Dennis talked about the issue of unhealthy Ubuntu systems and how they interrupt between distribution upgrades. Dennis presents a list of signs to identify a possibly unhealthy system. He writes:
What makes an Ubuntu system unhealthy, you’d say – well here are a few examples:
- Third party packages
- checkinstall’ed or alien’ed packages
The problem is that many people think that Automatix, EasyUbuntu, fasterdapper, and other such tools are the easiest and quick ways to configure their systems for multimedia and everything else. Since these tools are mentioned throughout Ubuntu forums and has their Wiki pages in Community Documentation, newbies usually assume that it is safe to use them and they can undo these actions just as easily as they perform them. Looking at the Ubuntu forum’s edgy upgrade troubleshooting thread, it seems untrue.
It makes users like me wonder, how we might go about customizing our Ubuntu system in a safe and healthy manner. We need a solution which does not create problems with future upgrades and could easily be undone if needed. Some ways to resolve this issue were suggested in the discussion on Dennis’ post. These include a Ubuntu Health Checker, warnings on using scripts such as those mentioned above and providing properly integrated Ubuntu alternates to these tools. I particularly found Joey Stanford’s Distribution Upgrade technique more useful, but it needs a fast working Internet connection.