Solutions to Problems I Encountered Upgrading to Hardy Heron Beta

Yesterday I upgraded my system to Ubuntu Hardy Heron Beta. This went reasonably well— for a beta release —but I did have a couple of issues. I thought it may help someone else if I posted how I fixed the problems I found.

To set the scene, this was an upgrade from Gutsy to Hardy via Ubuntu’s built in update manager, run using:

$ update-manager -d

This took around forty minutes to complete1. It was largely autonomous, but asked a couple of questions during the update which means you cannot leave it unattended.

Upon rebooting, everything seemed to be working fine but sound. The volume tray icon had a small red cross on it, and produced the following message when clicked:

The volume control did not find any elements and/or devices to control. This means either that you don’t have the right GStreamer plugins installed, or that you don’t have a sound card configured. > The volume control did not find any elements and/or devices to control. This means either that you don’t have the right GStreamer plugins installed, or that you don’t have a sound card configured.

You can remove the volume control from the panel by right-clicking the speaker icon on the panel and selecting “Remove From Panel” from the menu. You can remove the volume control from the panel by right-clicking the speaker icon on the panel and selecting “Remove From Panel” from the menu.

Some searching lead to this bug, which suggests that using the 2.6.24-12-386 kernel may be the issue. It looks like 2.6.24-12-386 does not come with any audio device drivers for some reason. This is a rather large bug.

The bug suggested booting the 2.6.24-12-generic kernel instead. Both -386 and -generic are installed and available from Grub (press Esc when prompted at boot to select which kernel to use).

The boot process hung, however, when I tried using the 2.6.24-12-generic kernel. At this stage I was getting a little frustrated. Back to 2.6.24-12-386 and this second bug which explains how the -generic kernel needs you to rebuild its ramdisk to stop it hanging on boot:

$ sudo update-initramfs -k 2.6.24-12-generic -u

However, this lead me to find that sudo was not working. Running any sudo command would result in an error:

$ sudo update-initramfs -k 2.6.24-12-generic -u
sudo: unable to resolve host HOSTNAME

The fix for this was to add an entry for my hostname into /etc/hosts (using gksu gvim /etc/hosts) as follows: 127.0.0.1 HOSTNAME. After adding this line, no reboot required, sudo started working and I was able to rebuild the ramdisk successfully.

After rebuilding the ramdisk, I could boot 2.6.24-12-generic successfully and my sound was back to working, as a playing of Vampire Weekend’s ably proved.

A little trawling of the Ubuntu forums shows both the sudo and sound issues seem to be common, so they should (hopefully) be dealt with by Hardy Final.

1 The update was on a box with dual Intel Xeon 3.2Ghz processors and 2GB RAM. It doesn’t include the time to download packages, which took around ten minutes here, at 2.7mbps so they must’ve been cached somewhere nearby.