[Ubuntu PA] What next?

Kevin Valentine kevin.valentine at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 16:33:49 BST 2007

Some more items to discuss.  Ok, maybe these are just outstanding issues
that I haven't seen clean solutions for yet.  Not MY issues but stuff
I've seen when from helping people with Ubuntu installs.  I would love
to see discussions on these:

*** Wireless ***
How NetworkManager really works with other apps like wpa_supplicant. 
Why it works for many cards but some have unusual quirks.  For example,
try getting an Atheros 5212 chipset working with a WAP that doesn't
broadcast its SSID (not that hiding your ssid is all that secure). 
Can't use nm, gotta go with straight wpa_supplicant and some funky
config params.  This can be a big problem for the LoCo now that laptop
installations have become very common.  Add to that, the reason(s)
behind most wireless NICs needing firmware when the kernel module
loads.  I've heard it's strictly due to the FCC wanting to prevent hacks
to increase the transmit power, but perhaps there's more to the story. 
How you can modify nm's behavior by using gconf-editor at
/system/networking/wireless/networks.  I know nothing about the wireless
tools used in Kubu and Xubu.  It'd be interesting to see the differences.

*** Power Management ***
Still a problem area.  What scripts in /etc/acpi are run when you
attempt to suspend to ram or hibernate to disk?  Why does it work on
some PCs (laptops AND desktops) but not others.  Is there a way to force
it work on older or unsupported systems with a DSDT update and a kernel
recompile?  Any experts on DSDTs here?

*** Enabling DMA on DVD Players (libata issue) ***
I'm not even sure how to describe this (google "libata dma").  I've seen
odd behavior with some DVD players now that they are being seen as scsi
devices (scd0 vs. hdc).  With some DVD players, you would get slow,
choppy playback.  Usually it was because DMA was off.   You simply
turned on DMA with something like this "hdparm -d1 /dev/hdc".  Since
hdparm only works for IDE drives, that option doesn't apply anymore now
that all drives are seen as scsi.  There was a guy on irc having this
problem at last Wed's PA LoCo meeting.  I looked around and found there
is some kind of  a fix by passing kernel boot parameters,
libata.atapi_enable=1 and combined_mode=libata (or ide).  I believe the
purpose of this it get your DVD player to be revert back to being seen
as an IDE drive again (/dev/hdc) so you can use hdparm.  Again, this
seems to only effect some DVD drives.  Perhaps someone could just talk
about what libata is and why the switch was made.

As a LoCo member doing installs on a wide variety of older hardware, I
would like more information on these topics.


Matt Mossholder wrote:
> Hi all!
> So, now that the first pass on MythTV is complete, I am wondering what
> other topics people would like to see covered.  Does anyone have any
> suggestions?
> 		--Matt

More information about the Ubuntu-us-pa mailing list