Upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

The final release version of Ubuntu 9.10, codenamed "Karmic Koala" won't come out until the end of the month but already tons of people are testing the development version, which is currently in Beta. I'm sure a lot of you out there are also thrilled to get your hands on Ubuntu 9.10 because it is filled with great and innovative features.

If you are by now using Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope", you can quickly upgrade to the latest version without having to worry so much about messing things up. Before I'll show you how to do the easy upgrade, let me first take this opportunity to enumerate some of the main features of Ubuntu 9.10:

Improved Boot Performance
To further enhance the boot performance of Ubuntu, they replaced System-V init with Upstart, which handles starting of tasks and services during boot. They are aiming for 10-second start-ups but a report is already telling us that it can boot for a mere 5 seconds with an SSD. Other changes or improvements that are related to the boot-up process include a new splash screen and the use of GRUB 2 by default.

NOTE: Ubuntu strongly suggests to have an Ubuntu 9.10 LiveCD available, or create an Alpha 5 USB startup disk before doing an upgrade just in case something bad happens.

New Graphical Software Manager
The Ubuntu Software Manager, which replaces Add/Remove application, promises to make installing, removing, and updating software a lot more intuitive and user-friendly.

Ubuntu One
Ubuntu One, the web storage application and service will allow users to store and sync files online and between computers. An Ubuntu One account with 2 GB of storage is offered for free while an upgrade to 50 GB will cost $10 a month.

Now if you are already excited, here's how you can upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10:

1. First and foremost, you need to backup all your important files and remember what I've noted above just to be safe.

2. Next, make sure the repository is updated:

sudo apt-get update

3. Open the Update Manager with this command:

sudo update-manager -d

The Update Manager will open and you will now see the upgrade option. If you are brave enough just go on.

4. Now sit back, relax, drink some free beer, or you can simply pray and hope for the best.

If the upgrade process is successful and everything is working well, congratulations and have fun with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.


  1. I did it yesterday, and everything worked out perfectly. It kept all my files and settings in perfect order. The only thing I regret was the length of time it took (6hrs), but thats what you get trying to download 1200+ packages on the first day of a beta upgrade. Now to have some fun.........

  2. Yeah, I did it too and unfortunately all is not well. I have a tv tuner card and I can no longer adjust the individual volumes using the the volume controls. I have a mobo with 5.1 sound that worked perfectly with 9.04. Why must every new generation of a distro try and reinvent the the wheel? I recently tried Fedora 11 and it allows you to change individual channels. The new sound control panel in Karmic sucks! And I pray that the current setup of having an Add/Remove Software and Software Manager section doesn't make it to the final release. It will only serve to confuse and frustrate similar to how YaST does in opensuse. I've been a faithful Ubuntu user since 2005 and I've always welcomed the changes made in each release. Hopefully the minor issues I ran into trying our Karmic will be resolved.

  3. ... and what do I do without X - let's say, on a server only available via console?

  4. I tried the beta and it still freezes whenever it pleases. The upgrade was not without problems. Collision error etc. Went back to 9.04 until it's release. I usually don'5t have problems using beta's but this one has issues with my box. We'll see

  5. They need to stop depending so much on PulseAudio. It doesn't work well for me at all, and uninstalling it made everything work fine in Jaunty, but without it in Karmic, I can't even adjust my sound volume. This is ridiculous!

  6. Just some thoughts on comments I've seen so far.
    Reinventing the wheel keeps things from getting stale. It has to be done to keep interest and to keep up with the other operating systems. Pulse audio may or may not be important, I don't know. A few people having a problem with it isn't reason to dump it completely. What you need to do, Amy, is find out why it doesn't work well for you.

  7. I took a bit of a risk and did the upgrade on my laptop via wifi (I have a recently supported Atheros card), on a day when I knew my wife wanted to go some place. So I knew I might not be there to answer some obscure question or another.

    The download portion of the program took about 2 hrs, I saw the actual install start, then I had to leave.

    When I got home. I had to answer maybe 3-4 questions, but the process finished in about 30 minutes.

    The only quirky thing that happened was with OpenOffice 3.1. I had installed/upgraded it manually from SUN (I think 9.04 was stuck at 3.0?). When the 9.10 upgrade completed, I had OpenOffice 3.1.1 from ubuntu, but I only had the word processor. I had to use the update/install manager to get the spread sheet, presentation manager, database things.

    Other than that, everything runs clean.

  8. My 9.04 ubuntu does not have the upgrade to 9.10 option in the upgrade manager.

    not sure what to do.

    Suggestions would be welcome.


  9. Go to System >> Administration and select Software sources, enter your password if asked for it, on the Software Sources window go to the updates tab (3rd along). At the bottom of the window you should see a release upgrade option, Change this to Normal releases, close this window and you should now see the upgrade to 9.10 option when you start the Update Manager.