The end of April snuck up on me this year, and I missed the launch count-down and everything. But on Sunday I was alerted that a new version of Ubuntu was available for installation.
I let the app updater try to update the OS. Often I'll do something more creative like log out of the GUI and do a command-line do-release-upgrade or something similar. I walked away, as I do when big updates occur, as the nearly 1GB of stuff to download was going to take a while (about 20 minutes on my connection, but that's 20 minutes of not watching the progress indicator).
I returned to my machine prompting me for the MySQL root password. I wondered when or why MySQL got installed on my workstation; probably some management app I was trying or something. I don't recall setting a password, so I left it blank, and the installation continued. Then it prompted me for the MySQL root password; again I left it blank and it continued. It did this four or five times, and then it went on with a big chunk of set-up, so I walked away again.
When I returned, the UI was mostly gone, but there was a frame-less window with the MySQL root password prompt in it again, and an error dialog hovering over it. I closed the error dialog, but couldn't interact with the terminal window. I shrugged, dropped to a command-line, and rebooted the machine.
The machine wouldn't reboot. Something missed in the setup, and there weren't any mount points configured, so there was a kernel panic after Grub moved on to try to boot. It's hard to run when you can't find your root. I tried again, poking with the few things I know in Grub to try to get it to mount the root partition, but none worked.
I then did what I should have done first: I created a bootable USB (there's no optical drive on this system), and re-installed a fresh installation. I've mentioned before, I have my /home and a few other mount points in different partitions and drives, so I can do a wipe and install of the root partition and not loose much. Of course, I hadn't thought to make a list of the packages I'd installed, but it's always a nice way to find out what you use.
The USB wipe-and-install-fresh installation ripped along, didn't prompt me for anything more than my timezone and first user credentials, and the important drive configuration: I chose my previous mount points, and when the system reboot...it seemed to hang.
It spun for about 10 minutes. No alternate terminal would work, and the GUI space was all purple. The drive light was flickering like mad, so I figured it was probably doing an fsck or another health-check kind of thing. A note would have been nice, but perhaps they aren't expecting multiple TB drives to be scanned from the start.
Soon a new GUI appeared. I logged in and was rewarded with my usual background (rotating images from http://apod.nasa.gov), and my few usual desktop icons I'd created for my IDEs and other not-installed-the-usual-way apps. I added a few packages I'd installed and downloaded a thing or two that weren't added by the package manager. So far, so good.
I'm refraining from updating the server for the moment. Mostly because I want to try to move its contents to the other, bigger server. Also, though, because I'm timid after having to hustle to get my workstation back in operating order.