The upgrade failed to take for two key reasons:
- VMWare Workstation doesn't yet work with the 3.1 kernel.
- Gnome 3 and my video card don't get along in a multi-monitor environment.
The first is solvable with a community patch that patches the VMware kernel modules to work with 3.1. The down side is that every time I launch a VM I get the "This is running a newer kernel than is known to work" message, and that gets annoying. Also, rather fragile since I'd have to re-patch every time a kernel update comes down the pipe (not to mention breaking any time VMWare releases a new version).
The second is where I spent most of my trouble-shooting time. I've been hacking on X since the days when you had to hand-roll your own config files, so I do know what I'm looking at in there. What I found:
- When X was correctly configured to handle multi-monitors the way I want, the Gnome shell won't load.
- When the Gnome shell was told to work right, GDM won't work.
Given those two, and how badly I need more screen real-estate at work, I'm now putting 11.4 back on the laptop.