Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Beta Released: Testers Needed!

Like everyone else with their heart invested in Ubuntu, I am tickled pink to see that Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Beta has been released. Our global community of contributors and developers has worked tirelessly to get this Beta out, and there are lots of great features in there including Upstart switched on by default, improved boot experience, the new Ubuntu Software Center, new messaging indicator changes, and lots of EC2 and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud awesomeness. You can download the furry little blighter here.

But wait…before you go and download it…I want to talk about the point of a beta…it is, in a word…


Unfortunately, nestled inside all of the lovelyness I described are some inevitable bugs. While we have an incredible bunch of people at Canonical and in the community that fix bugs, we are really looking to you good people to hunt these bugs down and report them so we (a) know about them and can (b) fix them and make Ubuntu the best Operating System it can be.

Of course, the whole system needs testing, but there are some key topics which some of us in the Ubuntu land would like you to give a solid test to. It is these features which are new to Ubuntu and need the most love and attention. So, let’s cover them…

Empathy Audio and Video Calls

Karmic ships with a new instant messaging client called Empathy, based on the tremendous Telepathy framework. Empathy is the right direction for IM in the GNOME and Ubuntu projects, and recent additions to it include screen sharing and audio and video calling. The audio/video side of Empathy has had some mixed results for different users, so this really needs your love.

This is how you test:

First, run Empathy from Applications->Internet->Empathy IM Client. Next add a Google Talk or Jabber account. If you see a contact with a microphone or video camera next to their name, right click them and click Audio Call or Video Call. It should call them, they will then accept the call and you can have an audio or video chat.

If this doesn’t work as expected, open up a terminal Applications->Accessories->Terminal and type in

ubuntu-bug empathy

Follow the instructions to file your bug. You can check to see if your bug has already been filed by looking at the Empathy Bugs List.

Another really useful thing you can do if you face problems is to first quit Empathy and then in the terminal type:

EMPATHY_LOGFILE=/tmp/empathy.log GST_DEBUG=\*fsrtp\*:5 EMPATHY_DEBUG=all empathy

This generates a log file and you should then attach the empathy.log file in the /tmp directory to the bug report.

Boot Experience

Karmic introduces a faster and more beautiful boot experience, but we are still trying to weed out some bugs here and there.

Testing this is simple: boot your system and after you see a message about GRUB loading, you shouldn’t see any other messages before you see the Ubuntu logo on a gray background. If you do see messages, you have found a bug.

We need you to let us know what the text says so we can eliminate the message from the boot process. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • When you are logged into the desktop, use Ctrl-Alt-F1 to flick to VT1 and see if the messages are there. If so, note them down or take a photo of the screen in which you can see the text clearly.
  • Another approach is to remember a word or two from the boot message and then click System->Administration->Log File Viewer and click on either the dmesg or syslog entries and use Ctrl-F to search for the text you remembered. If you then see it, add that to a bug report.

If you think the bug is a kernel bug (typically when the message refers to a device or driver on your system), open up a terminal Applications->Accessories->Terminal and type in

ubuntu-bug linux

If you find that the gray graphic with the Ubuntu logo that shows while Ubuntu is loading doesn’t behave as you expect, run this command to report the bug:

ubuntu-bug xsplash

Finally, if you are having problems with the graphical login prompt, run this:

ubuntu-bug gdm

When you have filed your bug, view the bug report in your web browser, and under Bug Description there is a Tags line. Click the small yellow circle with a ‘!’ inside it and add the tag ubuntu-boot-experience. This will help our developers to find it and do their best to fix it.


All new Ubuntu releases (including Alphas and Betas) are now available as Amazon EC2 images. Thanks to the stunning work of Ara Pulido and Scott Moser, we have a great set of tests you can run to test out these images. First go and read this starters guide to EC2 and Ubuntu and then try the tests out here. You can leave your feedback on this wiki page and file bugs here.

Getting Help

If you have any questions or queries about testing and filing bugs, here are some resources:

A great place to get is IRC too, in these channels (all on the Freenode IRC network):

  • #ubuntu-bugs
  • #ubuntu-quality
  • #ubuntu-release
  • #ubuntu-testing

Thanks again for taking part in testing Ubuntu and in helping to make it as great as possible!

  • http://identi.ca/notice/11148987 Amber Graner (akgraner) ‘s status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 23:33:15 UTC – Identi.ca
  • http://identi.ca/notice/11149003 Jorge Castro (jorge) ‘s status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 23:33:36 UTC – Identi.ca
  • http://blog.nixternal.com/2009.10.01/kubuntu-9-10-karmic-koala-beta-released-everyone-needed/ Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Beta Released: Everyone Needed! :: Richard A. Johnson

    […] I know I stole the idea of the title from Jono Bacon, however, unlike Ubuntu who supposedly only needs testers right now, Kubuntu needs all of you! Of […]

  • http://qense.nl/ Sense Hofstede

    It’s even easier to check your boot when it’s logged! You can do that by changing BOOTLOGD_ENABLE=No to BOOTLOGD_ENABLE=Yes in /etc/default/bootlogd. This will log it in /var/log/boot.

