Last week the sluggishness of Ubuntu 5.1 on my Pentium II laptop aligned with the new release of Xubuntu 6.06 (and the rest of the Ubuntu family) lead me to wipe my hard drive clean and start over with a fresh install. Xubuntu 6.06 is a big improvement. I now have support for my sound card on this old laptop and Xubuntu is a very small install that’s relatively snappy and startup and shut down are faster as well. Exactly what I wanted.
The weird thing is that the LiveCD booted and my wireless card was up and running just fine. After the install my pcmcia card stopped working. Why it worked while booting from the cd but not from the fresh install seemed very odd. The ‘Network’ application only showed a modem device. eth0 was nowhere to be found. The problem, after a few hours worth of piddling around, reading and trying a reinstall (hoping that it was just an install glitch) turns out to be some sort of ‘clean up’ program that runs after the installation is complete. This clean up application removes files that were not needed for the installation or are biproducts of it. I can’t remember the name of it. Anyway, the issue is a ‘pcmcia-cs’ file that needs to be reinstalled. If the laptop you are using also has an ethernet plug, simply plug it in for internet, run Synaptic and search for ‘pcmcia-cs’. Install that file and your problems are solved. If, like me, you have an old, crappy laptop that DOESN’T have an ethernet port on it, find a computer with internet and download this file:
One of the cool features of the Ubuntu 6.06 family is the ability to double-click on .deb files and get the option to install it via Synaptic. Do that to the above file once you have it downloaded. You may have to restart to get your pcmcia support working. Of course, I have to say that I in no way guarantee that this action will correct your problem or that it will not have a negative effect on your system. That said, let me know if this solved your problem. It certainly solved mine.
Apart from that the new Xubuntu is a wonderful experience. Mounting my iPod Mini isn’t a problem, though it isn’t as cool as how it automounts and has a new iPod Nano icon in Ubuntu 6.06. Ubuntu has also improved how the iPod is unmounted to the point that the iPod screen actually returns from the ‘no access’ blinking screen to the iPod interface screen once it’s unmounted. In that regard Xubuntu is a little bit of a step back (but I fixed that issue), but the performance difference is entirely worth it. I was hoping to use Damn Small Linux or Feather Linux as my new system, but installing them to a hard drive turned out to have some problems that I certainly cannot resolve. Xubuntu is easy to install and customizing it with Synaptic is a breeze. Again, let me know if this helped repair your pcmcia functionality in Xubuntu 6.06.