Shahzad Bhatti

September 21, 2009

Installing Ubuntu Remix and Troubleshooting Network connections

Filed under: Computing — admin @ 10:00 am

I recently ordered ASUS Eeee PC 1005HA netbook that actually got lost in mail and had to reorder. Anyway, I finally received it this weekend and it comes with Windows XP that I decided to replace with Ubuntu. Though, there is a special distribution of Ubuntu called Remix or UNR, but support of netbooks on Ubuntu is still work in progress so it took longer than I expected. Here are the steps I went through to install and setup UNR on my ASUS netbook:

Download Ubuntu Remix

This was easy, I downloaded UNR from http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download-netbook and saved img file on my local netbook (which was running XP at that time).

Download USB Imager

Then, I downloaded USB Disk Imager for windows.

Creating UNR Image

After downloading imager, I opened the application, inserted my USB drive and copied the image, so far so good.

Changing BIOS to boot from USB

The ASUS reboots automatically from hard disk so I had to change the BIOS settings. I shutdown
the machine completely, then started while holding F2. It brought up BIOS settings and I changed the Boot sequence to boot from USB and then saved the settings with F10.

Installing UNR

After rebooting, the UNR loaded from the USB. First, I played without installing and figured out quickly that network isn’t working. I decided to install the UNR despite these issues. I allocated half of disk space about 70G to Linux and left Windows partition alone in case I fail. I then allocated swap space and then proceeded to install, which was fairly standard. After installation, I rebooted the machine and the GRUB loader showed me both Windows and UNR options.

Troubleshooting Network

Now, the fun started. Neither my wired nor wireless network was working. I found a number of forums with similar problems. I tried

 iwconfig
 iwlist scan
 lsmod
 

to see what’s installed and available but didn’t see the drivers. Also, “dmesg” wasn’t helpful and

  sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
 

didn’t help either. I then typed

 lspci
 

Which showed

 02:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
 

I then switched to my Mac and I then looked for driver of AR9285. I found a good resource http://partner.atheros.com/Drivers.aspx and downloaded Linux driver and then copied to another USB drive.
I built the driver with

 tar -xzf 
 cd src
 make 
 sudo make install
 sudo insmod atl1e.ko
 

After rebooting, it fixed the wired network and I could then use the wired network to continue troubleshooting. I tried following instructions from http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Download, which suggested

 sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-jaunty
 

But it didn’t work for me. I then tried

 apt-get install linux-backports-modules-$(uname -r)
 

And that didn’t work. Finally, I decided to upgrade to Karmic Koala by issuing this command:

 sudo do-release-upgrade -d
 

It took a while to download all packages, it then removed a bunch of obsolete packages and after reboot complained about a bunch of old configurations that are not compatible anymore. Nevertheless, my wireless started working, yeah. Next, I am going to install Regdb, CRDA, and IW to track any other wireless issues.

I still left option to dual boot on my netbook but I am definitely going to live in UNR for most part.

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