Ubuntu Edgy Eft: More Upgrade Unhappines

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I recently reported my unhappy experience upgrading my main workstation from Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake to 6.10 Edgy Eft. There have been an awful lot of reports of difficulties with the Ubuntu upgrade.

There is a recent note posted to the Ubuntu Forums web site that says the method I used is now considered deprecated. They now specify a different method, using the update-manager command.

I held out some hope this new procedure would address my difficulties. So, I thought I'd go ahead and upgrade my Inspiron 600m laptop. The new procedure did address the old problems, but it still didn't go well.

The first problem is that the kubuntu variant doesn't include the update-manager program. I wasn't sure exactly which packages I needed to get that, so I went ahead and loaded the entire Gnome distribution (ubuntu-desktop) on the system.

Fortunately, the upgrade through update-manager did go a lot more smoothly than before, when I used apt-get.

Unfortunately, once complete, I was left with a non-functional wireless network. It appears that in the Edgy release, Ubuntu has switched from a community-maintained driver for the ZD1211 USB wireless network adapter to a preliminary version included in the Linux source tree. This new version loads correctly. It even sees my access point (iwlist eth1 scan). Unfortunately, it just never seems to connect and acquire an IP address. The network adapter worked under Dapper Drake (it appeared as device wlan0), albeit it would get a little flaky sometime.

I'm currently researching alternatives. I fear I may need to build a new Linux kernel and fall back to the community version. Any solution that involves building custom kernels is not a good one, so I'm not too happy about this.

Nov. 21 update: This document has a procedure that fixes the problem. I'm now operating fine with the community-supported zd1211 driver.