Why hasn't Hardy on the Dell Mini been updated in months?

Asked by Nicola Ferralis on 2009-01-02

While mainstream 8.04 benefits from almost daily updates, the custom version for the mini hasn't been updated in months. Firefox is still in version 3.0.3, similarly for all other packages. As it is, hardy for the mini is highly insecure, and affected by several vulnerabilities. I would appreciate if a reason for such inactivity exists. There are no excuses for shipping an unsupported OS.

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The Dell Mini Project Edit question
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Last query:
2009-08-17
Last reply:
2010-12-29
Fabián Rodríguez (magicfab) said : #1

I've linked the corresponding bug report.

Fabián Rodríguez (magicfab) said : #3

Feranick, I have been told Dell is holding back the updates so they happen in one single bundle instead of almost daily as it happens on vanilla Hardy. We can't say when this will happen, however I am told it should be soon.

The mini has special repositories for LPIA, that is part of the reason why this is happening.

Nicola Ferralis (feranick) said : #4

Thanks, Fabian. I can see why Dell doesn't want to push daily updates, but, honestly 2 months seem to me a bit of a long time. In the meantime people are left with totally vulnerable systems. What does Dell have as a priority, the user safety and stability or their convenience on updating their custom repositories? It seems the latter is the correct answer, and to me that is unacceptable.

Dominic Hargreaves (dom) said : #5

Agreed, feranick.

Perhaps we could be given access to a proposed-updates or 'frequent-updates' repository which would be more frequently fed with updates (many updates will be to packages that are unchanged compared to the normal Ubuntu archive)?

A similar effect could be achieved with careful use of ports.ubuntu.com and package pins, but is rather cumbersome and error-prone.

ZandrMilewski (n6mod) said : #6

Is lpia going to be a supported architecture for Jaunty? Or, is there a howto on building a repository for lpia?

Given the slow update cycle, problems when it does hit, and the fact that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, (see LP #316946) I've had it with the crippled Dell repository.

I'd quite happily spend the compute time to build an lpia intrepid repo. I don't particularly want to end up hosting it, though.

Béné (bene-d) said : #7

The lpia platform is in fact supported in vanilla jaunty: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/jaunty/lpia

I do wonder too, when (if?) the Dell repositories are going to be upgraded to intrepid/jaunty. I reckon that'll take quite a while though... I agree with you, ZandrMilewski, the maintenance of the Dell repositories is everything but transparent, which really is a shame.

Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #8

Maybe a group from the community, with knowledge and know-how behind the Dell Mini's, can build their own separate repositories that will be kept up-to-date?

But the entire process seems to need an overhaul. Users should get prompt updates using Dell's repos. From what I've just read I almost fell over. I also firmly believe Canonical and Dell, above all, should better support their customers.

Nicola Ferralis (feranick) said : #9

Craig,

Your idea is nice in principle, but honestly not very viable. The custom version of Hardy is officially blessed from both Canonical and Dell. When you purchase the mini you have rights to updates. If Canonical and Dell don't really care to keep that these second class users updates, I think the best answer is to dump the mini and go for something else. If you really like the mini, it's way much easier to install a generic version of Ubuntu netbook remix, which is: 1. fully supported; 2. Much more recent; 3. updated.

I salute any effort in community maintaining hardy for the mini, but really if this isn't happening, I rather go for a generic version. I don't have the time, wish and motivation for doing what Canonical is failing to do.

ZandrMilewski (n6mod) said : #10

Well, before I gave up on Ubuntu on that machine entirely, I had switched over to UNR.

Having said that, it doesn't look like there's a UNR for lpia distro... the MID distribution is available for lpia, but not UNR.

So, the question stands... is there a howto for building a binary repository so I can run UNR for lpia on my machine?

Nicola Ferralis (feranick) said : #11

This is the only piece of into I could find...

https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/jaunty/lpia/ubuntu-netbook-remix

Nick.

Nicola Ferralis (feranick) said : #12

According to a Dell official, the company will upgrade its Ubuntu Linux OS for netbooks to the latest version in the next few weeks, he said.

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090813/tc_pcworld/delllookstolinuxtoexpandnetbookpresence

So Jaunty for the mini maybe behind the corner. Let's keep finger crossed. Hardy is really becoming long in the tooth.

Kaihsu Tai (kaihsu) said : #13

I really look forward to an official repository to upgrade to 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) – or even 9.10 (Karmic Koala) when it comes out in a few weeks (if that is not too much work). Perhaps it is not unreasonable to plan ahead for 10.04 LTS (L* L*?), since that will be a long-term support version, like 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) was, with which the Dell Mini 9 originally shipped. I have recently attempted and failed to get mobile broadband (Huawei E1550 as offered by 3 = Hutchison 3G UK) to work with Hardy Heron: a pity.

Kaihsu Tai (kaihsu) said : #14

Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS (Lucid Lynx) out a couple of months ago, but still no updates at all.

Kaihsu Tai (kaihsu) said : #15

I gave up and installed the generic Ubuntu release a few months ago.

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