Not happy with Ubuntu today.

One of the first things I do when I get to work is check my email, personal and work related, which are both web based. After logging into my laptop I was dismayed to find that I wasn’t able to access the Internet. It seems Ubuntu has decided it doesn’t want to hold onto an IP address for more than a few moments at a time for no apparent reason. I’ve been running a ping in a command line window for the past 20 minutes or so and it’ll ping fine for awhile and then it gives a “network is unreachable” and then starts pinging fine again. That’s when I have the network configuration set to roaming mode. If I set it to DHCP or configure it as Static then it just won’t work period.

The weird part is that the damned thing was running just fine all day yesterday and the only thing that I know for certain has changed is I went home and came back. I’ve tried everything I can think of and all the suggestions I could find on the web (which I’m accessing from the kiosk PC I’ve been working on). I’ve tried it undocked, I’ve tried it on a different known-to-work network port, I’ve tried it using a different cat5 cable, I’ve even gone so far as to wipe out the installation and reinstall on the off-chance that it was an package update causing the problem. So far all of that has been to no avail. The only thing left is to track down a PCMCIA network card to see if perhaps it’ll work which I’ll be doing after lunch. Again I’m sure my relative lack of experience with troubleshooting Linux doesn’t help, but neither does the fact that all the different distros seem to put their config files in different places so consulting a Linux+ certification book is actually counter-productive because it deals mostly with Red Hat and therefore is useless for figuring out where stuff is under Ubuntu. If this were Windows I’d probably have figured out exactly what the problem is by now.

So posting to SEB may be light today as my primary machine is currently trying to decide if it wants to network properly or not. I love it when stuff breaks for no apparent reason.

7 thoughts on “Not happy with Ubuntu today.

  1. Make sure your wireless card is turned off.  Sometimes it’ll hijack the connection back and forth with 2 gateway addresses.  If you need help, feel free to email me.

  2. It’s not the wireless card. We don’t have an active wireless connection at work so it was disabled.

    When I got home last night with the laptop it was still doing the same thing on my home network. When I switched to wireless it was solid as a rock. Then I tossed an old 3Com card I had laying around into the PCMCIA slot and that was rock solid as well. It appears the built-in Gigabit Ethernet card has choked on too many bits. I’ll just use the 3Com until they can snag me a replacement on Friday.

  3. So then how is this an Ubuntu issue? That’s what has me confused. If hardware failed then hardware failed. You would have just as many headaches with XP with a hardware failure.

  4. Because figuring out that it was a hardware issue was less than an easy thing to do with Ubuntu. It shouldn’t take loading a totally different distro (thanks for the suggestion DOF) to determine a hardware issue like that. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been as much of a pain under XP, but again I do know that OS better.

  5. Allow me to amend that and say that even my boss, who is pretty good at Linux in general, was surprised to find out it was hardware related. He had me try a whole host of other things he thought might be the problem before deciding that my hunch it was hardware related was probably correct.

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