I have a Gateway MT6458 laptop. It came with Windows Vista pre-installed. I pretty much immediately shrank the partition to make room for a Unix boot partition and a shared data partition. I chose the Xubuntu Linux distribution to install for my Unix desktop.
I’ve been through one bungled upgrade that was my fault, and had to reinstall from scratch. Today, I tried upgrading to the latest Xubuntu release, 8.04 LTS “Hardy Heron”. And this time, it appears that all has gone well. I did have to change repositories, for a prerequisite noted on upgrading is that all recommended system upgrades be applied before the OS version upgrade is attempt. The “update-manager” application handles this, and it worked for all but two files: an update of itself and its GUI. I got a “Failed to fetch” error message. After retrying the downloads periodically, I figured that the issue wasn’t temporary. A bit of Googling revealed that sometimes better luck is had if one changes the repository used to obtain files. OK, fine, I thought. I was going to pick one essentially at random when I noticed a “Choose Best Server” button. That sounded like just the thing, so I hit the button. It took about five minutes, and it selected a host server in the USA on the west coast. When I tried the updates again, this time they went through.
Then it was time to upgrade the OS itself. I turned off all my running applications, then started the upgrade to 8.04 LTS. That took about 43 minutes to download everything needed, and then another hour or so to install things. Every once in a while, I’d notice that there was a prompt for my attention. After dealing with those, the process finished up and requested a reboot. I did that, and the system went through GRUB and I selected my Linux partition to boot to, and “Hardy Heron” did indeed come up without a hitch. So far, so good.