Ubuntu upgrade behind firewall

I’m currently upgrading my Ubuntu-in-VirtualBox at work from Jaunty to Karmic, but at first it didn’t work at all. Update Manager got stuck when I clicked the “Upgrade” button.

Due to the Big Corporate Firewall all Internet access must go through the the Enterprisey Proxy so I immediately suspected a firewall/proxy issue. However, Update Manager, apt, etc have worked fine for a long time, so it must be something upgrade-specific.

Some debugging and googling led me to the url_downloadable ignores proxy settings bug report. Maybe I should have enabled jaunty-proposed but to get going I simply applied the attached patch and was able to get started with the upgrade.

To upgrade or not to upgrade?

I have updated a couple of my Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid) installations to Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) but not yet my primary laptop. I was about to do that tonight (isn’t starting something at 22:00 a grea idea?) but the upgrade procedure showed me the message below, making me postpone the upgrade and write this blog post instead:

This computer is currently using the AMD ‘fglrx’ graphics driver. No version of this driver is available that works with your hardware in Ubuntu 9.04.

My graphics card (three years old by now) is described by lspci as an ATI Technologies Inc M56GL [Mobility FireGL V5200] and apparently these are no longer supported by the properitary fglrx driver. The Open Source radeon driver is rumoured to be pretty good these days but “never change something that works” is pretty useful on laptop where for example Suspend should work.

Speaking of the graphics card, dual-head with my LG L1510SF touch screen monitor works, but the touch stuff needs some tweaking and I’ll get back to that in another blog post.