disaster. What I mean is the result… Read more »

I agree. The reason I upgrade first is that I like to see what happens so I can have a go at fixing the system when it goes wrong. I nearly always end up doing a fresh installation at a later date.

There’s some good advice at this Ubuntu Forums thread about performing fresh installs without losing personal settings and maintaining software packages added via repositories. It doesn’t mention anything about keeping an Apache server though.


I upgraded from Natty to Oneiric without any issues, I did the online update process, actually, I have been doing the online update since karmic without any issues, of course some small things are broken since some packages are removed, but you can tell the upgrade process to not remove them, maybe I have been lucky.


Sorry Dion, I have the same problem of the “waiting 60 seconds more” during the startup and cannot understand what I have to do to make it disappear! I upgraded from 11.04 to 11.10 with a huge disaster… very similar to yours :(

Hi Christian, I missed this. I’ll come back in about 2 hours and help you with it.

if the system uses 3rd party modules, the update will be screwed :).

Otherswise should be pain free