Sunday, August 23, 2009

Arch Linux 2009-08 troublesome on EeePC 901

I've been struggling with this OS for a while now and, even though I've made a lot of progress, it's still very far from taking over from Ubuntu as my most reliable and most-used OS.
Even though what I'm downloading and installing is supposed to have the 2.6.30-ARCH kernel, it is mostly the kernel that shows up when I run uname -r after booting.
I've posted to both the Arch Linux forums and the LinuxQuestions forums about this very problem. However, to date no real answer has emerged as to what's happening. So, I continue to be totally mystified as to what's going on. If you boot to a 2.6.30-ARCH kernel, how can you possibly get a kernel? It's more worrying that nobody else seems to have an explanation either.
In any event, I had been able to get (purely adventitiously) the 2.6.30 kernel (and networking) up to midday today. I used this stoke of luck to install "gnome" and "xorg-xinit" which enabled me for the first time with Arch on the EeePC 901 to boot to a normal Gnome desktop. I installed Opera 10 Beta 3 and Yakuake and both worked fine.
In addition I was able to get wireless working. This involved the following steps:
1. depmod -a
2. modprobe rt2860sta
3. ifconfig ra0 up
4. iwlist ra0 scan ##this just checks what aps are available
5. iwconfig ra0 ap ww:xx:yy:zz:aa:bb #this works while iwconfig ra0 essid "dlink" doesn't
6. dhclient ra0

When I lost the 2.6.30-ARCH kernel today, I went to a TTy in Arch and re-installed the kernel26 as well as its four dependencies (kernel26-firmaware, coreutils, mkinitcpio and modules-init-tools). When I booted to Arch after this (taking vmlinuz26 and kernel26.img from the Arch boot partition, it connected to the network during the boot and the 2.6.30-ARCH kernel loaded.
So, now I was excited as it looked like I was getting some kind of kernel degradation which could be overcome by re-installing the kernel and its dependencies.
However when I lost the 2.6.30 kernel again later on and tried the same remedy, it didn't work. So, doesn't look like this is the solution.

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