Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As the title says, how long does a distribution upgrade (e.g. from 11.04 to 11.10) usually take, discounting the download phase? I've been upgrading from Natty to Oneiric, the download only takes about 1 hour, but now I've been in the "Installing the upgrades" phase for more than 5 hours already. The progress bar has been stuck saying "About 2 hours 55 minutes remaining" in the last 3 hours, and the remaining time is not decreasing. The detailed view (Terminal view) still scrolls printing stuffs that it's installing, so the upgrade is still running, albeit ever so slowly.

In short, is it normal that the Ubuntu upgrade takes this long? Fresh install, as I remember, takes about an hour or so from inserting the CD to booting to the harddisk; I had expected that an upgrade may take longer than fresh install, but not by this much.

Second question, why does it take so long to upgrade vs fresh install? Certainly not the download time, since that takes about the same time, about an hour for both fresh install and upgrade. It's the installation phase that takes so long.

UPDATE: The upgrade finally finishes a couple hours after I posted, I'm still not sure why it takes so long; however when debugging another (possibly) unrelated performance problem in my program (running on this same laptop), I found out that sqlite is excruciatingly slow on ext4 (in my case, a 10 second operation turns to 5 minute), because ext4 enabled write-barrier by default. The root of the slow upgrade might be the same since distribution upgrade also involves a lot of disk writes.

share|improve this question
    
5 hours would be the norm for me to upgrade. and i cant go and leave it thinking it will be completed on my return...it stops to ask questions. I think this will be the last time I upgrade. –  user68629 Jun 5 '12 at 20:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I recently hopped a server from 9.10 to 11.10 (4 separate upgrades) in a couple of hours. There was significantly less to do on each upgrade and it was downloading at a stupidly fast speed but that should give you a lower bound.

Upgrading does take longer than reinstalling. Not only do you have to download the packages but they have to extract and configure themselves, running all sorts of nonsense to ensure stability. Most installed systems tend to have more packages than a fresh install too.

But what you're going through does not sound normal. I'd watch the terminal view for a little while to make sure it's not doing the same thing over and over and over again, if it is, you might need to put together a Plan B.

If it looks like it's working properly - just leave it as long as you can bear and see what happens.

share|improve this answer
    
The upgrade finally finishes a couple hours after I posted, I still am not sure why it takes so long; however when debugging another (possibly) unrelated performance problem in my program (running on this same laptop), I found out that sqlite is excruciatingly slow on ext4 (in my case, a 10 second operation turns to 5 minute), because ext4 enabled write-barrier by default. The root of the slow upgrade might be the same since distribution upgrade also involves a lot of disk writes. –  Lie Ryan Dec 23 '11 at 15:25

Depends on computer. With a fast one you should take about 1h-1h30m

12.04 ----> 12.10 1h-1h30m

12.10 ----> 13.04 1h-1h30m

share|improve this answer
    
He said "Discounting the download phase" –  Kupiakos Jun 19 '13 at 0:56
    
@Kupiakos Most part is install. Barely any is download so well does not make too much of a change. –  jtdemille Jun 19 '13 at 1:10
    
@Kupiakos Everybody should watch for edits on my MAIN post –  jtdemille Jun 19 '13 at 1:15
    
Also, realize this question was asked in 2011, when 11.10 was the newest version. In any case, the whole "depends on your internet provider" is irrelevant in this question, as he has specified that the download phase does not matter to him in this case. –  Kupiakos Jun 19 '13 at 1:44
    
Yeah changing that to COMPUTER –  jtdemille Jun 19 '13 at 10:25

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.