Running Xubuntu/intrepid on my IBM X31 laptop

After more than a year of marriage my X31 laptop and gutsy had to break up again. I had to upgrade my linux distribution due to some very old, outdated packages. As usual: problems after upgrading. Did I notice that I really hate to upgrade things?
Well, here are some directions which should ease your jump to intrepid.

My current kernel: 2.6.27-11-generic.

Hibernate and suspend

One reason I sticked to gutsy was a working hibernate/suspend setup. With intrepid

  • booting for resume crashed after suspend (black screen)
  • hibernation crashed and left a blinking caps lock LED

Well I found out this was my PCMCIA WiFi card- a D-Link DWL-G630. If unplugged, suspend and hibernate seemed to work. All you need to do to fix it is configuring gnome-power-manager correctly (which is the default Ubuntu hibernation subsystem). It needs to unload the kernel module for the WiFi card.

Create the file /etc/pm/config.d/modules if it does not exist already and fill in the line

SUSPEND_MODULES="rt61pci"

Wireless and WPA2 encryption

Ok, so don’t waste your time trying to log into a WPA2 encrypted wireless network with the built-in Cisco Aironet Wireless 802.11b. The airo driver in the current kernel only supports WEP. That sucks. Go and get that D-Link card, it works great.
Anyway, the Aironet still is enabled and sometimes confuses network-manager.

Besides, it is completely nonsense to have two active antennas next to your balls, so switch off the built-in.

The Fn+F5 key doesn’t turn off the beast. We have to use the force again. Instruct modprobe to no longer load the kernel module by editing /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and add the line

blacklist airo

Flash for Firefox

Even the Flash installation is nothing more than

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

Don’t forget to restart your browser- now you can watch p… eeeer play free flash games again.

Ruby on Rails

Install the ruby interpreter and necessary tools with

sudo apt-get install ruby1.8 ruby1.8-dev memcached 
  libopenssl-ruby1.8 libmysqlclient15-dev 

but do not install gem using apt-get since it will mess up things. Browse to http://rubyforge.org/frs/?group_id=126 and get the newest rubygems package, unpack it and install it with

cd rubygems-1.3.1
sudo setup.rb
sudo mv /usr/bin/gem1.8 /usr/bin/gem

Then install necessary gems

sudo gem install rake rdoc memcache-client system_timer 
  rails mysql

Ok, Ubuntu rocks again

Retrospectively I have to admit this was the easiest upgrade ever. I could manage the hibernate issue quite quickly (with some help of my buddy Felix). Everything else worked out-of-the-box. Big props and thanks to the (X)ubuntu team!

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