October 28, 2010

Kubuntu to OpenSUSE : A short story

I'll make this one short as it is late and that I don't want to go into endless details right now about my experience with Kubuntu 10.04.

In short, it hasn't been very successful. Too random bugs. Package manager sometimes refuse to launch, network management failed after suspend to ram, sometimes it didn't even go pass the boot screen. In short : It gets the jobs done, but it's not stable enough. It's a combination of small annoyances.

I have now installed OpenSUSE 11.3 on my laptop. As expected, the wireless card did not work out of the box. For everyone who have a System 76 Pangolin Performance and want to have the network working, here's a nano-turbo-brief how-to to make it work. It doesn't apply only to OpenSUSE.

A dmesg with some filtering gave me this info about the wireless card in Kubuntu:

"Linux kernel driver for RTL8192 based WLAN cards"
"rtl819xSE 0000:06:00.0: firmware: requesting RTL8192SE/rtl8192sfw.bin"

Basically, you need to get the Realtek RTL819xSE driver from their Web site and compile it. The 8192se driver is here. Now, all you need to do is install the kernel headers, the basic compilation tools that comes with your distribution and compile the driver.

On OpenSUSE, I installed gcc, gcc-c++ (although I doubt this one was needed),  make and kernel-devel. Extract the driver somewhere and from the directory in which you extracted the driver, make and make install (you might need root access to do so). Reboot (or modprobe the newly compiled driver and restart networking services) and enjoy.

I didn't need to do anything else for now to get things up and running in OpenSUSE. I have yet to test the Web cam - I see a /dev/video0 entry, but I didn't test it yet in an application. That's about it. So far so good with OpenSUSE. Let's hope it stays that way!

Click Here!