Ubuntu Linux 5.04 + notebook + WiFi = Works!

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Todd Ogasawara

Todd Ogasawara
Apr. 22, 2005 02:21 AM

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URL: http://ubuntulinux.org/...

I haven't had a lot of success getting WiFi to work on notebook PCs running various versions of Linux in the past few years (various makes and models of notebook PCs and WiFi cards).

I have an old Dell Lattitude L400 with a Cisco Aironet 802.11b PC Card. It only has 256MB RAM (1 DIMM slot) on a Pentium 3 running at 700MHz and has been booting and running slowly even after a complete hard disk reformating and reinstalling Windows 2000 Professional.

My recollection is that Windows 2000 Professional sunsets at the end of June. And, since the notebook was running slowly anyway (probably weighed down by anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc. etc.), I thought I'd take another try at getting WiFi on a notebook working with a Linux distro. I've been pretty happy with Ubuntu Linux on a test desktop PC for a while. So, I thought I'd give it a try on the L400.

I tried the Ubuntu LiveCD first and was very happy to get the WiFi card connected to my wireless LAN with minimal effort.

So, I took the Ubuntu install CD and installed it on the L400's hard disk, setup the WiFi config again and finally have a nice little (4 pounds or so) notebook PC with working WiFi.
Ubuntu seems to run very comfortably with only 256MB RAM and a 10GB hard drive.

Todd Ogasawara is the editor of MobileAppsToday.com. He has been named a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the Mobile Devices category for the past several years. You can find his personal website focusing on Mobile Device Technology at www.mobileviews.com.