I've been avoiding kernel 2-6.38.4 and 2-6.38.6-1 in Mandriva because last time I found them in an update and installed them, my netbook lost its wi-fi capabilities. Yes, it would not pick any signal or start wireless connections at all. It would tell me that I needed some b43 files from a web site and the installation was beyond my understanding.
Well, I decided that I wanted to install Mageia 1 in my netbook. I will spare you the story of my mistake of installing beta1 and my consequential sadness because iBus would not work. However, when I corrected my mistake and installed beta2, my happiness upon seeing iBus working flawessly quickly faded away because I discovered that the dreadful kernel 2-6.38.4 was what Mageia uses and, therefore, my wi-fi was gone!
In a sudden revelation, I read the error message and saw that it was indicating the path were the missing files were supposed to be and were not: /lib/firmware/b43
I mounted the Pardus partition and looked for that directory. Pardus had both the b43 and the b34legacy directories, so I copied them to my Mageia home folder.
There was one problem left: How to copy the directory in Mageia's root appropriate folder? The answer is easy, with konsole, of course!
After typying su and inputting my password, I used the following command:
cp -r /home/myname/b43 /lib/firmware/
and PRESTO! in less than one second, the 39 files were copied. Then I did the same and copied the b43legacy folder.
After that, I ran Mageia Control Center, Network config, add a new connection. I selected Wireless and wlan_o. When the system asked me for the file, I located the directory /lib/firmware/b43 and selected the ucode5.fw file.
It worked. Now, I'm posting this entry using the wi-fi in Mageia beta2.
I just don't understand why is it that some people are afraid of the command line. It's so powerful and useful.
Once again, BIG THANKS PARDUS!!!