Wrestling with Kubuntu 15.04? Backup your data, repartition your computer and install 14.04 or 14.10 first.

Bas G. Roufs basroufs at gmail.com
Sun May 10 19:16:39 UTC 2015

Hello everybody.

At this forum, I see many people wrestling with Kubuntu 15.04. This is perfectly 
logic, because it is - as far as I know- the first version of Kubuntu along with one 
of the first versions of KDE 5. The pitfalls and glitches I have been reading about, 
remind me of similar problems at the time of the introduction of KDE 4 - as far as 
I remember, somewhere in 2008 or 2009. Those problem reports have confirmed 
that I have made a good, practical decision: for the time being,  I keep using my 
'all-time-high' favourite Kubuntu 14.04 LTS along with the mature and reliable 
KDE 4.13 as a primary system - for all the professional production work under 
time pressure, I am using a few ppa-repositories to keep my system practical and 
up-to-date.  The present version of Kubuntu 15.04 might work if you are a 5 star 
techwizzkid - though I have collected some Linux experience ever since 2007, I 
am not. 

Some people at this forum ask how one can 'downgrade'  from 15.04 to 14.10.  
As far as I know, something like that is nearly not possible. But even if it would 
be possible, it is simply not a good idea. If you are wrestling with a newly 
installed 15.04 configuration, consider acting in the way summarised below.

Step 1. 
Backup all your data to an external HD, if you have not yet done so.

Step 2.
For safety, backup ALL your data again at a 2nd external HD. 

Step 3. 
Buy a few rewritable DVD's or a good, at at least 35 GB external USB stick.

Step 4.
If you prefer to work with DVD's, buy a reliable external DVD writer.

Step 5. 
'Burn' 'system rescue cd' iso to a DVD: http://www.sysresccd.org/

Step 5a. 
Or transform your USB stick to a  bootable sysrescue iso. 

Step 6.
 Start 'system rescue CD' from the DVD or USB stick.

Step 7.
Switch to the graphical mode from 'system rescue cd'.

Step 8. 
Use Gparted to partition your internal hard disk(s) to at lest 3 or 4 partitions.

Step 9. 
You want to maintain a windows-partition?  Than you'll need at least 4 partitions: 
Windows (>25 GB, sda1), Kubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 (>50 GB, sda2), SWAP (4 GB, 
immediately after the primary system),  a spare partition (25 GB at SDB) with 
whatever name you like and -finally- /Data/ - at the remainder of the internal HD.

Step 9a
Use Gparted @ 'system rescue cd' to deal with the windows-partition. If you 
want to install a new windows system there, format that partition to NTFS and 
label it as 'windows' - the windows installation DVD will recognise that partition 
as the place to install its (non :-)) system. In that case, install the windows system 
first, before going on with one or two versions of Kubuntu.

If you want to MAINTAIN an existing windows configuration, do NOT format that 
partition - however, do LABEL it as 'windows' via Gparted.

Step 9b
If you do not need any windows-partition, the primary Linux-system, Kubuntu 
14.04 LTS or 14.10, will be the first one on the internal HD. 

Step 9c.
If you have 350 GB or less at your internal HD, reserve just 25 GB for one 
secondary, experimental system - Kubuntu 15.04 or  whatever.  Use the primary, 
stable system for your production work and the secondary system for 
experiments. If you have more than 350 GB, you can consider reserving one or 
more other 25 GB secondary partitions for other experimental Linux systems. 
Format all the Linux partitions and /Data/ to ext.4. You can install one or more 
secondary experimental systems in a later stage, if you want to. However, 
priority one is a reliable, up-to-date production OS. 

Step 10.
Now, 'burn' a Kubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 ISO to a DVD or USB-stick and install the 
system on sda1 on a system without windows or sda2 on a system with windows.
Start running the system, update and restart it. After restarting, install midnight 
commander from the command line: 
sudo apt-get install mc
After doing so, start midnight commander in the superuser mode:
sudo mc

Step 11.
Stay in midnight commander and go at the HOME directory at the left window. 
In the right window of midnight commander, look up /Data/  and click at it.

Step 12.
Move ALL the -still empty!!- Home standard directories to /Data/: 
Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Kontact, Luckybackup, Music, Pictures, Public, 
Templates and Videos.  After doing so, the HOME directory will be empty.

Step 13.
Stay still in midnight commander; take care of seeing the now empty HOME  on 
the left and /Data/  with it's subdirectories on the right.

Step 13a.
Create one or more extra first level subdirectories in /Data/ -  if you need one or 
more of them - use midnight commander for this job.

Step 13b.
Stay in /Data/ via Midnight Commander.  Select Desktop and create a symlink to 
/Home. Do the same for each other first level subdirectory. 

Step 13c.
Copy your data from one of your external HD's to /Data/.

Step 13d.
If you install one or more secondary systems, empty their HOME directories and 
make symlinks to /Data/ via midnight commander, as explained above. 

Separate the data from the systems by making symlinks between the HOME 
directories and /Data/.
Install a stable Kubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 system as primary system for your 
production needs.
By the way - there is nothing wrong with the still up-to-date OS Kubuntu 14.04 - 
especially if you use some ppa repositories. That OS will be supported until 2019.

I hope this provisional instruction will help you.

Respectfully Yours,

Bas G. Roufs.
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