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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hardy Heron, Ubuntu 8.04 beta

So I took the bait. I can't refuse Beta operating systems. I've always enjoyed living on the bleeding edge when it comes to new and shiny OSes, so I upgraded my laptop just to see what would happen.

Well, no surprise, I broke a few things, though surprisingly, it's a pretty small list. Going from Gutsy Gibbon to Hardy Heron on my Vostro 1000 was very smooth, and required very little effort to get it up and running again, for the most part.

Compiz (3d graphics): Well, no surprise, It was somewhat of a hack to get it going on my laptop, originally, but the only thing that broke during the upgrade was a weird error about gnome-settings-daemon not being able to start. The fix:

sudo apt-get remove xserver-xgl

Unfortunately, I'd tried someone else's fix of blowing away all of the .gconf, .gconf2, etc settings in my home directory, which obviously didn't help, but now has me reconfiguring all of my settings... oh well. Just use the line above, and save yourself some of the pain.

However, removing xserver-xgl will probably kill your ability to run Compiz, and you may need to turn composite on in your xorg.conf file (/etc/X11/xorg.conf). That can be done by finding the lines:

Section "Extensions"
    Option "Composite" "0"

and changing the "0" to "1". Tada, Compiz works again!

Wireless: This one was interesting: there's a new driver for the wireless card, so it tries to install that over what you've already got going. The new driver is much better than the old, so its a good thing, but you still need the (not-open-source) firmware from broadcom. Installing it couldn't be easier.

Follow the first 3 lines here to uninstall ndiswrapper, if you had it running before. (You don't want the new driver running at the same time as the old: this may mean you might want to take the out any lines saying ndiswrapper or bwcml43, or similar from /etc/modules.)

Follow the instructions here, to install the b43 driver firmware, although my simplified version would be:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
tar xjf broadcom-wl-
cd broadcom-wl-
b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta.o

You'll notice I've skipped a few steps compared to what's on the linked page. "b43-fwcutter" can be installed through apt-get, so there's no point in building it yourself, and /lib/firmware is the right place to put the firmware in Ubuntu, so you don't need to be fancy about exporting it and then using a shell variable. And that did it for me.

You may also need to go to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers to tell Ubuntu to use the b43 driver. After that, my FN+F2 key works again, and I was able to connect to my wireless network.

All is good again with my laptop.

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Anonymous Jason said...

I have a Vostro 1000 as well. I did a fresh install of 8.04 and I cannot get the wireless to work.
I followed your recommended process but the wireless light won't come on. Also the wireless card won't show up in my restricted drivers list.
when doing a lspci the card does show up as BCM4310 (rev1)

thanks for any help


April 26, 2008 7:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Anthony said...

Hi Jason,

You haven't really given me enough information to figure out what's going on.

I assume you're waiting the system boots completely, the pushing Fn+F2 to turn the wireless on? Has your wireless ever worked (is it enabled in the BIOS?) did you get any errors while following what I suggested?

Can you give me any other information?


April 27, 2008 8:51:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Jason said...

To answer your questions, Yes I tried Fn+F2 and no change and yes the wireless card works fine in windows. No, there were no errors.

I did get it to work by using the tutorial located Here

Thanks, Jason

May 1, 2008 10:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Anthony said...

Jason, Thanks for letting me know, and thanks to the link. I'm sure other people will find that handy, if they run into the same problems as you.

Cheers, and congrats on getting it working.


May 1, 2008 11:18:00 PM PDT  
Blogger recrower said...


Help! I bought a dell vostro 1000

athlon 64 tk 57 chip
ATI grpahics card
broadcom 4310 rev 1 wireless card.

I was able to install feisty 64 and get every thing working no problem including wireless.

However, hardy live cd would not boot to a gui. when I try to run the live cd mode, it goes thro couple of boot scipts and just hangs. when I try install, I get CLI instead of GUI. Any help from you is greatly appreciated.


May 30, 2008 10:55:00 AM PDT  

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