Aspire One / Mandriva 2009 Dist Upgrade

I’ve been running Mandriva 2009 on my Acer Aspire One since I decided that I could not get along with the AUFS used by the original Linpus Lite OS on the machine. A new feature of Mandriva is a mildly annoying pop up at the top corner of the screen that reminds me now and then that a new distribution of Mandriva is available.

Finally I succumbed to its nagging and allowed it to begin the distribution upgrade to Mandriva 2009.1 Spring. My Aspire One is not a fast machine, with 1.6 GHz Atom processor, 512 MB ram and 8GB SSD (the Samsung in this machine). Still when I started the upgrade in the late morning I expected it would finish sometime in the afternoon. The following morning the upgrade continued. I was grateful for the progress bar telling me it was on package 1291 of 1452. At least I knew it was still going.

As I woke up that morning I realized that I had started the upgrade without doing a backup. This is OK for me because God loves fools. Don’t you try it though because everyone knows you do a backup before doing a distribution upgrade or new install and no one will be sympathetic if you lose all your files.

My other concern with this upgrade is that my brother has an Aspire one. Mine is white, Gnu/linux and Good. His is dark blue, XP and Evil. He forgot his power cord. The night of my upgrade he borrowed mine, leaving my Aspire One doing a distro upgrade on battery. “What happens if the battery runs out?” I wondered as I went to bed. The following morning he came downstairs, pulled the cord out of my Aspire One again and took it with his Aspire One to the comfy chair. I asked my nurse whether that happens in the hospital. Do nurses walk up and pull the IV out of your patient and stick it into theirs? She says they do not, nurses being less evil than brothers. If you have a brother, that is all the more reason to do a backup before an upgrade. Maybe do a backup to the cloud. I’ll post on that at a later date.

Mid day the upgrade finished and I rebooted.


Mandriva 2009.1 is pretty! But networking didn’t work! Wireless didn’t work at all. Wired said it had an IP, but I couldn’t connect even to my router’s administrative IP. After a bit of phutzing around I changed the DHCP client from dhclient to dhcpd and that fixed the wired anyway. Now I remember that I had to do that when I first installed Mandriva on the Aspire One.

Doh! The wireless problem turned out to be a router in need of a reboot. I have a Linksys WRT54G and a Linksys WRT54G2 and both seem to need a hard reboot from time to time. They just stop. Maybe I should try a WRT54GL.

There’s a bug in the synaptics driver in Mandriva 2009.1. Mandriva 2009.0 worked just fine, but apparently there is an ‘upstream’ change to two-finger scrolling rather than edge scrolling so the synaptics driver has changed. Whatever. My scrolling didn’t work by either method.

When X was first started sliding a finger on the touchpad edge scrolled at first, but only briefly. I tried setting options with synclient such as “synclient -s RightEdge=5212”. No difference. In fact the bug gremlins kept changing RightEdge to 6143 no matter what I did. I tried qsynaptics. No joy. Finally I edited xorg.conf manually. Here is what worked for me.

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Mouse1”
Driver “mouse”
Option “Protocol” “ExplorerPS/2”
Option “Device” “/dev/mouse”

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “SynapticsMouse1”
Driver “synaptics”
Option “SHMConfig” “on”

and from the ServerLayout section the line;
InputDevice “SynapticsMouse1” “SendCoreEvents”

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Mouse1”
Driver “synaptics”
Option “Protocol” “auto-dev”
Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
Option “LeftEdge” “1632”
Option “RightEdge” “5212”
Option “HorizEdgeScroll” “1”

And now my touchpad scrolls both vertically and horizontally like I expect it to.

Aside from that the distribution upgrade has been pretty uneventful. The little tooltip things that pop up when I mouse over an icon seriously lack contrast, but I expect that will be a simple thing to fix once I bother to look into it. The new desktop is quite beautiful to my eye. The applications I like work like they did. Firefox, Clawsmail, Bash, Gnumeric, Freemind, Tuxcards. GIMP looks a little different, but it’s still GIMP. Qcad. I’m getting used to Okular and Dolphin.

I’m happy with Mandriva 2009.1 Spring on my Aspire One.

Explore posts in the same categories: Hardware, Software

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