Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ubuntu Bashing Continued

It has been a while since I upgraded and subsequently wrote about my experience of upgrading Ubuntu 7.04 to Ubuntu 7.10. I gave Ubuntu 7.10 the good old college try, but have to report that I am now back to my FreeBSD Laptop.

The primary issues that I had with Ubuntu 7.10 had to deal with wireless networking. The connection speed would never exceed 23mbps and even when the driver stated that it was connected at 23mbps I could not achieve throughput of more than 5mbps, even with the laptop sitting 5' from the AP. The second, and most irritating, issue with the wireless networking setup of Ubuntu 7.10 was the consistent disconnects and intermittent reconnects. Often it would not reconnect and I would have to reboot and piss with it for 30 minutes before it would inexplicably reconnect. Of course this started to remind me of M$ reboots and I had to immediately remediate the situation with ufs and FreeBSD!

At first I thought that this was potentially related to the Broadcom 43XX chipset in the test laptop. I then tested with different Intel (non proprietary) wireless cards and different APs. An additional reason that I tested with different access points was due to the range limitation that I was experiencing with Ubuntu 7.10. I was only able to get to roughly 30' from the AP before I would lose signal.

The combination of these three wireless issues, in addition to the upgrade pain, led me to flatten the system and slap FreeBSD 6.2 REL onto it. That said, I am now back into my comfort zone of *BSD. I will also say that I have loaded the Broadcom 43xx windows driver using ndis and that I now have full 54mbps connectivity and a range of greater than 50' from the same APs that I had less than 30' with Ubuntu 7.10.

So, to conclude and finish this mild rant, I think that the new Ubuntu 7.10 is a decent distro overall "for the click brigade" but I also think that more time should have been put into the guts as opposed to the shininess of the whole thing. Of course, if you read some of my previous postings about the shininess setup issues that I experienced out of the box with Ubuntu 7.10....then perhaps they should have put more time into that as well.

Previous articles:
Ubuntu 7.04 to 7.10 Upgrade Notes Pt. 1
Ubuntu Upgrade to 7.10 Strike 2
Ubuntu Upgrade....or not (with compiz)



Chris said...

I'm surprised to hear that BSD offers better wireless performance than Ubuntu.

Wireless in Ubuntu is definitely one of the most irritating things I've dealt with in the Linux world.

I've been itching to try BSD. Perhaps now is the time.

JJC said...

Keep in mind that it's an NDIS wrapper that I used, but it certainly outperforms the Ubuntu *trash wireless support*. In the past the wireless was a bit of a pain (it's still not as pretty as Ubuntu)...but I'll take performance over shininess any day of the week!

If you have any questions or issues getting your BSD up and running let me know and I'll write a tutorial if need be :-)


JJC said...

$ ifconfig -a
inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
ether 00:14:a5:77:e6:ef
media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect (OFDM/54Mbps)
status: associated
ssid "fsck you" channel 4 bssid 00:18:01:e7:d6:c7
authmode WPA privacy OFF txpowmax 100 bmiss 7 protmode CTS