I'll be installing Ubuntu Lucid...

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 54
Author Content
gus3

Dec 02, 2010
10:54 PM EST
My mother's desktop system currently has Fedora 12 installed, but today was the last day for updates of any kind, including security updates. We had some discussion about the pros and cons of jumping to Fedora 13 or 14, or switching to another distro.

One of my overriding concerns is the proverbial "what if I get hit by a bus tomorrow?". I want to know that someone else can administer the system and make sure updates are properly installed in my absence.

And that's what sealed it. My brother uses Ubuntu on his laptop (and Android on his phone!), so he can take over if necessary. Probably sometime next week, I'll be installing Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx, a Long Term Support version, on my mother's desktop system.

Another concern, secondary to me but primary to my mother, is that she'll require minimal support in using the desktop. That's what prevented her from switching to Slackware, a KDE-preferring distro. Yes, Gnome is available for Slackware, but only as an add-on. Too bad, because Slackware is still getting security updates for releases that are over six years old!

I'm glad I pestered her to get an external backup drive. I can do a final backup, verify it, and then unplug the drive for safety, while I wipe the desktop and install the new distro.

When the time comes, prayers will certainly be appreciated.
Steven_Rosenber

Dec 03, 2010
12:11 AM EST
I've had fairly good luck with Lucid. Even an in-place upgrade from 8.04 worked with a few tweaks, though I recommend reinstalling - it's easier by far.

On my older hardware, I recommend NOT using the integrated social-media framework (with Gwibber) as well as Ubuntu One. I found that all the couchDB processes really dragged things down. It's probably not as much of a concern with newer hardware.
tracyanne

Dec 03, 2010
1:20 AM EST
Not quite on topic, I know, but. If ordinary non techie people are exposed to Linux, they will chose Linux over Windows, even if they have just purchased a new computer with Windows 7 pre Installed. I was asked last night to set up a computer for a family who have been using Linux on the Husband/father's computer (he's non techie, and relies on me). They recently purchased a new laptop, not through me (because I don't take Credit Cards), and the Wife wants me to replace Windows 7 with Ubuntu, because she like it.

What more can I do.
bigg

Dec 03, 2010
5:00 AM EST
> If ordinary non techie people are exposed to Linux, they will chose Linux over Windows

Of course. Once they get used to not being stressed out with all the security stuff, they don't want to go back. My mother's that way. She once shouted at a granddaughter for booting into Windows. Granddaughter said she need IE to visit certain websites. My mother shouted that lots of programs get installed from those websites and then she has to pay someone to fix it.
gus3

Dec 03, 2010
6:44 AM EST
There's our new marketing slogan:

"Linux: the choice of a responsible generation."
mrider

Dec 03, 2010
10:57 AM EST
@gus3

I usually do a quick rsynch across the network of the home directory to another computer just before nuking. It takes a bit of time, but there's nothing like having a second copy available to make me feel better about a reformat.
jsusanka

Dec 03, 2010
4:09 PM EST
you could also try debian or centos. both are long term support distros and work great with old hardware.
herzeleid

Dec 03, 2010
5:25 PM EST
Centos is pretty decent on the server side, but it's a bit dated as a desktop IMHO - well up to version 5.5 anyway, but maybe the imminent release of 6.0 will change things.
Steven_Rosenber

Dec 03, 2010
5:59 PM EST
There are use cases where CentOS is a good choice for the desktop. If all the applications you use are covered in the repos (and you are comfortable getting the rest from elsewhere), it could be very nice to set it up and have the same distro running for years.

