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

Tue Jan 25 18:12:26 UTC 2011
Robert Heller <heller at deepsoft.com>

At Tue, 25 Jan 2011 17:49:39 +0000 CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org> 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 ?  

Hmm... For a hot new laptop, you are pretty much out-of-luck for
something like CentOS.  FC14 *might* work, but I don't know how stable
or end-user friendly FC14 is.  A current release of Ubuntu will likely
work, but Ubuntu is not like CentOS -- its admin 'style' is a bit
different -- things are in different places and the admin tools are
different -- as a CentOS user / admin, you'll find them 'strange. OTOH,
it is likely to be more newbie / end-user friendly and likely will work
better with hot new hardware.

> Does anyone know if Centos 5.6 will be on 2.6.18 and whether it will
> have drivers like ATH9K ?

CentOS 5.x will always have a 2.6.18 base kernel, but will have
backported drivers and security fixes, etc.  But probably not drivers
for bleeding edge WiFi.

> Anyone any idea what kernel version Centos 6 will have ?

Probably whatever Fedora Core 12 (?) has.  Whether this will work on
your friend's laptop is uncertain.

> Thank you.
> Best regards,
> Paul
> GB
> Centos on 2 VPS, 2 desktops, 1 laptop and 1 netbook.
> Going cheap : genuine Windoze 95 and 98 installation disks :-)
> _______________________________________________
> CentOS mailing list
> CentOS at centos.org
> http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos

Robert Heller             -- 978-544-6933 / heller at deepsoft.com
Deepwoods Software        -- http://www.deepsoft.com/
()  ascii ribbon campaign -- against html e-mail
/\  www.asciiribbon.org   -- against proprietary attachments