[CentOS] Recommendation for a Linux alternative to Centos - ATH9K disaster

Tue Jan 25 18:02:39 UTC 2011
Brian Mathis <brian.mathis at gmail.com>

On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 12:49 PM, Always Learning <centos at g7.u22.net> wrote:
> I persuaded a reluctant friend to buy a new computer. I enthusiastically
> extolled the joys and benefits of Centos and promised to install it on
> his new machine - dual booting with Micro$oft Windoze 7.
> His super-duper new laptop arrived. Acer, AMD 4 core, fast etc. but not
> as nice looking as my impressive HP DV5. The wireless refused to
> connect.
> After 8 hours on Saturday I could sometimes see hubs in the
> neighbourhood but could not connect to my own hub using WPA2.
>        iwlist wlan0 scan
> produced technical details of local hubs - but still could not connect.
> NetworkManager sometimes froze.
> Spent many hours Googling for his wifi adaptor Altheros AR928K which
> uses a driver known as ATH9K.  Many others have had a similar problem.
> Kernel 2.6.27 apparently includes this driver but Centos 5.5 is 2.6.18.
> On my Sony Vaio netbook I abandoned XP and installed Centos 5.5. No wifi
> (yet XP had) but luckily for me I eventually discovered the Altheros
> AR8132 needed ATL1E which, for Centos 5.5, means a kernel modification.
> Luckily it is on Elrepo as kmod-atl1e. A quick Yum and I was connected.
> Many thanks to Elrepo.  The netbook comes to life with Centos. Its now a
> really usable machine. XP on a netbook was pure crap.
> However ATH9K for Centos 5.5 does not exist.
> This afternoon I had to tell my friend his brand new computer is
> incompatible with Centos and wifi.
> Please can anyone recommend a suitable Linux variant with a kernel >=
> 2.6.27 that is a bit like Centos ?
> Does anyone know if Centos 5.6 will be on 2.6.18 and whether it will
> have drivers like ATH9K ?
> Anyone any idea what kernel version Centos 6 will have ?
> Thank you.
> Best regards,
> Paul
> GB

CentOS is great for servers, but absolutely not for a new person
you're trying to get to try Linux.  This approach actually hurts Linux
since people think "oh I tried Linux and it sucked".

Ubuntu is the way to go for this, and I would at least start from a
LiveCD (though it is slow) and work from there.  VirtualBox is a good
next step from the LiveCD, as almost no one wants to be dual-booting.