Wireless Connectivity in Fedora Core 8 on Dell Inspiron 8600
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OK, it is pretty clear that ipw2200 isn't loaded, and that is a problem. Have a look at the output of lsmod and see if ipw2200 is listed. If it isn't, then (as root) run modprobe ipw2200 and see if your wireless card shows up in iwconfig. A successful run of modprobe doesn't' give any feedback, it just goes back to the prompt. If modprobe does complain it means there was an error and you should post that message.
D'OH... Sorry, you shouldn't have to re-install the RPM at all. You're running a 2.6.24 kernel, and that should have ipw2200 built in. All you should need to do is install firmware and it should work.
Which, of course, brings up the issue with why it isn't. If I were in your shoes, I would uninstall any RPM you installed for ipw2200 and then try to re-install your kernel RPM. I'm guessing that in all the horsing around, something has gotten overwritten by older software and that is what is going on.
I feel like quite the newb. I've searched for the kernel RPM and tried updating it both from search results and yum. It says the package is already installed and I can't find ipw2200.ko by itself outside of what's already in the directory. What am I doing wrong??
OK, I did some googling, and it looks like FC8 had a hiccup with regards to ipw2200. Unfortunately, the errors being reports (for example see the bottom of this page) aren't the same as yours. I've also seen some reports that even an ndiswrapper install can cause trouble for FC8. So, I think you've got a few options:
1) Try the fix in the page I linked to in this post. Hey, it can't get any worse, can it? I'm a little hesitant to give you advice on how to re-load the kernel package since I don't use Fedora, but I think using some of the rpm flags might work. So rpm --replacepkgs pkgname.rpm should just replace the package even if it is already installed. By the way, you'll want good backups of anything important!
2) Do a re-install of FC8. I don't normally like to suggest this, but I'm not finding your error anywhere out there and I'm wondering if something hasn't gotten corrupted along the way. A re-install would give you a clean system to work from.
3)Switch distros. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a strong personal bias against Fedora. It is a gigantic beta test, and it is continually breaking things. It should come with a big, fat warning that only experienced linux users should touch it, and then only if they have a severe masochistic streak. To be honest, I have no idea why anyone uses it, and if anyone besides Red Hat produced it, it probably would have died by now. Unless you have a strong reason for using Fedora, another distro might suit your needs better.
Considering that I am completely new to Linux, I'm more than willing to switch distros. I was introduced to Fedora by a former co-worker. I found most of the applications I added to be easy to install so I feel confident in re-installing them to another distro. What would you suggest? I need something with Apache, php and support for MySQL.
I need something with Apache, php and support for MySQL.
Those three are found in pretty much any of the major distros, so you really can't go wrong there.
I found most of the applications I added to be easy to install so I feel confident in re-installing them to another distro.
Since this is likely a major point for you, both Ubuntu (or any of the *buntus) or openSuse have good, automated software installation tools. If you're up for a bit more of a challenge, Debian's apt-get is kind of the granddaddy of the automated software installation tools.
To be honest, I've installed Ubuntu for a couple of friends who had never used Linux, and they found it pretty straight forward to handle. There is also a pretty significant community around Ubuntu, both here and on their own forums, so help is usually plentiful. Ubuntu does have its oddities (its use of sudo can only be classified as abusive and the "lets have a separate distro for each X environment" attitude is just weird) but it is aimed squarely at new Linux users and it does have support for Apache, PHP and MySQL.
Hangdog, thank you so much for your help and advice. I'm downloading the iso of Ubuntu now, and if I run into any problems, I'll start a new thread. I actually look forward to reinstalling things like Bluefish, MySQL, VMWare and WINE on Ubuntu... that's how much of a nerd I really am. 8-B Thanks again!