Debian is the same, in a way, because you can stick with a release for 2 to 2 1/2 years. That's not five years ... Ubuntu LTS will get you 3 years.
gus3

Dec 03, 2010
6:43 PM EST
I did consider CentOS and Debian, but the clincher was my brother being able to take over in my place if need be. And for that, Ubuntu is the best bet.
tracyanne

Dec 03, 2010
7:59 PM EST
AHHGGG They bought a machine with with an Atheros Wireless card. Why oh why are these such a b1tch. Atheros claim they fully support FOSS and work with the OSS community, yet it's easier to get a Broadcom card working.
Steven_Rosenber

Dec 03, 2010
10:18 PM EST
@tracyanne - I've got Atheros on both wired and wireless, and I've had virtually no problems with recent systems. Debian Squeeze, Ubuntu 10.10, Fedora 13 and 14 -- they all autoconfigure fine. The wireless is better than the wired. I have to "force" a media type in OpenBSD and FreeBSD, but then all works fine. In 2.6.32+ I've never had even a small problem.
tracyanne

Dec 03, 2010
10:25 PM EST
I've installed Ubuntu 10.10 on a Toshiba Satellite Pro C650, and it won't even start Wireless. It works perfectly when I boot into Windows 7.
tracyanne

Dec 03, 2010
10:29 PM EST
tracy@tracy-desktop:~$ iwconfig lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

wlan0 IEEE 802.11bgn ESSID:off/any Mode:Managed Access Point: Not-Associated Tx-Power=20 dBm Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off Power Management:off

tracy@tracy-desktop:~$ sudo ifconfig wlan0 up [sudo] password for tracy: tracy@tracy-desktop:~$ iwlist scan lo Interface doesn't support scanning.

eth0 Interface doesn't support scanning.

wlan0 No scan results tracy@tracy-desktop:~$
tracyanne

Dec 03, 2010
10:31 PM EST
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications AR8152 v1.1 Fast Ethernet (rev c1) 03:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
bigg

Dec 04, 2010
6:20 AM EST
That card may not work with Ubuntu 10.10:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/ubuntu-1010-maverick-mee...

I ran into trouble with the same card but didn't have much time with that netbook. I saw this thread:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=10028006

where it says

Quoting:It's been a couple days now and I finally have a stable connection. I had to download and compile the compat-wireless bleeding-edge stuff from the kernel.org website.


so I didn't bother. My impression from searching was that the card worked with earlier releases.
tracyanne

Dec 04, 2010
5:37 PM EST
Well bug gar me, it is Ubuntu 10.10. How do they do it? They broke the Atheros drivers on 10.10, it's working fine with 9.10. I'll try 10.04, and if that works they'll at least get the LTR version
theboomboomcars

Dec 04, 2010
6:15 PM EST
I have that chip in my HTPC running mint 9 and it is working, so 10.04 will probably work.
tracyanne

Dec 04, 2010
8:07 PM EST
That's not the only thing they broke, ACPI shutdown dosn't work spectacularly either. instead of shutting down or rebooting, the machine gets to a certain point, just before the final bit of the process,and just sits there "spinning it's wheels".

Nice one Canonical.
tracyanne

Dec 04, 2010
9:11 PM EST
@theboomboomcars, did you do anything special, because while 9.10 recognises the network, it won't connect. When I enter the correct authentication code for my network it comes back and tells me the authentication code is wrong, it's a bit hard to get it wrong with copy paste. It simply won't authenticate.

tracyanne

Dec 04, 2010
10:34 PM EST
Ubuntu 10.04 (and Mint 9 just in case the Linux Mint people fixed something) doesn't even recognise that a wireless network is present, which is the same situation as with Ubuntu 10.10, and Mint 10.
jimbauwens

Dec 05, 2010
4:16 AM EST
I have a wireless usb stick (realtek) that was working perfectly with 9.04, but doesn't work with all the versions after. You can see the network, but it fails to connect. I submited a bug report a while ago, and now it has been fixed, but only in the kernel 2.6.36 or up. So now I have 10.10 with the 2.6.36 kernel, and wifi works fine. Maybe installing the 2.6.36 kernel might help for you too, since there have been alot of wifi fixes in it.
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2010
6:11 AM EST
I've already tried 2.6.37 rc, it doesn't work

I simply can't believe this. These people claim they fully support Linux, yet their driver doesn't work, or works incredibly badly, judging by all the bug reports I've been reading.

