Well, I promised there would be a couple posts not entirely dedicated to Linux and there were, so suck it.
I have a Linksys WRT54G v4 wireless card (as it is very difficult to get ethernet run to my bedroom) in my desktop, and I was initially unable to connect to the network, since I had it set up with WPA. The wpa_supplicant project is piss poorly documented and it seems that the general perspective on connecting to wireless with Ubuntu’s built in gnome network manager is to just disable WPA and go back to WEP. I was unsatisfied with this, being at least moderately interested in some kind of security up in this bitch. So I looked around for other options. It turns out that for some reason you can use iwconfig commands in the /etc/network/interfaces file and get it to work (which begs the question why you couldn’t get it to work in network manager), but this left me fucked and editing the file and rebooting whenever we had to modify the wireless, and it prevented me from being able to connect easily to other networks, or ad hoc to my phone, which I do sometimes (why the phone doesn’t support WPA, I don’t know.).
So, eventually some googling found the option to use the back-ported kernel from the upcoming Gutsy Gibbon “tribe” release (which is as far as I can tell code for beta). Reboot, BAM. I can connect to it through the network manager. This did, however, leave me with “updates” to the Feisty kernel that would not update, and no version locking or whatever in Synaptic seemed to nail it down and make it leave me alone.
This, combined with the fact that I was still using an IDE hard drive (the cheap ECS K8T890 motherboard I got with my AMD x2 3800 didn’t like my old SATA drive), and the fact that Fargo was making fun of me for running 32 bit Ubuntu on my x64 capable machine, inspired me to go ahead and grab an SATA drive (the better to upgrade my system to a newer motherboard and proc later with my dear), the brand new Gutsy Gibbon “beta” (which as far as I can tell is code for release candidate), and make the plunge.
The install was as Ubuntu as you get. Click, click, duh, click. I went in and made my (also Fargo-unapproved) /, swap, and /home physical partitions on the disk (80,2, whatever the rest of 320 mebi comes out to, if you were wondering), and installed the system. A reboot, click click click, enable some restricted drivers (nvidia), badabing, we’re in business. I was even able to connect to my wireless network and surf the web in honest to jesus Firefox during the install (nerdgasm).
Here’s where the “beta” bit comes in. I went to install some software from apt, and it finished, but indicated there were seven packages that were “untouched”, which was odd. So I figured some updates weren’t installed, and opened the update manager. It indicated there were more than a hundred updates to install, so I figured on letting it run, but it kept erroring out on some strange “repository error unexpected end of file” thing. I tried changing repository location in kind of a halfassed way, but didn’t have any luck. I went to the command line again and did a ‘sudo apt-get install -f’ to see if that would clear it up, but it would give an error about the postconfig on a package called “volumeid”. I looked around on launchpad and found out it was fixable. I installed a patch file that was floating around on the post config for volumeid and we were back in business.
See, the Update Manager was still showing the same error. I went back to apt and tried a couple things, but ultimately I figured it must have been a repo issue and I should instead work on getting fun stuff working like my Virtualbox, wine, Amarok, but more specifically, the brand new version of Compiz that was included with this release. Holy shit, it is absolutely amazing. I played with it for about an hour and then played with it for about another hour, and then for another, and finally collapsed into bed.
I woke up, and noticed that the repository issues seemed to be all fixed. Went ahead and installed 90 or so more updates, and rebooted. Everything came back up just fine.
See, for some reason after this reboot, my xorg.conf got changed, and I ended up with some random modeline on my monitor that set it to 640×480. I had to go in and fix that shit (copied xorg.conf.1 to xorg.conf) and reboot again. Bam, we’re back in business. I mount my old hard drive and start copying my home directory over. It got my firefox profile, it got my Virtualbox machines (which was fucking awesome, even if I did have to “discard the saved state” on them), my Amarok settings (had to set up PostgreSQL again, but that was expected). I got it all done and then rebooted again. Logged in and then… well shit.
For some reason I had forgotten to remove the “session” stuff, and it was trying to a) launch beryl and b) launch some programs I hadn’t installed yet. Eech. It made the video look all weird (big borders around the edge and the wiggle effect was nonstop). Deleted my .beryl folder, removed beryl from my session, restarted X. Much better. Now, I am as happy as a damned clam. Still pretty beta, but the advances between Feisty and Gutsy are pretty significant.