PAL2.0 + Ubuntu

This year, I’ve decided to make official Purdue PAL2.0 support for Linux a top priority of PLUG. There’s a nice abstraction that can be made to better clarify the issues at hand. The PAL2.0 issue can be broken down into two parts.

  1. Technical Issues: PAL2.0 doesn’t “just work” for Linux. A small handful (maybe 5%) of Purdue Linux users are able to connect to PAL2.0 about 10% of the time at best. Even when connected, the connectivity is of poor quality and drops are frequent. After consulting the Purdue IT employees, we’ve been unable to figure out where the problem lies. On this same issue, I’ve filed a bug report with NetworkManager for Ubuntu to try and better connect with the Linux community.
  2. Bureaucratic Issues: Purdue pays people to know about wireless networking with Windows and Mac OS X so that students don’t have to. I believe they should do the same for Linux. One may argue that Linux makes up a smaller percentage of users but, people will avoid becoming a Linux user if Purdue wont offer support. PLUG has also contacted the Purdue Student Government to try and push the PAL2.0 + Linux issue even further on the political side of things.

On both fronts, our ideas have been received with overwhelming support. This is a great surprise and really gives me hope that Purdue may officially support Linux wireless connectivity on campus before I graduate. This could potentially be the last hurtle keeping people from switching to Linux. Or at least one more down.

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  • It's good to know that they are taking steps to actually help us out! I have been following the bug report and I'm happy to see that at least _some_ progress is being made.
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