Broadcom BCM4312 for Lenovo S12 in openSUSE 11.4

Broadcom is the finicky mistress of Linux. Sometimes she’ll greet you with a smile with little effort and work perfectly, and sometimes she’ll spurn your most tried and trusted approaches.

Users with 4313, 43224, and 43225 will be happy to note the inclusion of open Broadom wireless drivers with the 2.6.36 kernel; however, for those of us who have to woo our Broadcom wireless, there’s a little bit extra work that needs to happen.

This is one of those unfortunate cases where you have to be online to get online.

First, find out what flavor of the kernel you’re running by opening a terminal and and running the command:

uname -r

Add the Essential Packman repository (if not already added):

sudo zypper ar -n packman-essentials http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_11.4/Essentials packman-essentials

Then, install broadcom-wl, broadcom-wl-kmp-(uname -r), and rfkill*

Next, sudo into your favorite text editor. Kwrite is used in this example, but gedit, mousepad, or any text editor will do:

sudo kwrite /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf

and add the following lines at the end of /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf:

blacklist ssb

blacklist b43

blacklist acer-wmi

*Note: while not essential, I’ve found that including these allows automatic connection after boot and hibernation/standby on the S12–especially the acer-wmi kernel module.

You should be able to configure your wireless in YaST and connect after a reboot.

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MintMenu on openSUSE

While being mainly a fan of openSUSE, I’ve come to appreciate Linux Mint on my netbook. One of the shining gems of Mint being it’s well integrated mintMenu. Many thanks go to Unamanic (follow his blog here), who has been gracious enough to provide mintMenu for openSUSE on the build service.

After a quick log out and back in, you can add mintMenu by right-clicking on your panel and selecting “add to panel.” Scroll down or search for mintMenu. Now you can remove your standard slab menu with the minty-fresh version.

 

MintMenu 1-click install for openSUSE 11.4

openSUSE 11.4 Suggested Reading

openSUSE 11.4 was released March 10th, and I’ve already happily updated to the geeko’s latest release. There’s a lot to be excited about in this excellent release. Among the top features are Kde 4.6, Gnome 2.32, Gnome 3 preview, Xfce 4.8, LXDE, LibreOffice 3.3.1, and Firefox 4 beta 12. Also included are improvements to package management, and the 200-line usability patch included in version 2.6.36 of the kernel. The full product highlights are available on the wiki here.

Read Oldcpu’s excellent guide here, which includes information for new and ¬†seasoned users alike. At the very least, it’s a good idea to review the most annoying bugs for 11.4 before installing/upgrading. Existing users should also beware of a nasty bug when using zypper to “dup” to 11.4.

Many thanks to Eye On Linux for an excellent review of openSUSE 11.4.

I’ll have some tips and tricks coming up soon, so be sure to check back.

Ms Truetype Fonts on openSUSE 11

I recently watched an interesting film on font design that was a reminder of how fonts seem to live and breathe beside us day in and day out, often times going unnoticed. In an age where the sheer volume of information is overwhelming, the subtleties are sometimes lost, and sometimes make all the difference, speaking to our subconscious in ways we may not understand.

Fonts have intrigued me since I stumbled upon the vast storehouse within MS Word. Not that we were allowed to use them in school, mind you. I remember being given a list of fonts that were approved for graded papers in school. I think every student has has the conversation with his/herself that goes along the lines of “If I changed the font from Times New Roman to Verdana, would it look like I wrote more?” Perhaps it was this sort of almost forbidden nature of the vast array of fonts that has held my curiosity.

Microsoft’s Truetype fonts on Linux are always a bit of a dance with the devil. Since they are proprietary most Linux distributions will not include them in the default installation and only use fonts licensed under the GPL These fonts handle the day to day applications fairly well. There are some instances, however, when a web page, or a Powerpoint presentation will not render correctly, completely, or not at all. Our culture is so entrenched in these fonts that it’s only when you cannot use them that you notice just how common they really are.

In previous releases, SUSE to provided MS Truetype fonts through their online updater after installation. As of this post, openSUSE 11.0 provides no such update through the official channels. Luckily, the BuildService has provided the community with the ability to easily add and access packages built by other members of the community. Below are links for 1-click install to both MS webcore-fonts, and webcore-fonts-vista. These two packages should give you all the lovely pretty fonts that we’ve become so accustomed to.

Update: Check back after each release of openSUSE’s 11.x series for updated packages.

Update 2: As of 11.4, the fonts are no longer automatically installed during the initial update; however, they are still available via the update repository under “fetchmsttfonts.”

Nvidia drivers for openSUSE 11

Nvidia drivers are now available for openSUSE 11.0. Simply copy and paste the link to the Nvidia repo into YaST. ftp://download.nvidia.com/opensuse/11.0

Impatient to get your system up and running? Try one-click install:

Geforce 6 and newer

Nvidia Geforce 6 and newer

Nvidia Legacy Geforce FX (5xxx)

Nvidia Legacy Geforce FX (5xxx)

Nvidia Legacy (Geforce 4 and older, TNT)

Nvidia Legacy (Geforce 4 and older, TNT)

Update: Be sure to check back after each openSUSE release in the 11.x series for updated drivers.