If you’re the kind of person who likes to give software and platforms a test drive early on then I’m sure you’ve been keeping a close eye on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope and its fresh support for the ext4 file system.
If you’re interested in upgrading to Ubuntu 9.04 then it’s pretty painless and requires one command. Before you get started, please note that the current stage of the Ubuntu 9.04 release is still alpha.
This means that this release is not yet deemed stable and you should not be surprised if you encounter a nasty bug. That being said, I have been using Ubuntu 9.04 for a couple of alpha releases with no major problems and fast updates and fixes on a daily basis.
If you would like to wait until the final version is released then you can mark your calendars for April 23, 2009 and upgrade then. If you’re curious and ready for some exciting changes then please continue reading. 😉
Please take a look at the know issues for the latest release of Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunt Jackalope to make sure you still want to continue with the upgrade. You can find links to release news for each alpha and on up to the final release here.
Upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04
- Press Alt+F2 to open the run dialog.
- Copy and paste update-manager -d into the dialog and press enter.
- When the Update Manager appears, it should prompt you of the availability of an upgrade. Press the upgrade button and follow the few instructions.
After upgrading, you may need to enable hardware drivers for your video card. If you’re using nVidia, then you’ll be happy to see that driver version 180 is now recommended for Jaunty!
You may not notice, but updating your version of Ubuntu does not automatically convert your file system from ext3 to ext4. This is something you will need to manually change with a few commands.
Also note that after converting your file system to ext4, only files created after the conversion will be created in extends mode. This means that files that already exist will still be in ext3 format, but will work flawlessly with the ext4 file system. If you wish to have a complete ext4 file system then you will most likely be required to perform a fresh install of Ubuntu 9.04.
Follow updates from kernel.org on how to convert from ext3 to ext4, or refer to this page in the case that the below information becomes outdated.
Converting ext3 to ext4
To convert an existing ext3 filesystem to use ext4, use the command
$ tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/DEV
WARNING: Once you run this command, the filesystem will no longer be mountable using the ext3 filesystem!
After running this command, you MUST run fsck:
$ fsck -pf /dev/DEV
NOTE: by doing so, new files will be created in extents format, but this will not convert existing files. However, they can be transparently read by Ext4.
WARNING: It is NOT recommended to resize the inodes using resize2fs, as this is known to corrupt some filesystems.
If you’ve successfully upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04 then it’s time for you to sit back and relax!
You’ll continue to see updates to Ubuntu 9.04 that will update your system all the way up to the stable release of Ubuntu 9.04 by April 23, 2009. You will see fewer and fewer updates after this point with most of the updates being security based.