I installed Xubuntu on a HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop and have enjoyed it so far.  I didn’t run into any trouble with the install.  I also installed the ubuntu-desktop and kubuntu-desktop packages on it to try and get a feel for the Gnome and KDE environments, although I keep gravitating back to Xfce.

My main concern, though, was that I couldn’t get the wireless to connect — not in any of the window managers.  After a little research I realized that Broadcom (the makers of my onboard wireless card) don’t play nice with Linux (those bastards).  I tried installing drivers and ended up getting the b43 driver, though I’m not even sure if that’s the one I needed for my wireless.

Eventually I hit on the fancy little package called wicd (Wireless Interface Connection Daemon, pronounced “wicked”).  After installing it (using a wired connection, of course) I was able to open the Wicd Manager in the Xubuntu menu (Applications -> Network -> Wicd) and set up both my wired and wireless connections.  It found my wireless signal immediately and now I’m free from wires on my laptop.

A word of warning: wicd will disable your wired connection when you first install it, but you just have to open wicd and set up the wired connection to get back up and running.

For more info on wicd visit this article on Linux.com.

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