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Help me stop being an embarassment to PC users (Linux/Ubuntu)

BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
If you have hardcore Linux skills maybe you can skip my exposition and hit spoilers down below

So, first, I had 32 bit Vista and an older HD. I decided I wanted to upgrade to 64-bit Windows 7, and since I'd have to clean install anyways (32->64 bit) I decided to go buy a new HD and install it to that.

I wasn't really sure what was going to happen, what with Vista being on one drive and my destination for 7 on the other. I was the under impression the "upgrade" version of 7 (which is cheaper) replaced Vista or XP. I guess I was wrong because I installed 64 bit 7 to the new HD, and still had Vista and all my old stuff on the other. I've activated 7 with no complaints, so..I guess that's all legit? It just wasn't what I was expecting. I assume it checked to see that I actually had Vista at all on the computer?

Anyways, primarily for funzies, I decided to wipe that HDD (I had gotten all the files I wanted, since I had expected it to be wiped when I installed 7) and try Ubuntu (10.04, Lucid Lynx). Here's where the fail begins (note: I have grown a beard, which I believe is a minimum system requirement for any Linux distro. It is a pretty scuzzy beard, which I believe meets the recommended requirements)

I went here: http://www.ubuntu.com/ so I'm pretty sure it's legit. Made an installer for the 64-bit version on my USB stick, stuck it in, booted to it, and installed it with seemingly no problems to my old HD. Fired it up...

Works fine, but no internet. I do some research. I learn that I have a Broadcom wireless network adapter with the 4318 chipset, much to my everlasting woe. Apparently this is a cause for much difficulty among Ubuntu users. Compounding the problem is I don't have a wired connection in my room, so to get internet I have to reset the computer and boot Windows 7, find out something new to try, and then reboot and start Linux. Anyways, I've been screwing with it so much that hopefully this is an accurate summary of what I've done:

I couldn't install ndiswrapper from within ubuntu, sudo get-apt install ndiswrapper couldn't find it. So I had to manually find the .deb files, stick them on my flash drive, and install them that way in ubuntu. No big deal. The .deb files also included the ndiswrapper GUI. Then I went here: http://download.cnet.com/Broadcom-WLAN-4318-Driver-4-102-15-56-zip/3000-2112_4-209977.html to get my Windows driver. I hope like hell that's the right one. I can't find it on the Broadcom site, and my computer was originally from Dell, but trying to negotiate their site was driving me into a blood rage.

Stuck the driver on my flash drive, and installed it using ndiswrapper. I found varying levels of detail in instructions for doing this, suffice it to say I think I got the driver installed, before it didn't have any information about wireless drivers, but now when I type things like iwconfig it has a wlan0 network thingy. Another issue is that for whatever reasons I didn't have the network manager package apparently. I should have been able to go to system -> administration -> Networking or Network or something like that, where I could see all my available connections. So I got that .deb manually too and installed it, and I get that Network option...only no Connections tab. Hilarious. Here are what I hope are the relevant outputs. If you need to see other things, let me know. One thing I tried that was in the troubleshooting in the Ubuntu help that comes with it was booting the kernel with the pci=noacpi option enabled. Doing that just made it run like crap and didn't fix anything, so I undid it

BONUS EASY QUESTION: Here in Windows 7, I can't see my other HDD at all in Computer. I guess that's ok? It's in device manager, and well obviously it works as Ubuntu is on it.
matt@matt-desktop:~$ sudo lshw -C network
[sudo] password for matt:
*-network
description: Ethernet interface
product: 82562V-2 10/100 Network Connection
vendor: Intel Corporation
physical id: 19
bus info: pci@0000:00:19.0
logical name: eth0
version: 02
serial: 00:1a:a0:97:f6:99
capacity: 100MB/s
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pm msi bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd autonegotiation
configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=e1000e driverversion=1.0.2-k2 firmware=1.1-2 latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=twisted pair
resources: irq:25 memory:fdfc0000-fdfdffff memory:fdfff000-fdffffff ioport:ff00(size=32)
*-network
description: Network controller
product: BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller
vendor: Broadcom Corporation
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
version: 02
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: bus_master
configuration: driver=b43-pci-bridge latency=64
resources: irq:21 memory:fdefe000-fdefffff
*-network DISABLED
description: Wireless interface
physical id: 1
logical name: wlan0
serial: 00:1d:60:86:2b:93
capabilities: ethernet physical wireless
configuration: broadcast=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bg



matt@matt-desktop:~$ iwconfig
lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:off/any
Mode:Managed Access Point: Not-Associated Tx-Power=0 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Power Management:off

matt@matt-desktop:~$ ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1a:a0:97:f6:99
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
Memory:fdfc0000-fdfe0000

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:16436 Metric:1
RX packets:92 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:92 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:9664 (9.6 KB) TX bytes:9664 (9.6 KB)


BlochWave on

Posts

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    warbanwarban Who the Hoof do you think we are? Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    BONUS EASY QUESTION: Here in Windows 7, I can't see my other HDD at all in Computer. I guess that's ok? It's in device manager, and well obviously it works as Ubuntu is on it.

    Yes. Linux uses its own partition format. Your not going to be able to simply read the partition in windows.

    As for your Linux issues I wouldn't be much help.

    warban on
    ACE ✰ PONY ✰ DETECTIVE!
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ohh ok, that's reassuring. So Linux doesn't use....NTFS? This has been fun, I've been learning lots, I wouldn't have even known what that meant a week ago.

