Troubleshooting in Lubuntu

This is the first time I have actually attempted to fault find myself, albeit guided by the Lubuntu community who are great, so responsive and knowledgeable, I guess that’s because there’s not going to be as many users as with other distros. The Lubuntu Discourse platform is very welcoming, supportive and straight forwards. Ask a question, get responses and you get to contribute to the discussion the whole way through, irrespective of your experience level.

So I had some problems with Lubuntu after it updated to 20.04.2. Testing on Kubuntu 20.10 as well there were more pronounced issues. Combined they pointed to hardware issues and that’s likely given the age of the laptop I was using (my sons). The symptoms weren’t to bad, virtually everything still worked and it still seemed to be going well. With the exception of the software centre Discover. I think this is part of something called Plasma or KDE, desktops that can be bundled with the Linux kernel. So my knowledge is improving, but there’s many pronounced gaps still.

I used trail, journalctl, memtest86+ and smartctl to test and identify potential problems / causes. Also used lsblk to help figure out which partitions were which.

In the end after testing memory and the hard-drive, it seems that the hdd is very close to its end of life and so the most likely culprit. Lubuntu is running beautifully on some of my other hardware and I have installed it on about a dozen laptops for a local project in lockdown. The greatest feeling was getting it up and running on an old Macbook, which will irk some puritans, but given it was a brick before – the system lept into life with its new OS and since it is a 64-bit device, should be able to keep it going for a few more years yet.

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