Ubuntu with BCM43228


My campus lab has the Dell desktops. I am not sure the model, but the network devices are Broadcom BCM43228. As a result, after installation of the Ubuntu (they were not installed by me), Ubuntu cannot get WiFi connection to online.

Since my student mentioned that Windows can use the ethernet cable to share the wireless network, I asked him to help to share the wireless network from Windows on the other Dell desktop, and connect to the target Dell desktop.

This step works.

Next, I followed this Q and A post, just followed exactly all the commands there. Then reboot.

Yes! It works. Now, my students can test Ubuntu.

Blog about Linux Mint

There is quite a long time that I do not submit any post. Today, I would like to talk about my experience of using Linux Mint.

Ubuntu, the number 1 open source OS (based on what I know from DistroWatch.com), I used it and I liked it. Because it has about 37000 precompiled packages (Wikipedia). Ubuntu is based on Debian, one of the major distribution just like Red Hat. Then, number 2 is Linux Mint. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. That means, from Debian to Ubuntu, from Ubuntu to Linux Mint. One might think that, the parent is better than the child, just like C is better than C++. But if you try to use C++, then you might like it as you like C.

Linux Mint is very similar to Ubuntu. The great differences are: 1) Linux Mint focuses on usability, and 2) it is community-driven. The ISO file is larger than Ubuntu, because it is not restricted to FLOSS. Therefore, the installation ISO file contains Sun Java and Adobe Flash (and others). After the installation, one needs not to download these packages. This is one of the feature I prefer more than Ubuntu.

The next thing I prefer more on Linux Mint is the GNOME panel (I personally prefer GNOME more than KDE). Linux Mint uses one panel at the bottom by default; yet Ubuntu uses two panels on top and bottom by default. Though they are customizable, I feel the design of Linux Mint is really better for me, because using two panels uses quite a lot of space for the applications’ window. Linux Mint panel’s main menu is similar to Windows’ start menu, which will be more familiar to the Windows users (like me).

The next thing I like, which both Linux Mint and Ubuntu have, is the Wubi (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer). However, Linux Mint called it Mint4Win. This is a really great feature. For example, since my computer has two partitions, one is Windows 7 and the other one is Recovery partition. I afraid installing Linux Mint or Ubuntu by creating more partitions will make an unrecoverable issue in future. Using Mint4Win, the partitions are remained. Yet one can still enjoy playing with Linux.

Besides that, one can also play with the LiveCD/DVD/USB with Linux Mint. But I found that Linux Mint does not provide syslinux as Ubuntu. So, I made the LiveUSB by my own. Though there is an error message during the boot as following:

vesamenu.c32: not a COM32R image

But one can continue booting by typing “live” then enter. This will run the command based on the syslinux.cfg file.

Try Linux Mint, and you might like it~

Playing games with Ubuntu

Linux is a great OS. Open source and free. Can work as server or desktop. There are a lot of applications: office suite, internet web browser, email client, image editor, 3D modeler, games, online games, software development tools, etc. Using Linux, I can almost do anything I want just as I am using proprietary OS.

However, there is a drawback. If a computer cannot be used for playing games, then it will not be 100% perfect. Yes, Linux has a lot of free and open source games, but I feel that there is still a gap between free games and the commercial games. Though I may not use Linux to play the latest game, at least it should allow me to play my favourite game.

Luckily there is WINE. Though it cannot 100% compatible to all the games, at least have a try. The following is a screenshot of my most favourite game!

Taikou Risshiden 5
Taikou Risshiden 5 using WINE

From Ubuntu to Xubuntu on HP Mini

Yes, again. HP Mini 1000 series, small screen, lightweight, RAM is not big. I like Ubuntu Desktop Edition, though there is Ubuntu Netbook Remix, it is not my favourite. Because I use the netbook just like a desktop, got a lot of developers’ tools, GIMP, etc.

Ubuntu, using GNOME as the desktop environment. I like GNOME because I like GTK+. I like GTK+ because I like C programming. Then, I read an article about Xfce, which is more lightweight thant GNOME. Which is also using GTK+. So I tried it.

No need to reinstall Xubuntu, just install xubuntu-desktop package from Ubuntu repositories, then you can taste the new desktop environment.

Everything runs well. Good, nice, really faster. Nautilus is replaced by Thunar, though Nautilus is still there, I can still run Nautilus. But Thunar is the default file manager. One can replace other default application by right click a certain file type, then choose “Open with other application…”, choose your favourite and set as default. Then, the file type will be associated with the application.

One of the biggest drawbacks is customizing the menu items. Unlike Ubuntu, Xubuntu cannot edit the menu items unless editing the XML files. Another drawback is, if want to add launcher at the panel like GNOME, I need set it manually, because Xfce cannot right click the menu items to add as launcher.

Since I installed gmrun, it is good enough to let me enter the command rather than choosing the items at the menu bar.

There is another drawback which I just found. The default VNC server (vino) cannot works on Xfce. Therefore, needs to use x11vnc from commandline. But, still enjoying it!


Upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10 on HP Mini

This is not an easy work for me.

  1. Firstly, I download the Ubuntu 10.10 alternative CD ISO.
  2. Then, following upgrade using the shell script by following this article.
  3. Restart

No wireless device detected, cannot connect internet through WiFi. What the X?! I used this method before by upgrading from 9.10 to 10.4, but this time fail.

  1. Then use the broadband connect to the internet
  2. System > Administration > Additional Drivers
  3. Download and update certain things, I don’t know what are they
  4. Found “Broadcom STA wireless driver”
  5. Activate
  6. Failed! Ask me to check /var/log/jockey.log

Then I think I need to update everything, so I run System > Administration > Update Manager. Then I asked for “Partial Upgrade”, and needs to download about 200Mb data. Not the good solution. Search solution online. Then I found this.

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. Then I am asked to insert Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick
  3. So, I mount the alternative CD iso again
  4. Luckily it works
  5. sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source
  6. Restart

Yeah! Successfully upgraded, and can use the wireless device. But if go to Update Manager, I still need to download 200Mb for the Partial Upgrade. Not good, not good!

GNOME Commander for Ubuntu

When I was using Windows to manage my files, I always open a lot of windows to move my files. Even the window is already open, I will open a new window.  Because it is difficult for me to find the opened windows. And my taskbar will full of tasks.

So, I tried to find a Windows Explorer replacement. Tried all the best free file managers by Gizmo’s Freeware. Then, only FreeCommander fulfils my needs. There is no need to open a lot of windows.

Moving to Ubuntu, Nautilus is the default file manager of Ubuntu. I face the same problem as using Windows. So, the software similar to FreeCommander on GNOME based OS is GNOME Commander. It is very useful.

However, I just found that delete files using GNOME Commander does not move the file to Trash. This is a drawback.

Chromium is really good in netbook

Compare to the Firefox, I prefer to run Chromium in my netbook. This is because the screen of the netbook is small, and the resolution is low. Using Firefox, the toolbars and file menu already occupies half of the screen. I think Firefox 4.0 will solve my problem.

Then, using Firefox on the netbook with Ubuntu, playing Castle Age will make Firefox slow down. May be the reason is the netbook memory is smaller than normal laptop.

However, I am still using Firefox on Ubuntu. Because of the powerful extensions on Firefox, such as DownThemAll, FlashGot, etc.