Since the start of this week I have been struggling with the installation of the latest Mandriva release which I have just finished downloading via torrent. I even posted a passing comment about it in the unofficial Mandriva Users board. Since I have already gone through two succeeding installations that failed, I stated that if the third time didnt push through then I would really consider looking at another distro for Lala (my laptop).
The first failed installation has something to do with a recurring error in the wifi prism54 loading that made it impossible to login. I don’t have the exact error with me but it has something to do with the eth0 not being in a final state, and the IRQ channels might be too busy. The second attempt wherein I tried to only install the bare minimum of X package borked the whole X installation. I installed Mdv again yesterday and this time just selected the KDE installation. If this one is also going to fail then I wouldn’t waste my time manually choosing the packages to be installed. I left the installation running while we had our dinner. When I came back the installation was already showing the root account and user configuration window.
At the final configuration screen, I opted to just configure the ethernet connection and setting it to start at boot but not at that specific point. I just want Lala to boot up and then I would configure the wireless card using ndiswrapper since I already have the Fujitsu provided drivers in a CDRW. Taking the installation DVD out of the drive bay, I crossed my fingers for the first reboot.
For the remainder of the boot sequence, I was pretty much holding my breath until I got to the KDM screen. I entered my user account and waited for KDE to kick in. The good news is that everything seems to be ok but it was taking quite long for the KDE startup sequence to complete. I think I waited around 5 minutes which is not good. I noticed that KDE has started by default a lot of daemons that starts in the taskbar How very MS-like so the first task was to remove them one by one until only the clock and the network applet remained in the status bar area. I don’t really understand why I did that since I plan on replacing KDE with XFCE4, my new favorite desktop that replaced fluxbox.
I put in the CDRW disc and copied wireless card Windows driver in /tmp. Weird thing is that ark is not able to extract the file so I ended up doing a manual unzip operation in the command line. This is not a good start but I can live with it. I proceeded to configure the wireless card using the network applet. The package manager asked for the DVD installation media since it needs to fetch the ndiswrapper package so I swapped in the DVD+RW in the drive and let the urpmi front-end do its thing. After a minute I was asked to locate the Windows driver’s INF file so I navigated to the /tmp directory. After a few default choices, I was shown the Wifi access points in my area which listed only my wireless router ( I live in a pretty low-tech neighborhood. ). After a few test, I was greeted with a message that my network has been properly configured.
Hurray! But still I have no connection. A quick ifconfig command later and I saw that I have a wlan0 device but it doesnt have an IP. I just issued a quick dhclient wlan0 and voila: a wlan0 device with an attached IP address! I took advantage of the situation and downloaded the latest packages in the Internet as well as Krusader and XFCE4. Everything finished at around 12AM so I made sure everything was finished and halted the machine.
Tonight I booted up Lala and pressed the escape key to see the bootup messages in the background. In the network start phase, there was an error in the “Set Encode” portion of the wifi loading so I was pretty disappointed. I logged in using the XFCE4 session and was inside my desktop in less than a minute after I entered my username and password. My biggest prize was waiting inside: the top XFCE4 panel has the network applet and it is showing 3 out of 4 bars. My laptop is connected automatically to my wireless router! SUCCESS!
I am now writing this post using my spanking new Mdv installation. I am still amazed that Mandriva is consistent in getting the middle trackpad buttons working while I am struggling to do it in Windows. I just need a NAS server and everything should be set for the file coordination between Lala and Leo (my desktop Archlinux installation).
I am happy even if I am already sleepy due to lack of enough rest. Anybody who wants a copy of the latest Mandrake DVD (Free Edition), let me know but you will have to meet me in Robinson’s Pioneer during office days.