But not without glitches.

Here's how it went. I tried to remain in the position of a newcomer that has no clue about what a command line interface is, so even if I used a terminal a couple of times, it was just to check some stuff, not to fix it. I launched the mdkonline applet for the purpose of the upgrade (I always disable it because of it wastes too much memory to my taste).

Migration applet

Once launched, a notification popup appeared telling me there was a new distro available. If I record well, I clicked on the applet (and not on the popup), and was a bit surprised to be shown 2008.1 updates. I did those and waited a bit more. I was once again presented with the "new distro available" notification popup. I clicked again on the applet, and was presented the distro upgrade dialog.

'New stable distribution available

Note : I really hate Yes/No dialogs. Pretty please, Mr. Developer, use actions verbs on your buttons instead of Yes/No (with button icons would be even better) ! I the accepted the upgrade, and the new media sources were downloaded and updated. Using the Aria IP geolocation, the Free (french provider) mirrors were selected, and the upgrade process started downloading and installing the packages.

Here came the first problem : a curl error, because a package could not be downloaded. I think this happened because the mirror may have been a bit overloaded. So I had this error (no screenshot, sorry), and was presented this dialog.

Yep. The error detection code sucks : if a package download fails, it tells you the upgrade is finished.  A cat /etc/mandriva-release confirmed me that I still was using 2008.1. Here, even if the dialog recommended it, I feared that a reboot could do more harm than good, trying to boot a 2008.1/2009.0 hybrid. So I started again the upgrade, and had more errors.

aria error

First I had an aria error, because the mirrors lists were unreachable I think. Then a dependency error , due to the fact that the upgrade had been interrupted. The drakxtooks couldn't be updated because the perl-Gtk2-Webkit package was missing, and this message was blocking the whole update.

drakxtools can't install

Seeing no other alternative, I closed the session, to avoid rebooting. I tried to login : my login was refused ! With no other choice, I then crossed fingers and rebooted... A few seconds after, I was happy to see GDM and not a login prompt. I could log into my account, and started once again to upgrade. Then again, I had Aria errors and couldn't have the "Main updates" media.

media error

But still, the upgrade went on, with a (very) long packages download/install cycle. I hope Mandriva will do something about that, because it was one of the longest upgrades I had ever been through. Before that, I had always done my upgrades seldomly by reinstalling (to check the choices that were made for defaut applications), but most of the time, using the init 3/urpmi --auto --auto-select/init 5 technique (and not forgetting to upgrade the kernel too). Oh, by the way, during the install, I had a warning telling me my /boot partition was 99% full, but it caused no harm. I removed some old kernels since then, and everything's fine.

The "upgrade completed" dialog appeared once again, but this time, the icon showed was using the 2009.0 graphical style (which I don't really like, MCC icons were much nicer on previous releases - old doesn't mean it has to change).

Following the given advice, I rebooted, and started thinking that a "Close" button would have been better than the "Ok" one (yep. I find that even if a bit outdated, the HIG are still great).

Once my session opened, the update applet still tells that I can migrate to 2009.0 ! However, fixing my "Main updates" media problem (the main miror set by Aria had an MD5SUM error on the synthesis file for this media), was as easy as setting by hand a new mirror, and looking for updates. The only broken thing was my firefox panel icon, which had disappeared, since the icon had been renamed from firefox.png (2008.1) to firefox3.png (2009.0).

The good:

  • Nothing broken, I didn't have to use a single command line to repair it.
  • I could still surf on the web with Firefox while upgrading, even if at one point I lost the sound.
  • Suspend/resume works ! At last ! In 2008.1 the network chip didn't work after a after resume, it needed a reboot. This is now fixed.
  • I found the default desktop font under GNOME 2.24 nicer than in 2.22. Here's an example with the GNOME panel, but the result is even more flagrant in Firefox/Thunderbird. :

Before :

After :

The bad:

  • The upgrade didn't happen flawlessly.
  • Mandriva really needs to take into account the basics of the HIG for every new dialog they create.
  • When there's a md5sum error on an hdlist file on a mirror, aria doesn't automatically try to use another mirror.
  • The whole process was painfully slow, despite my AMD 3000+ CPU and a 20Mb/s connection.
  • It seems that KDE users have much more trouble with the migration, which was to be expected with the huge changes from KDE3 to KDE4. Sorry for them :-(.