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Some weeks ago I had updated Ubuntu at the 11.10 version, but I had started having problems with QGIS 1.8: I installed the program and launched it, but it didn't open and crashed continuously.

I decided to update the operating system again, to the 12.04 version, but this hasn't solved the problems. So I've removed QGIS and all its related packages, in order to re-install it with the PPA from the website (for Precise):

deb http://qgis.org/debian precise main
deb-src http://qgis.org/debian precise main

To add the the qgis.org repository public key to your apt keyring, type:

gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 997D3880
gpg --export --armor 997D3880 | sudo apt-key add -

So the program is installed and it starts, but it creates an unstable window and often crashes: where is the problem?

I have two options: A) my laptop is over and unable to cope with GIS requirements B) there's something disturbing the GIS that lasts across the OS updatings.

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You act like a Windows user. Try to run the program in terminal and see the output. –  Vladimir Nov 30 '12 at 10:44
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Try to mantain a experimental enviroment in a virtual machine. You can create a snapshot or hard disk copy before critical changes and roll back if things goes wrong. Then apply in production enviroment if things goes ok after some tests.

Well, try to create a virtual machine with Ubuntu 12.04 and do a QGIS fresh install to see if the problem is the SO or something in your machine configuration.

I suggest Virtual Box wich is very easy and runs Ubuntu very well. Try to use server versions to server enviroments. Desktop and windows stuff consumes some attention of processor and memory, it's unecessary for servers.

( I can't comment a question ... why ? )

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Why your advise is so difficult? In Linux everything is simple: one shouldn't reinstall program every time it crashes (or a fortriori run virtual machine), but instead to trace the bug and report! –  Vladimir Nov 30 '12 at 11:26
    
@Vladimir : Agree. But I had some bad experiences trying to solve a problem and gone deep and deep in troubles every time I changed my production enviroment... So, now I proceed this way : Do not touch what is working well until know the change results. But, in this case the mess already done, your advice is the best thing to do. –  Magno C Nov 30 '12 at 11:58
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