Problems Updating Lubuntu 12.04, 12.10, and 13.04 on Slow Machines

Aere Greenway Aere at
Fri Apr 19 19:23:43 UTC 2013


There were more system updates, so I updated my (slow, 450 megahertz) 
system using the command-line-interface, using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

I ran into two problems, but knowing these problems, I can avoid them.

The first problem, is that while I was doing the first command, the system was trying to find out if updates were available, so it had ownership of a lock that the "apt-get update" command needed.  This resulted in the first step not successfully completing.

To get it to work, I had to run the update-manager GUI to where it reported the updates available, but use the "Remind Me Later" button to dismiss it.  At that point, I could (in the terminal window) do the "apt-get dist-upgrade" command.

The second problem, was that after doing the "apt-get dist-upgrade", the CPU was still 100% busy for quite awhile (a minute?) afterwards even though control had returned to the command prompt.  I entered the "top" command, and it showed there was a root process, named something like "update-xapi-index".

After awhile, CPU-usage went back to zero, so it was done.  It took perhaps a minute.

So I guess the way I need to do this, is let the update-manager notify me of updates, and observe the available updates in the list, but instead of applying the updates in the GUI, click the "Remind Me Later" button, whereupon the update-manager exits, releasing its lock.

Then, I need to fire-up a terminal, and enter the

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

command, and can monitor the progress of the system being updated.

When control returns to the command-prompt, I need to enter the "top" command to monitor the progress of the root processes associated with updating the system.

When that process completes (and CPU usage goes back to an idle state), the updates are done.

So I have a usable work-around for the problem with the update-manager, and I can keep using my 450 megahertz machine.

Many thanks to all of you with insights that made this work-around possible.

- Aere

On 04/13/2013 06:54 PM, Ioannis Vranos wrote:
> "dist-upgrade" includes the functionality of "upgrade", so no need to do both.
> Ioannis Vranos
> On Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Aere Greenway
> <Aere at> wrote:
>> On 04/13/2013 12:26 PM, Ali Linx (amjjawad) wrote:
>>> Now, please, follow these steps:
>>> 1- Make sure your SWAP is 1GB at least.
>>> 2- From LXTerminal or whatever Terminal you are using, please run:
>>> sudo apt-get clean
>>> sudo apt-get update
>>> sudo apt-get upgrade
>>> sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
>>> sudo apt-get autoremove
>>> sudo apt-get autoclean
>> Ali, and all:
>> Knowing that apt-get dist-upgrade doesn't upgrade to a new level, I tried
>> much of the procedure listed above on my UbuntuStudio 12.04 system.
>> When I installed Lubuntu 13.04 on that system, I increased the size of the
>> swap partition to 992 megabytes, which is not quite the 1GB you indicated
>> above.  But watching the panel indicators (and the "top" command-display)
>> while updating/upgrading, it did not show any swap usage at all.
>> So anyway, I did the following terminal commands (not having a printed
>> version of the above):
>> sudo apt-get update
>> sudo apt-get upgrade
>> sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
>> sudo apt-get autoclean
>> This time, it went all the way to the end, with me being able to observe
>> what happened.
>> I think what threw me before, was that it (on the apt-get upgrade step)
>> ended on the "update initramfs" step (not on mkinitramfs, as I was
>> thinking).
>> So it works fine on UbuntuStudio 12.04 on that machine, a system which
>> exhibited similar symptoms to what I reported for Lubuntu 12.10.
>> The next time updates become available for Lubuntu 12.10, I will try that
>> procedure, and report the results.
>> That machine actually runs both Qsynth and the Java Sound Synthesizer quite
>> well, so it will be good if this new upgrade procedure works out.


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