    BlochWave on
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    GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    the default for linux now is either ext3 or ext4 (probably 4 if it's a new ubuntu version?)

    there are programs/drivers that will allow you to read it in windows, but by default it's not going to be visible

    Gdiguy on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Thanks for the info.


    Well hopefully I can get this thing working, it's mostly a matter of pride now!

    EDIT:

    Here are some of the sites I went to trying to get help

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/Ndiswrapper

    This is where I got the .deb ndiswrapper files, and I was able to install it and then, in theory, install the driver, but it all goes to hell when it goes to the configuring step because I don't have the networking thing (and even after installing it I don't have a connections tab)

    http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Broadcom_4318_Airforce_one_54g_card

    This has some more detail, but trails off on the configuring step, and the blacklisting didn't seem to help, I don't think I had any native drivers.

    BlochWave on
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    SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Honestly man, installing wireless drivers in a non-automatic fashion is easily the most frustrating, pain-in-the-ass thing I'm ever forced to put up with in linux. No shit, installing proprietary video drivers that fuck up my display is easily 20x simpler to fix than wireless.

    My suggestion is to just get a short ethernet cable and head to your local library, or some other place with an ethernet jack that you can plug into, and then go to Settings > (something) > propriety drivers (It's been a while since I've used Ubuntu, and I can't remember the exact place, but it's in the settings menu somewhere). From there, it should give you a window to "activate" your broadcom card, which entails downloading and installing everything automatically. Then, reboot, and hopefully shit works.

    I know that's kind of the lame way of doing things, but it'll save you hours and hours of frustration.

    Another thing you can do is to try Crunchbang linux (link). I know that'll seem like an odd recommendation, but thus far Crunchbang 10 Alpha 2 is the only linux OS that's worked with my laptop's wireless (also broadcom) right from the start, with whatever comes on the CD. If #! isn't to your liking aesthetically, keep in mind that you can always download/install a different desktop environment from the repository quite easily (Gnome, KDE, etc.).

    Seeks on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm actually on a desktop, my roommate has the router in his room so I could just pick up my desktop and scooch in there right quick.

    Thanks for the warning and shared frustration! Do you have any suggestions on other environments? I grabbed Ubuntu because I remembered hearing about it from a friend at work and it had a pretty website! Clearly I am open to suggestion ^_^ I like how my pasted stuff from the terminal has a bunch of smilies in it, hah.

    BlochWave on
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    SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Other environments, eh?

    Might I suggest taking a look at the Linux Thread? :3

    Scroll down to "But what does it look like" to see some different DEs.

    Short version: The most popular ones are Gnome and KDE. There are some others like XFCE, Openbox, LXDE, etc. (A ton, really), but Gnome and KDE are the most popular. I'm an Openbox/KDE guy myself. Really, you can install a bunch and just switch sessions whenever you get bored of one, that's what I do.

    Seeks on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Sweet, I might take a look at some of those, as well as that topic! (I topic searched it but my particular problem didn't appear to come up)

    Problem is none of those (except apparently #!, like the guy above says) is going to solve my network card woes, is it? Unless I maybe get like Linux Mint? How precisely do you install a bunch and switch sessions? I guess you'd make a bunch of partitions on the HD and install them all to one?

    BlochWave on
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    SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Nope, it's a bit simpler than that.

    Most modern linux OSes (Ubuntu, Mint, #!, Fedora, etc. etc.) give you a graphical login screen. At this screen, there's usually an option that reads "session" or "change session", or something along those lines. When you've installed multiple DEs, you can choose which one to use when you login through that session option.

    Basically, you just choose which one you want at login. No extra partitions or anything like that are necessary.

    There are other, more complicated ways to login to a given DE by default (Like for example, if you're me and fuck up one of your DEs by accidentally uninstalling critical system libraries), but you'll likely never need to worry about that.

    Seeks on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ahh...hahahah I DID IT

    holy crap I feel like a badass hacker (even though this was probably ultimately trivial)

    The problem stems from the card's firmware not being natively on Ubuntu? (on top of needing to use ndiswrapper with the Windows driver, which I guess I did right) So I had to get a firmware cutting tool, find the device driver's source code, use the tool on it to extract the firmware files, and extract them to the /lib/firmware directory.

    And to my utter shock after yet another restart it WORKED. Bananas

    New problem: the firmware cutter came as a .tar.bz2. I typed (filenames are fictional) "tar xjf fwcuttertool.tar.bz2"

    It extracted. After severe trial and error I tried "sudo install fwtool /Desktop"

    After reading the manual entry for install I thought it was asking for an installation directory. Welll...no, after doing that, and much confusion, I realized the string "/Desktop" had become my command for the tool. So when the time finally came to use it I had to type "sudo /Desktop -arguments sourcecode"

    Uhhh....help? Meanwhile whoooo browsin' on mah Linux bro

    BlochWave on
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    SpazHappySpazHappy Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Maybe try rm -rf *

    SpazHappy on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I have a pretty good guess what that'll do

    Ok, so super lamest question ever, but I'm paranoid about these things: During the course of fiddling with this all weekend I was constantly rebooting the computer to switch OSes (since I had internet on Windows, and not Ubuntu).

    I probably reset more than a dozen times (fail at something, go back to Windows to get help, try in Ubuntu, fail, repeat, so like 2 reboots a failure, for who knows how many failures...)

    Is...that...bad for the computer or the HDDs? I'm probably being a little bit crazy but I could swear my new HD is making more noise now.

    BlochWave on
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    SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I doubt it had much effect. Or any, really, assuming you weren't just hitting start, and then immediately shutting it off over and over and over. What you're doing is pretty normal usage.

    Seeks on
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