[xubuntu-users] Updating - a couple of questions

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Fri Dec 5 21:44:09 UTC 2014

On 12/05/2014 07:34 AM, David Walland wrote:
> My Wifi is WPA2 security.  What happened was that when I updated from
> 12.04 to 14.04, the system loaded the wrong drivers for the Broadcom
> wifi board and I had to reload the correct one.  At this point, I
> discovered that the system would not give me access to enter the wifi
> password - anywhere in any part of the Applications menu.  

Very weird. But I'm not clear why you were in the Applications menu:
when an unconnected system with wireless enabled detects a network it
can connect to, it pops up a window for the credentials.

> It appeared that the programming for this was either corrupt or absent.  

I would find it hard to believe that it is either: otherwise no-one
using xubuntu would be able to connect to any wireles network. But
possibly the Broadcom drivers are affecting this.

> Despite my
> years of experience in searching on the Internet, I found no mention of
> this.  Broadcom wifi boards are such a nuisance that I bought in a
> second-hand Intel equivalent and fitted that.  I still couldn't get at
> the logon for wifi and continued to have to link via ethernet cable.

There is definitely something weird going on here.

> Eventually, I decided to "cut the Gordian knot".  The wifi issue had
> only ever happened on 14.04 so I reloaded 12.04, which has been pretty
> consistent and was immediately able to access the wifi logon and use
> wifi again.

OK, so it is something in 14.04

> I then tried to update to 14.04 again and this is when I lost all access
> to voluntarily update the machine.  It still pops up with the updater
> automatically.  Presumably the interface is xfce, 

Menus are tricky things, especially under X. Things pop and slide
occasionally, or duplicate themselves (I have two entries for Acrobat
Reader, which I definitely didn't add myself).

But it is possible to add items to the menus. I've just never had to do
it, so someone else can answer this.

> Thanks for the terminal command - I'm newbie enough not to have known
> that before.

Did it work, is the main thing.

> I have no idea what programs these updates are for.  I haven't knowingly
> loaded either of the two you mention.  Oddly the updates aren't greyed
> out, they simply won't allow me to select them and come in the middle of
> a list where every other update is ticked as selected.

I wouldn't worry about them in that case -- for now.

> I've used the terminal a fair bit, if by rote.  I'm still trying to get
> my head round what all the commands mean and what they're actually
> doing.  I can type them in with the best (aside from the odd finger
> trouble).  Yet I've still to find where for example "apt-get" actually
> goes to look for the "apt".  

/usr/bin, which is where all basic system-installed programs are kept.
But you don't need to know that to run apt-get :-) You can type
echo $PATH
to see what directories your system will search for programs when you
type a program name.

> I was last in the depths of computer
> hardware/architecture and control systems in the early 1980s with the
> Acorn BBC B computer, when I used to write chips for my own amusement. 

Ah, just when I was migrating from mainframes to desktops :-)

> This leaves me floundering a bit, as the assumption
> that someone with my background would even have had *time* to keep up
> with the massive architectural changes in computers, is non-valid 

At least it has remained *relatively* stable in the Unix field for the
last 30 years (despite the best attempts of Sun and HP and DEC :-)

> least in my case.  Hence my attempts to understand what is going on and
> the strange blend of newbie and experience.  Until I started with
> Xubuntu this year my only experience with any Unix system was in 1981
> with something called Xenix, all of which I have long forgotten (except
> the name).

Best forgotten, thank you :-) You will have no trouble with Linux --
apart from this oddity.


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