    Source: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=49925

  • http://identi.ca/notice/11209540 Grant Bowman (grantbow) ‘s status on Friday, 02-Oct-09 21:54:22 UTC – Identi.ca
  • https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CaliforniaTeam Grant Bowman

    Without basic IRC commands and logging it’s unusable for my daily needs. Why is this immature app being forced in as the default this release?

  • Bugsbane

    Erm, if you read that thread you’ll see that this function was disabled back in Intrepid, and furthermore isn’t actually valid since Ubuntu moved to Upstart. Trying this now just results in a log that says (nothing has been logged yet).”

    Seems that dmesg / messages / kern.log is the order of the day now (even if it’s not exactly the same).

  • Curtman

    When you are logged into the desktop, use Ctrl-Alt-1 to flick to VT1 and see if the messages are there. If so, note them down or take a photo of the screen in which you can see the text clearly.

    That should be Ctrl-Alt-F1 shouldn’t it?

  • Sirrus

    I checked the beta today, and this is the first Ubuntu release where my jaw literally dropped. Wow.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to participate in triaging last-minute bugs (although I do hope to start contributing next year), but I give my wholehearted thanks to both Cannonical and the fantastic community who made Ubuntu possible. This is amazing.

  • http://nancib.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/counting-the-days/ Counting the Days « I’m Just an Avatar

    […] also asked to help test some of the new goodies, and we really do need as many people as possible to test the new beta on their own computer since […]

  • jono

    I just tested IRC support in Empathy, looks fine to me.

  • jono

    Whoops! Thanks for the note, fixed! :-)

  • Gian Mario Tagliaretti

    I’m a bit disappointed that again networking is not working, and when the network doesn’t work it’ a pain to fix.

    You should really stop the “running to ship the latest kernel nonsense”

  • Horvoo

    I’m testing beta version. This is beauty and more user centric.

  • beow

    Anywhere I can see how this jaws-dropping booting experience is supposed to look like? In my karmic beta it looks butt-ugly with low-res brown-greyish colors, much uglier than before in Jaunty. Indeed I have problems with boot messages displayed, and probably this will automagically fix itself, but I would surely appreciate a pointer to a video of the new boot process.

  • http://www.suryaden.com suryaden

    i’ve downloading today the beta version, after my lenovo just do not work for karmic alpha 6, after update… so i switch again to jaunty.

    hope that the beta will run smooth on my lenovo g430… soon

  • OP

    I’ve been using Ubuntu for just under a year. I’d regard myself as non-technical, but might be up for helping with testing. There are however a few questions I’d have.

    I assume that others might have similar issues. What follows is my suggestion for what I would add to the above post/include in a new one if I wanted to draw in new testers, previously not involved in the community.

    (This sounds more critical than I’d intended. I’m genuinely trying to be helpful.)

    1) How long it’ll take to download. (I have some idea having updated from Hardy-Intrepid-Jaunty, but others might not.) i.e. it’ll take approximately x time on a y speed connection.

    2) What problems am I likely to experience? Presumably there’s a list of bugs already identified on Launchpad somewhere? A prominent link to this would be useful.

    3) If I download the beta now, how do I later move to the production version? Do I have to install the whole thing or will it simply be a few patches?

    4) What else do I need beyond a computer and an internet connection (e.g. launchpad account)?

  • ercoppa

    Testing this is simple: boot your system and after you see a message about GRUB loading, you shouldn’t see any other messages before you see the Ubuntu logo on a gray background. If you do see messages, you have found a bug.

    Ubuntu dev are not agree with you [1].


    Greets, ercoppa.

  • http://bug aditya

    [ 13.180613] mmc0: Unknown controller version (2). You may experience problems.

    this is what i get in boot process.. i am using dell vostro 1310 with base configurations….

  • http://www.puppetweb.net Puppet

    I’m testing the beta version, and everything seems to be quite ok.

    About the boot process I found two boring things

    1)) a [firmware bug] message appears during the boot, telling me to upgrade the firmware of my mobo. I fixed it simply activating the “cool’n quiet” option in the bios of my mobo.

    2)) sometimes, very often actually, server x doesn’t start. Sometimes the sistem freezes on a gray screen, sometimes on the “waiting image” (you know, the little rounding ball…)

    3)) (maybe related with 2) Grub gave me an error “Invalid environment block” and couldn’t start Karmic. I solved following the instructions in this link