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Old 05-09-2007, 01:48 AM   #1
cal_gundert05
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Linux w/o internet a good idea?


I can't decide if I should install Linux on my iBook G4, currently running OS X.

I just want my computer to do some basic functions like rip and play my CDs, charge my iPod, write papers for school, display pictures, play DVDs, get online via ethernet of AirPort, and maybe play some low-end games. There is so much stuff on OS X that is cool, but I just don't need, and I would rather spend my time elsewhere and not be addicted to X (pun intended).

I tried Slack, and that was nice, but it wouldn't detect my iPod or CDs (actually, Xine played my CDs). Although those problems could have been due to my incapacity to fix them. I couldn't fix them largely because my ethernet wouldn't work, so I didn't have access to many things that could have helped me.

SO I GUESS I HAVE 2 QUESTIONS:

1) ASSUMING I CAN'T GET INTERNET WITH SLACK 11 OR OPENBSD/MACPPC(WHICH I'M CONSIDERING), IS IT REASONABLE TO HAVE A LINUX BOX WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS?

2) DO YOU KNOW OF A DISTRO THAT SUPPORTS THE BCM43XX WIRELESS CARD WITHOUT REQUIRING ME TO GO ONLINE TO GET IT TO WORK (BECAUSE MY ETHERNET DIDN'T WORK IN SLACK)?

Thanks

**This post brought to you by a n00b**
 
Old 05-09-2007, 07:58 AM   #2
pixellany
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Any Linux distro should be able to connect to the internet.

The package management systems in Linux are dependent on having an internet connection. Equally important, the "help desk"--ie places like LQ--are accessed thru the net.

I can't imagine ANY computer without a connection--and certainly not with Linux.

However (obviously?) if you want a special-purpose machine to only do specific tasks, you can set it up with no connection.
 
Old 05-09-2007, 10:29 AM   #3
reddazz
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You can use a Linux distro without a net connection but package management can be a pain. If you do not have a net connection, I suggest you get something like Mandriva, openSUSE or Debian which ship a lot of packages on their installation media. As for your wireless drivers, why not download them from a working connection and store them on a usb stick or cdrom.
 
Old 05-09-2007, 10:35 AM   #4
syg00
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As pixellany said, we're all whistling in the dark - the OP is never going to see these answers ...
Knoppix generally finds everything; including the BCM stuff. I've used it for just this situation to pull the source down for a Dell laptop.
 
Old 05-09-2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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Your wireless would have worked in Slackware. You just need to download and install a firmware file for bcmXY IIRC. The distros you have to pay for will probably include that as it's a common device and ubuntu probably does so as well.

Generally there is no problem about having an offline linux box. It's just like it'd be with windows - can't install any software unless you have it physically available on cds or whatever. (Even though a computer without internet seems kinda crippled to me, and from what the others posters said I think they feel similarly.)

And for that ipod thing, I'm currently trying out Dropline Gnome (which is gnome for Slackware, at least sort of) and each time I start the music player it tells me that I don't have an ipod (I found no way to turn that message off, it checks for an ipod each startup and it's true, I don't have one )
 
Old 05-09-2007, 09:15 PM   #6
SlowCoder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General Failure
Generally there is no problem about having an offline linux box. It's just like it'd be with windows - can't install any software unless you have it physically available on cds or whatever.
+1 on that.

I don't use Macs, so I might be wrong here, but I've never seen a modern laptop that has wireless but doesn't have wired ethernet. For updating and transfer purposes you can just periodically connect wired.
 
Old 05-09-2007, 09:21 PM   #7
cal_gundert05
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OK, I'll have another go at installing Slack 11 and getting my ethernet working. Assuming that works (as you guys say it should), I'll then try to get my wireless up and running.

Thanks
 
Old 05-09-2007, 11:10 PM   #8
cal_gundert05
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OK, ethernet is working (I didn't even have to do anything--I don't know how I messed that up before).

I downloaded the bcm43xx firmware tar.gz and opened it, so now I have a bunch of "bcm43xxinitval--.fw" files in my /home/michaelgundert/lib/firmware directory.

Do I use "bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware FILENAME" on all the files? I've tried doing it to several files and I always get a "Sorry, the input file is wrong or is not supported by fwcutter" error.

Help please.
 
Old 05-09-2007, 11:10 PM   #9
Matir
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Ubuntu for PPC should have the bcm43xx driver built in, so it should work for you with no problems if you have issues with slack.
 
Old 05-10-2007, 12:09 AM   #10
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What files exactly did you get from the archive?

Here's some more information on bcm43xx (from gentoo.org, should work on slackware:
English Howto
German Howto

The German howto mentions you can cut the firmware from the windows drivers as well and suggests to do so with bcmwl5.sys.
 
Old 05-10-2007, 11:39 PM   #11
cal_gundert05
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Uhh, I've actually gotten rid of Slack and I'm back on OS X.

Maybe inthe future, when X is out of date, and the Broadcom wireless cards work better, I'll pick up Linux again.
 
  


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