I've also as it happens tried several different distros that are not based on Ubuntu, and they don't work either.
hkwint

Dec 05, 2010
9:21 AM EST
TA: Sounds bad! Any chance of having someone from Atheros comment as of yet? I'm curious what there response will be if confronted with their failing support!

Currently, I don't have WiFi, though I have very bad experiences with RaLink and Ubuntu Linux a few years ago. The drivers were not ready back then, compiling 'development' drivers on Ubuntu was pretty hard (compared to a system designed to compile lots of stuff like say Gentoo) and ndiswrapper pretty much failed. So that's why I thought another brand might be better, but if it's really this bad I won't buy Atheros next time I need WiFi.
jdixon

Dec 05, 2010
9:58 AM EST
Does ndiswrapper still work with the latest versions of Ubuntu? You might want to give it a try.

I've had really bad luck with Atheros chipsets the few times I've encountered them too. :(
jimbauwens

Dec 05, 2010
10:15 AM EST
TA: On my netbook i've a atheros wifi chipset, and it works perfect. I also installed ubuntu 10.10 recently on a laptop of a friend, which also had a atheros chipset (newer). At first it did not work and I was looking for the problem... until I saw that the wifi switch was off. I know that this may sound stupid, but it is something that people can forget. (people like me)

Wait! Can you try booting with ACPI=OFF ?
azerthoth

Dec 05, 2010
12:15 PM EST
@hkwint, dont be so fast to pull the trigger on Atheros, the odds are better than even that the problem isnt with them.
gus3

Dec 05, 2010
1:25 PM EST
Okay, I'm doing a live test of Ubuntu from a USB boot. (Which took 45 minutes to find a bootable configuration in BIOS... grrr.) Yes, I'm actually posting this from Ubuntu Lucid.

Fortunately, the networking is wired, and the wireless is disabled in BIOS, so it won't be a concern for this particular installation. But before I proceed, I want to let Mom take this for a spin, crash it into a few walls, find out what she thinks of it and whether she'll like it.
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2010
5:20 PM EST
I've tried the WiFi on off switch, makes no difference. NdisWrapper doesn't seem to work.

Haven't tried ACPI=OFF,
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2010
5:46 PM EST
OK, if I use the Karmic (9.10) live CD I can get wireless working, it accepts my authentication code and actually works. I'll try it with 10.04 (Lucid), it doesn't seem to work with Maverik though.

One thing it did do on Maverik was enable shutdown, interesting.
gus3

Dec 05, 2010
6:26 PM EST
Aaaaaand here we are! The system has Ubuntu Lucid installed on the hard drive, and Mom's home directory is back in place, complete with the visual theme she had before.

This was a lot less painful than it could have been. I still have a few things to tweak, but overall it's production-ready.
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2010
7:14 PM EST
Wireless works on Lucid with acpi=off, but wired networking doesn't.

Not as show stopper, as this machine WILL be used on Wireless only.
tracyanne

Dec 05, 2010
8:29 PM EST
While we're here, The machine I'm setting up has a 500gig disk, I've set it up dual boot while I work out the problems. Just comparing the amount of disk space used by each OS.

Linux has 267 Gig assigned to it and is using 1% of that space. Windows 7 has 280 gig assigned to it and is using 7% fo that space

both are default installs.
tracyanne

Dec 06, 2010
3:57 AM EST
Well I've got it working, there's a couple small snags but it works.

with acpi=off I get wireless, but no wired, networking, I get Hibernate, but not suspend, the webcam works, it restarts but doesn't power down automatically on shutdown
jimbauwens

Dec 06, 2010
5:58 AM EST
TA: [url=http://www.linlap.com/wiki/toshiba satellite pro c650]http://www.linlap.com/wiki/toshiba satellite pro c650[/url] Look at the comments, quite interesting.
tracyanne

Dec 06, 2010
7:03 AM EST
I think, based on that jim, that I've about managed to get it workng as good as it's going to get.
jimbauwens

Dec 06, 2010
8:02 AM EST
Nice :)
jdixon

Dec 06, 2010
9:09 AM EST
> ...both are default installs.

