So Far, So (Mostly) Good

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With my first completely free weekend in a month or so, I decided to take a bit of time and see if I couldn’t get Bishop (my laptop) upgraded to the beta of Ubuntu’s latest release, Edgy Eft. The instructions were straightforward, the only really tedious bit was backing up my data (used local rsync) and determining how to create a list of installed applications that could be restored later (did that here – I miss Gentoo’s simple ‘world’ file).

I ran into a bit of an issue with the installer, as it initially failed leading me to file a bug here. A couple of hours later, however, I was able to determine that the cause was the unofficial Compiz packages I’d installed a while back; the fix mentioned by Michael in this bug ended up turning the trick for me. The lengthy download and upgrade process was subsequently kicked off, and I headed off to bed.

After checking up on the machine this morning, I was pleased to see that the upgrade had completed successfully. I was even more pleased to discover that against my expectations, nearly everything works just as it did before – even the complex things like suspend [1] and wireless [2]. So all of that is good news indeed. Considering some of the dire warnings to those considering an early upgrade to Edgy, I’m pretty happy.

The only real problem I’ve run into so far, in fact, is only indirectly related to Edgy. Most of you probably know that we transitioned from Exchange to Zimbra a few months back, and we’ve generally been quite pleased with that decision. I’ll write more on this later, but Zimbra’s been functional enough that I open my rich client (Evolution, which received some UI love in the 2.8 release Edgy brings) more and more infrequently. The problem is that alone amongst the web applications I’ve tried so far – including heavy JavaScript apps like FeedLounge, Gmail, Google Reader, and so on – Zimbra won’t render in the Firefox Beta for version 2.0, AKA Bon Echo. See the inset screenshot. A view source reveals the code that should be running, and the Zimbra admin application functions without apparent effect, but I can’t get (despite repeated reloads) Zimbra to display in Firefox 2.0.

There are certainly workaround for this, such as installing an alternate browser for Zimbra, but frankly I’d prefer that it just work in Firefox. I’ll play with a couple of things and see if I can’t get it going.

On a different note, for those of you wondering whether I’ve experimented with some of the eye candy elements from Edgy’s 7.1 xorg package, the answer is not yet.

Kudos to the Ubuntu team. In the couple of hours I’ve been using it, Edgy seems remarkably polished. More detail as I get it, but that won’t be for a little while at least. It’s a gorgeous day here in Denver, and I’ve got a need for some fishing.

Update: Here’s the error console for Bon Echo.

[1] Flawless so far, and I did not attempt to preserve my ACPI configuration changes during the upgrade, nor did I configure GRUB to pass in the ACPI parameters to the kernel on boot. Seems to handle it by default – cool.

[2] Network Manager is in by default, and the madwifi bits appear to have made the Ubuntu packaging because I did not have to reinstall the new drivers into the kernel.


  1. Hi Stephen,

    Have you tried the latest Firefox RC1? I’ve been running Firefox 2.0 since beta2 and it’s working perfect. We have had reports from user’s that if they upgraded from an early beta or were running certain addon’s (aka extensions) they got the same behavior; a blank end-user UI. Try starting Firefox with -safe-mode or with a new profile. I think you’ll see it works fine. If so we just need to nail down which extension(s) are causing the problem and see if it’s something we can work around.

    (I work for Zimbra)

  2. Kevin: thanks for the quick response. i’m running the 2.0b2 version of Firefox that ships with Edgy. after reading your comment, i disabled all the extensions currently active, restarted, and unfortunately got the same result. haven’t tried safe-mode yet, but not sure that it’s Add-Ons.

  3. Ok found it. Edgy isn’t running with an *official build* which is why you see this and I don’t running an official Mac build.


    “Right now if you access navigator.buildID in anything other than an official build you’ll get an exception. This is not a big problem for code in general, but it’s already been reported that one web app (zimbra) triggers this and the way it does it is by enumerating the properties on the navigator object.

    The fix for this is trivial, patch coming up.”

    Found and fixed by the internal Mozilla team. Very encouraging to see this found/fixed so fast. I guess it helps that the folks @ Mozilla run Zimbra.


  4. Kevin: thanks for hunting that down. here’s hoping the patch makes it into Ubuntu soon.

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