I had a problem on Ubuntu where I was able to ping websites, but couldn’t browse them through FireFox or get updates via the Update Manager.
I actually had a slew of problems with my home installation of Ubuntu this weekend, and it was a combination of software and hardware I reckon.
After I successfully installed Ubuntu Fiesty (7.10) at work, I got home Wednesday afternoon to my Ubuntu Gutsy (7.06 I think) installation and noticed the differences. For the sake of having both work and home installations the same, I wanted to upgrade my home version.
And this is where my problems started.
First it’s important to note that my CPU fan on my 4 year old computer is not as reliable as it should be, and frequently stalls. If I don’t realise it stalled, the CPU heats up (and quickly, I am in hot and humid Borneo after all) and the system then resets (multiple times if I don’t get the fan kick-started again soon).
With that potential glitch not in the back of my mind, I started the over 500MiB large upgrade (estimated time about 2 hours) of Ubuntu Gutsy to Ubuntu Fiesty and went Pub Quizzing for the night.
Upon my return, the upgrade was apparently complete, the system had restarted and the log-in screen was awaiting my arrival. I promptly logged in for some Ubuntu-bashing, but beyond the prompt all that awaited me was a grayish-greenish screen, which didn’t do anything nor offered options of any kind.
I thought perhaps it was a glitch, and restarted the system, but the same thing happened. At this point I noticed my CPU fan spinning at an exceptionally slow rate, and figured that it must have stalled during the update, overheated the CPU triggering a restart in the middle of the upgrade, which corrupted it (it did warn me that once the update was started, it couldn’t be stopped).
It was too late at night to worry about it. The next morning I popped into work and picked up the Live CD featuring Ubuntu Fiesty (7.10) that I downloaded earlier in the week and took it home to install from scratch. Luckily I had created nothing so far in Ubuntu, so I just re-formatted the partitions and reinstalled Ubunut – no sweat.
Everything went well with the installation, but when I launched Firefox I realised I had no Internet access. I fiddled with it for a bit and eventually pinged google.com, which gave me a positive result and showed that I did in fact have Internet access, but I couldn’t get to websites through my browser.
I tried running Update Manager, thinking that perhaps some or other component didn’t install, but that didn’t work either. I rebooted into XP and went in search of answers. After a while I found this solution in simple to understand instructions.
Apparently it’s a combination of cheap hardware and ipv6, which is a new or updated protocol being implemented on the web. The problem is also perhaps not so much cheap hardware, as it is hardware that is designed for Windows in mind. I use an Aztech 4 Port Router/ADSL modem and had this problem with Ubuntu Fiesty (7.10).
After I followed these instructions, my problems were solved and I could not only ping websites and surf to them in Firefox, but my Update Manager also worked once again.
So just to reiterate, if you can ping websites from Ubuntu, but you can’t reach them through Firefox or can’t reach http-related functions, then visit this thread on the Ubuntu Forum for your salvation.