Thursday, 31 May 2007

Wireless Revisited

When I booted my machine this morning I got a message saying that updates were available. Dutifully I downloaded the updates and rebooted. When Fedora came back up I had lost my wireless connection. Not only had I lost the connection, I had lost my wireless device!

One of the automatic updates had updated the kernel, and this wiped out the wireless driver. To fix it I had to run the MadWifi make install again, and then run modprobe ath_pci. In other words, I had to reinstall the driver.

Now this is not too bad for me with my one machine, but what if I was a support engineer responsible for 100 or 1000 machines? Certainly most large enterprises don't just allow automatic updates to be run on Windows workstations without testing first, but if I was looking to move my organization to Linux I would want to look carefully at how updates are managed.

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