I like that Kubuntu (and many other Gnu/Linux distributions) allows you to update just about every piece of installed software and their required libraries from one simple program. It also lets you update everything from a not-as-simple terminal program. Anyway, I fired up my Kubuntu computer to make sure it was up to date before copying some files over. I didn't want to start copying until I was sure it wasn't going to bug me. I have the particular updater used by Kubuntu, Muon Update Manager, as a shortcut on my desktop. I ran it, and it already had the list of updates waiting for me. I let it download the roughly 1.6 MiB of updates and everything looked normal until I got some strange error I probably should've wrote down. Then it closed on its own. I figured if this was really a problem, it would give me that same error if I opened it again. This time, I got an error that the updater wasn't even installed. It wasn't in the Kickoff menu either (like the Start Menu, only not). All my graphical package management software vanished. While this may seem like a boon (no more alerts bugging me to install updates!), I do want to keep this computer secure, so updating is important. I had to go into the terminal and bring the updater back. I used a sequence of commands like this (though any one of them might not be required):
apt-get install --fix-broken
apt-get --purge remove muon
apt-get install muon
After that, I could start the updater like it was there the whole time. This, sadly, is not easy for most people. (i.e., I can't picture my grandma going into a terminal and typing all that stuff.) It got a lot worse. I rebooted, and after logging in, nothing happened. All I saw was the login screen's background. Nothing else appeared. Remembering that Ctrl+Alt+F1 would give me a terminal, I logged in and attempted to get KDE's missing bits back in place. I found directions on how to do a system upgrade and figured they were close enough for reinstalling missing packages:
apt-get install -f
apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
shutdown -r now
The second and third command did nothing, so I'm pretty sure they weren't necessary. Then I realized that my MariaDB server no longer functioned. WTF? Did this thing screw up all my packages? As it turns out, some other program decided it liked MySQL better, and removed MariaDB from my computer and installed MySQL instead. I had to type this long thing to get my MariaDB back:
apt-get install mariadb-server-5.5 mariadb-client-5.5 mariadb-server-core-5.5 mariadb-common mariadb-server libmariadbclient18 libdbd-mysql-perl mariadb-client-core-5.5 libmysqlclient18=5.5.28-mariadb-a1~
I'm guessing this problem with MariaDB vs. MySQL is the whole reason my packages got broken in the first place. MariaDB is at 5.5.28a, while MySQL is at 5.5.29, so the package manager thinks 5.5.29 of anything is better than 5.5.28a of MariaDB, so it tries to install that until the package manager throws a wobbly and craps out. Here's a longer and more technical version of what I said. I guess once MariaDB does their jump to 10.x, they'll always be ahead of MySQL. Maybe people with MySQL will magically find MariaDB installed on their servers. Anyway, after all that work, it finally worked right.
I don't know if this is my Windows machine, my Kubuntu machine, or my router, but I thought it was pretty awesome that when copying stuff between my Windows and Kubuntu machines, even if I specifically tell it to copy to the IP address assigned to the wireless, it will copy using the Ethernet connection if it's available, allowing it to go faster. With that machine in order, maybe I can get to do the ultimate in things I couldn't picture my grandma doing: compiling a custom kernel.