Now that Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 1 has been released, it's time to start our work.  In this installment we will obtain a copy of Beta 1, make some installation media, install it, and begin our testing.

Getting The Beta 1 Image

This page has links to the ISO images that we will use.  Of course, you could just download them from your web browser, but what's the fun in that?  Since we are command line junkies here at, we use the command line to download our images.  You can do it like this:

me@linuxbox: ~$ wget url

where url is the web address of the ISO image we want to download  In my case, I used this command to get the "PC (Intel x86) Desktop CD":


Creating Installation Media

The next step is making the installation media.  I always use re-writable media for this kind of work, so we have to first "blank" our CD, then write the image on it.  To do this, we use the wodim program.  First, we need to determine what our system calls the CD burner.  We can do this with the following command:

me@linuxbox: ~$ wodim --devices

wodim will execute and print a list of the optical media drives it sees.  The results will look like this:

wodim: Overview of accessible drives (1 found) :
 0  dev='/dev/scd0'    rwrw-- : 'Optiarc' 'DVD+-RW AD-7200S'

On my system, we see that the CD-ROM drive/burner is the device "/dev/scd0".  Yours may be different.

insert the re-writable disk into the drive.  If your system automatically mounts the disk, unmount it with a command such as this:

me@linuxbox: ~$ sudo umount /dev/scd0

Next, we blank the media with this command:

me@linuxbox: ~$ wodim -vv dev=/dev/scd0 blank=all

The blanking operation will take several minutes.  After it completes, we can write the image with this command:

me@linuxbox: ~$ wodim -v dev=/dev/scd0 -data ubuntu-10.04-beta1-desktop-i386.iso

After the write is completed, we need to verify that the disk matches the ISO file.  Using this command will do the trick:

me@linuxbox: ~$ md5sum ubuntu-10.04-beta1-desktop-i386.iso /dev/scd0
7ddbfbcfcc562bae2e160695ec820e39  ubuntu-10.04-beta1-desktop-i386.iso
7ddbfbcfcc562bae2e160695ec820e39  /dev/scd0

If the two checksums match, we have a good burn.


Depending on which variety of 10.04 you have downloaded (desktop, alternate, etc.), the installation procedure should be familiar to any Ubuntu user.  The live desktop version differs from previous versions in that it no longer prompts you for running live or installing immediately after booting, rather you are forced to wait (and wait...) for the entire live CD to come up before being prompted with a graphical screen.  Not an improvement, in my opinion.

After installation, the first thing we do is open a terminal and perform an update to the system using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Be aware that during the testing period, the Ubuntu team releases a steady stream of updates.  It is not unusual for a hundred or more package updates to be released each day during periods of heavy development.  I actually created this alias and put it in my .bashrc file on the test machine:

alias update='sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'

Now I just have to type "upgrade" to bring the machine up to date.

Paying For Your Software - Testing

This is a theme I have touched on before.  If you have been an avid Linux consumer, you should consider becoming an avid Linux producer.  Great software doesn't write itself.  There are many ways you can help build the future of computing (and by the way, cheer leading is not one of them).  One way is by performing good software testing.  I have included some links (below) that document some of the tools and techniques that Ubuntu recommend for testing and bug reporting.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch...
Work continues on cleaning up the production systems in preparation for the upgrade.  I also performed live CD tests on both systems to look for possible hardware incompatibilities.  I haven't found any on the desktop system (yet) and the laptop has some minor video issues when booting.  Work will continue.

Further Reading

10.04 Beta 1 Release Notes:

Some advice on CD/DVD burning:

Tips and techniques for software testers:

Other installments in this series:

Posted By William Shotts to Tips, News And Rants at 3/23/2010 03:35:00 PM