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Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick on Dell Inspiron 11z

Made curious by len’s install, I could not resist and tried the new Ubuntu Netbook edition on my 11z, in search of perfect use of my 16:9 display, with incredible 1366 horizontal pixels but only 768 vertical ones.

First, backup. Shortest backup ever: I do not have any developing tools installed, all my media files are also on my external hard drive, my email is on an imap server, so I’m truly mobile with this mini laptop. I just made a copy of the background image 🙂

Next, the install. I took the usb and started. I chose manual handling of partitions (I kept the windows install, it’s good for tests from time to time), after that the install started and a bit later was done. Excellent, smoothest install ever.

After restart though, came to face the real problem, that I also had with the previous version of Ubuntu: the wireless was not working, the error message: “device not ready firmware missing”

Plugged the cable and looked for a solution. The problem obvious, the infamous broadcom chipset:

lspci -vvnn | grep 14e4
08:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY [14e4:4315] (rev 01)

The Ubuntu wiki page was most usefull:

First I checked that restricted sources are set by default, then:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

Then tried to activate the driver from Applications->Additional Drivers. I had two options, but none worked, with a laconic error message: SystemError: installArchives() failed

Tried manually from command line:

apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

And saw between the lines this error message:

Not supported low-power chip with PCI id 14e4:4315!

Then found the problem on the net:

And tried their solution:

sudo apt-get remove –purge firmware-b43-installer

Then I activated the STA driver in Additional Drivers and after restart it was working like a charm.

It’s time now to really test the new Unity interface. Indeed, there is more vertical space, with the vertical icons and the global menu. Just have to install the basics: emacs, skype, pidgin, thunderbird, and that’s it! My first upgrade on battery power 🙂 And even had the time to write this lines.

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