Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Resurrection, part 2

I'm now part of a team that's deploying Ubuntu in an educational environment. It's pretty exciting, especially since we know that we're making a difference in spreading Linux.

The units came two weeks ago, and our Ubuntu 6.10 disks wouldn't boot up. Nor would the 6.02. Not even the 5.10 or 5.04. Wha?!

And, like the very curious experience with my laptop (see previous post), Windows98 and WindowsXP both installed on the units.

So we tried Fedora. Same problem.

Then SLAX. It worked! (Why?!)

UbuntuForums had the answer.

Apparently, the onboard video controller was a UniChrome Pro P4M800, which had poor drivers for GNU/Linux. All we had to do was edit the xorg.conf file to lessen the refresh settings available. It's magic.

Now we've fully deployed Edgy Eft on all units, save for three which had hardware problems.

Lesson learned: check for compatibility with hardware.


It's been a while. It started with the fiasco that was called Edgy Eft. In summary, I tried upgrading. I overlooked the fact that the upgrade process had issues with screensavers. In the middle of upgrade, the screensaver kicked in. Since aptitude was working on everything in the background, it overwrote (?) usernames and passwords. I had a partially-upgraded box with no way to unlock the 'saver. Reboot.

Then *poof!* No more OS. I had an unrescuable (well, it was rescuable, if I could put in may 2+ hours of work tracing dependencies) box. Easy, right? Just backup everything and install from scratch. So I did. I put everything on a CD via SLAX and got an Edgy Eft ISO burned.

Reboot, check CD for defects. Error encountered. Wha?!

Burn new CD. Check for defects on origin computer. Boot in laptop. Install in text mode. Error encountered.

I think I wasted 5 CDs of good copies. Damn computer wouldn't work with them.

Tried Fedora Core 4 (oh, the horror!). Burned ok. Installed on laptop. Error encountered.

Dammit! Fine. Let's see if the WindowsME recover disk (which came with the laptop) works.

Install ... ok.