Sunday, November 22, 2009

XUbuntu 9.10

I have an old Fujitsu laptop (pentium 3, 256 MB RAM, 20 GB disk) that has gone through a few iterations of various linux distributions. I used XUbuntu 7.04 for a while and it was ok, but it was just too slow. The tricky part is that it has an old Cisco Aironet 360 wireless adapter which only works with a 2.4 kernel (or at least I thought this was the case). I tried out Damn Small Linux, and it's great for what it does, but for my laptop I couldn't get the wireless card or the touchpad working. I tried out various combinations of older versions of Fedora and Ubuntu, but they were always either painfully slow or unable to handle the old wireless card. Fedora 12 was unbearably slow.

I didn't think a recent version of XUbuntu would work, because in the past I was only able to get the wireless working when using a 2.4 kernel. But I'm really glad I gave it a try anyway, because it works! XUbuntu 9.10 was able to find and configure everything on the laptop right away, including my old wireless card. The install process is improved since previous versions, the boot time is faster, and the gnome interface seems more responsive all around.

Big thanks to the XUbuntu guys for all their work on this. Now I have an extra working laptop again!

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