New laptop – episode 2

Posted by in Hardware, Random

.. or in other words, “why, oh, why I did this to myself”…

First, the generics. I’m parametrising the distros I’ve tried so far and then I’ll explain what’s my setup now. Several parameters of outside interest are monitored:

  • Sound: If the sound works out of the box or if I had something done to it
  • Graphics: Does X work? how?
  • Network: Cabled, wirelss, bluetooth status
  • Function keys: the (in)famous FN
  • Hardware monitoring: CPU frequency, temperature
  • Some other notes

First, I’ve followed Arielo’s detailson setiing up Ubuntu. So I’ve got the latest flight (it was 5 of Dapper Ithink). Theresults wereas follows:

  • Sound: NO. Ariel has a nice track to follow, resulting in downloading the alsa CVS
  • Graphics: the open, but non-interesting “nv” driver worked out of the box, which was nice. I haven’t tried intel.
  • Network: Cabled networkworked nicely, and I hear that BT works too. It looks like BT chips are pretty standard. Wireless, is very annoying to set up, with lots of places you need to visit to get all the bits: firmware, regulatory daemon, driver. I gave up after 3 hours of moving an usb stick between my desktop and my laptop.
  • Function keys: don’t work
  • Hardware monitoring: Looks ok, but I think the kernel wasn’t SMP by default, only after an update. Silly if that’s the case.
  • The gnome environment looks very tidy and I like a lot the fact that when you insert a stick, the new drive pops up on the desktop. KDE should have that by default enabled. with nicei cons.

In short, Ubuntu looks very nice and tidy, but lots of stuff missing. So, back to my fav. distro: SuSE. First, SuSE 10.0

  • Sound: No. same thing asubuntu
  • Graphics: nv works ok and the screen size and resolutions can be adjusted with sax2.
  • Network: Same stuff as ubuntu. you need manual intervention for wireless.
  • Function keys: you whish!
  • Hardware monitoring: Looked ok. even suspend to disk
  • Stable stuff. what works, works very nice. I’m using this on my desktop and at work with no problems (that concern this entry)

Then SuSE 10.1 beta 6. This one I tried via a minimal install using only the first CD and then using the net for the rest. HA. beta. my foot. I appreciate that there is a schedule to be kept, but there’s no reason to put out software that doesn’t install. Besides that, after several hours (about 12), got the same result as SuSE 10.0. Unfortunate.

Finally, I’ve tried SuSE 10.1 beta8. With the same quality notes (as in: software install is still difficult). That said:

Sound: Yes, out of the box
* Graphics: nv works ok and the screen size and resolutions can be adjusted with sax2. I’ve also got the proprietary nvidia drivers to work tonight. Cool stuff.
* Network: Initially, I’ve got the drivers to compile andload manually. after online update, it just worked at boot, no more loading stuff.
* Function keys: you whish! again.
* Hardware monitoring: Looked ok. even suspend to disk
* It looks like it’s getting there. Again, not my idea of beta quality, but it’s SuSE and I’m familiar with it.

Verdict: even with the beta really annoying bugs, 10.1b8 is good. whatever can work, it does (with the online updates).

episode 3 contains my xorg.conf relevant sections.

— This is a really old post published originally on my blogspot blog


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