I'm playing with the betas of Oneiric Ocelot, which will, in a couple of months, be Ubuntu 11.10. So far I've tried Ubuntu and Lubuntu.
But on one of my machines, I hit a novel problem which I've also been seeing on the Ubuntu support mailing lists... novel GRUB errors, especially one I've not met before:
grub: out of disk
This was with an old dual Athlon box - a Yule present from kjersti about a decade ago, in fact - which I've resurrected from the back of the garage for possible server duties. Recent reading has exposed a possible bug in its Asus A7-A266D motherboard's EIDE controller which leads to random resets or kernel panics, which is the problem I used to have with it.
I've tried it with an add-in EIDE RAID controller, but it still did it. Now I'm trying it with an add-in SATA controller and it appears to be a whole lot better.
But the odd thing was the simplest possible install - one big root partition and a small swap partition, generated automatically by the "use whole disk" option in the Ubuntu installer - gave this GRUB error.
I reinstalled GRUB. No difference. I moved it to a separate /boot partition after the root partition. Different GRUB error - "unknown filesystem".
So I wiped and reinstalled with Lubuntu, making a separate 128MB ext2 /boot partition at the start of the disk and putting / and swap in logical drives. And lo, it works absolutely fine.
I wonder if the recent versions of GRUB2 have broken something on older kit?
And if they have, how many present-day Linux users remember the days of BIOS drive size limits and of keeping the kernel in the first 1,024 cylinders and the way these things mandated a separate /boot partition?
I fear a lot of people are going to get very frustrated indeed over this...