Upgrading to Ubuntu Studio 20.10, with a few hiccups

in Linux5 months ago

I have been running variants of Ubuntu Linux for many years on my home PC. Most recently it has been Ubuntu Studio as this is optimised for recording audio and includes lots of multimedia tools. It has previously used the XFCE desktop, but has now switched to KDE Plasma. I used Kubuntu with KDE for ages, but I expect it has moved on since then. This change means that you cannot just upgrade it in place and a fresh install is required. I had a few issues with that.

I should note that this is an interim upgrade that lacks long term support. I am okay with that as I do not have critical work to do and I like to play with the latest version.

Ubuntu Studio

I downloaded the install ISO and used unetbootin to put it on a bootable flash drive. That takes a few minutes to boot up, but then you get the actual desktop rather than just an install program. This is useful as it gives you full access to a browser and any other apps you need to help in getting things set up or to look up issues. I needed the latter a lot.

Installation needs a few details such as location and main account. You can let it partition your drive for you, but my setup is non-standard. I have an SSD that I use for Linux and a big hard drive that has Windows 10 in a partition with the the rest as data storage. I partitioned up the SSD and created one for user folders as this can make it easier to re-install in future. There was something about using GPT (GUID partition table), but I skipped past that the first time. Then you just let it do its thing and you should have a working system in a few minutes. I think it is quicker than installing Windows.

The problems started when I rebooted and got this.


GRUB is the boot manage and it did not seem to be finding the partition it needed. I played around with this and got nowhere. I did consult a few sites. I tried another install with the GPT partitions that did the same.

I was getting a little frustrated, but I was able to see that the system appeared to be installed on the SSD and I still had everything on the other drive. Important data is backed up to Google Drive anyway. I found the new GRUB config and that looked okay.

I had noticed that my BIOS settings did not seem to allow for selecting the SSD as the boot drive and it looked like the Windows partition was actually selected as the one to boot from. That got me thinking that maybe a different GRUB config was being used and that was looking for a Linux partition that did not exist any more. So on the next install I selection a partition on the other drive to boot from and it worked!

It has been a learning experience and that is okay. You learn by breaking things. Now I have the system working it all looks good and I am setting up the applications I need. These included:

  • Brave browser. I had backed up my bookmarks. I installed a few extensions such as Hive Keychain and Lastpass. The latter makes it easy to log into everything again.
  • Flameshot for screen captures.

Most of what I need is installed by default anyway. I need to copy back some settings files and get my printer working. It is a Brother colour laser that has Linux support.

I do not think I can blame the distribution team for my woes. They cannot handle every strange configuration. I will continue setting it up and trying applications in the next few days. I look forward to trying the new version of the Ardour recording workstation.

I recommend trying Linux. It is free and you can generally set it up alongside Windows if you have the disk space. You may find you like it.


I have been running Ubuntu/Kubuntu for several years. Both at work and at home.

My work install is very old so it is in the category of reinstall instead of upgrade. I should do that at some point I suppose.

My home one, I expect, needs updates but is a newer version. Probably going to need to do a version upgrade on it at some point.

I have got away with upgrades for some time and most go smoothly. I had some issues before with the system slowing right down before. I think that may be down to a memory leak in Chrome, so will have to see if that is fixed. One nice surprise is that it seems to overcome an old bug in @splinterlands where you would not see the summoner images in battles. I think that if you mostly use the web then Ubuntu is a great option.


I don't play games on my linux machine so that is not a concern for me. At home I mostly use it as a server since I have to use my windows machine for connecting to work, but haven't done much with it recently. At work I use it for quite a bit.

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I love doing stuff like this and am happiest when it doesn't go to plan. As you say, you learn when things break.

I had some 'fun' yesterday. I use Insync to sync some folders to Google Drive, but I pointed it at the wrong place and so things got a bit messed up and filled up my cloud storage. Took a while to sort it out. I have most other stuff working and some of it is better than before.

I was running into lots of issues with UEFI And all of that when I was trying to get Ubuntu installed on some of my older computers. I use RUFUS to create my USB drives and it was a huge headache. Turned out it was just that my hardware was so old. I am glad you were able to get yourself back up and running.

I think a clean install on a simple system will generally work. I was being really careful to be sure I used the right drive for stuff, so was not too worried about losing data, but it was a bit of a pain. I am happy that I figured it out pretty much by myself.

If you want to try Linux and have a Windows 10 machine the easiest way is to install Windows sub-sytem for Linux 2 (WSL2) which runs a native linux kernel within Windows. Saves the whole dual boot hassle.

Usually it will not be quite such a hassle. I have not actually tried WSL yet as I have not had the need. I prefer to not have Windows running at all as it is likely to be less secure. I only boot it up when really necessary and I will probably use it for the Hivefest VR stuff as that is not available on Linux. I've used Linux for my home computing for many years and feel I lack anything. I am not a gamer and don't need many Windows-only apps.