2.67 GB for Linux, 19.6 GB for Windows. And with Linux you get a complete system. With Windows you get: Windows.
bigg

Dec 06, 2010
9:53 AM EST
The security holes in Windows are big. This should not come as a surprise.
tracyanne

Dec 06, 2010
4:27 PM EST
The main problem with this machine would appear to be the BIOS, I think. I suspect it doesn't play well with Linux.
jimbauwens

Dec 06, 2010
4:58 PM EST
ACPI just sucks :)
Steven_Rosenber

Dec 06, 2010
7:10 PM EST
ACPI doesn't suck when it works. Not that I would know, because it never has for me (for more than the few days it took for a new kernel to break what it fixed days before taht).
tracyanne

Dec 06, 2010
7:44 PM EST
This GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=“acpi=copy_dsdt” finally gets wireless working on my MSI netbook, yah!
gus3

Dec 06, 2010
8:16 PM EST
Worthy of a webpage all by itself.
tracyanne

Dec 06, 2010
8:30 PM EST
One thing I'd love to know is what all these acpi switches mean, and by extension why one works in one context and another in a different context. where can I find that information?
jdixon

Dec 06, 2010
8:55 PM EST
> One thing I'd love to know is what all these acpi switches mean...

Some of them can be found here:

http://www.columbia.edu/~ariel/acpi/acpi_howto.0.2d.html#boo...

and it looks like some others can be found here:

http://www.mjmwired.net/kernel/Documentation/kernel-paramete...

Between the two of them, it looks like they have the information you want. Trying to make sense out of it all is not something I'm in any hurry to tackle though.
theboomboomcars

Dec 07, 2010
10:13 PM EST
TA, sorry I was out of town, but I didn't do anything special, it worked out of the box. I wonder if MSI did something in the bios to prevent alternative OSes. Does that grub line work with mint 10? I was wanting to upgrade because I can't get LiRC to work with my remote with 9 but it does with 10, even compiling from source on 9. But I would prefer working network over working remote.
tracyanne

Dec 07, 2010
11:16 PM EST
@boomboom the MSI netbook is currently running Mint 10.
theboomboomcars

Dec 08, 2010
9:14 AM EST
TA, thanks, I may be able to get both working network, and remote. I think mine worked out of the box because the grub line was added automatically, since it will hibernate but not suspend.
tracyanne

Dec 09, 2010
1:42 AM EST
Just had a kernel update on the Mint 10 MSI netbook, now GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=“acpi=copy_dsdt” doesn't work.

I removed the acpi=copy_dsdt flag and wireless works fine with no acpi switches.

Linux drive me crazy sometimes.
theboomboomcars

Dec 09, 2010
12:59 PM EST
I was able to play with the computer last night and installed Mint 10 and my wireless worked out of the box, it also does better than the laptop since the laptop takes a while to get the wireless card up after wake up, either suspend or booting. Though it has a broadcom chip using ndiswrapper, which is probably the culprit.

Al least it's working :)

Now I just need access to the computer to get the remote working.
tracyanne

Dec 09, 2010
3:28 PM EST
And now the computer I got wireless working on with with acpi=off, wireless isn't working, it appears to be rejecting the encryption key again. I suspect a kernel update on it as well, I have to go round to the people's house to look at it tonight.
Steven_Rosenber

Dec 09, 2010
7:19 PM EST
It just shouldn't be this hard.
tracyanne

Dec 10, 2010
8:34 AM EST
False alarm Steven, it turns out I had not enable networking for all users, so the owner was being prompted for a password, and she had entered the wrong one. I simply reconfigured networking for all users, and it no longer requests a password before connecting to the network. It's working as good as it gets.
Steven_Rosenber

Dec 10, 2010
3:07 PM EST
I've had similar problems before. Getting the permissions right for users who aren't the administrator with full sudo access can be a bit thorny. I never know exactly which groups users actually need.

You cannot post until you login.