Ubuntu 10.04: and my mixed feelings about it

I have installed the latest Ubuntu 10.04 on both my laptops (Acer Travelmate 4310 and HP Compaq nc6220). One installation as an upgrade and one as a brand new installation. No problems and almost only good experiences with Ubuntu 10.04.

On the other hand my good old faithfull desktop computer is giving me a hard time. I’m having great challenges with my display adapter which is a ATI Radeon 2400 HD PCI-e. It won’t work under Ubuntu 10.04: well not entirely true, it works but performance is a joke. So now I have given up using Ubuntu 10.04 and I have rolled back to Ubuntu 9.10 (not using fglrx but instead the propritary ATI driver).

I makes me a bit sad though. Ubuntu 10.04 is a LTS version and it works very well on both my laptops.

So I have two options at this point:

  1. Continue to use Ubuntu 9.10 and hope for a future update of Ubuntu 10.04 that will support my ATI display adapter better.
  2. Or go out and buy new and up to date hardware (just like the MS users do with every new version).

I think I will stick to option 1: at this time.

Acer TravelMate 4310 with Ubuntu 10.04

I just did an upgrade of my Ubuntu 9.10 installation on my good old Acer TravelMate 4310.

No problems at all this time!

  • Graphics: working.
  • WLAN: working.
  • Sound: working.

This time I choose to just try the upgrade instead of a new installation. Previous upgrades never worked properly without troubles.

Go and get your own copy of Ubuntu 10.04 at http://www.ubuntu.com

Thank you, Ubuntu community! My Travelmate has been following the Ubuntu releases since Ubuntu 7.10 and now only 2½ years later I don’t have to mess around with extra drivers and other odd configurations.

Some day I will try to do a clean new installation from a Ubuntu 10.04 CD. Just for fun. But not today.

WLAN on Acer TravelMate 4310 with Ubuntu 9.10

Now I am using the buildin driver in Ubuntu 9.10 called ath5k for my wireless netcard (chipset AR5007). The madwifi driver still is a better choice but it is a bit annoying to rebuild and reinstall the madwifi driver after every kernel update.

I found that the ath5k driver has a serious problem: If your AP is set to use channels 1-4 then the driver cannot connect to the wireless network. It keeps prompting for the network key.

When I configure the AP to use channels 5-13 then there is no problem at all.

This problem I have found when using different AP’s from Zyxel, Netgear and Linksys – so my conclusion is that it must be a driver error.

You can find a similar description on ThinkPad adapters here. Notice that they cannot use channels 7-13.

WLAN on Acer TravelMate 4310 with Ubuntu 9.04

Finally I have resolved the ever returning issue with WLAN support on my Acer Travelmate 4310.

The madwifi driver supports my chip (AR5007) and I have no longer any problems with connecting to Wireless networks.

The solution can be found here.

It is not the most user friendly way of getting Wireless to work but it is a way! Just follow the instructions as they are printed.

Oh – remember to reinstall the madwifi driver each time you upgrade the kernel. So remember to keep the driver handy on your laptop.

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