Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

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Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby akkartik on Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:40 am

Summary: When connected to Netgear N300 WNR2000 wifi router, DNS sometimes works for some commands but not others. Ping consistently works, but ssh sometimes does not. When it works bandwidth is poor. The bandwidth benchmark at http://speedtest.net never loads. Videos are never able to connect to CDN networks. Recent versions of other distros have the same problem so this isn't specific to Mint. Putting this here in case people have suggestions for narrowing the bug down further, isolating it to a single package regression. Wifi has been working before, so this seems like a regression on supported hardware.

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Last December I installed LMDE 32-bit (xfce) on a new thinkpad T420s. I was returning to desktop linux after 10 years, though I've been on linux servers (no X, gnome, wifi) throughout. Everything went well. The wireless was super slow for a couple of days before clearing up by itself. Last week I tried to install a package, and realized I had to do an upgrade even though the shield in the systray showed a checkmark icon. So I ran:

Code: Select all
  $ sudo aptitude update
  $ sudo aptitude upgrade


Since then the wifi has been acting up. Sometimes I can't ssh to certain servers even though I can ping them. Ssh claims it can't locate the hostname. Ssh'ing to IP address consistently works. Browsing mostly works, but speedtest.net never works. Another page that never loads: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/Simple-Made-Easy. Perhaps the problem is in connecting to CDNs for some reason. Connecting over ethernet always works. Connecting in other wifi networks works fine. It's just having trouble with my netgear N300 WNR2000 router.

I've tried out several recent versions of other distros and they all have this problem. So this isn't mint specific. In particular, Mint 13 exhibits the same problem.

I found the disk I installed from last December, and installed to a new test partition. After a few iterations I was able to identify a command that consistently reproduces the issue:

Code: Select all
  $ sudo aptitude update
  $ sudo aptitude install network-manager
  The following NEW packages will be installed:
    accountsservice{a} crda{a} gir1.2-clutter-1.0{a} gir1.2-clutter-gst-1.0{a} gir1.2-cogl-1.0{a} gir1.2-coglpango-1.0{a} gir1.2-evince-3.0{a}
    gir1.2-gnomebluetooth-1.0{a} gir1.2-gst-plugins-base-0.10{a} gir1.2-gstreamer-0.10{a} gir1.2-gtkclutter-1.0{a} gir1.2-gtksource-3.0{a}
    gir1.2-json-1.0{a} gir1.2-sushi-1.0{a} gnome-desktop3-data{a} gnome-sushi{a} gnome-sushi-common{a} gvfs-common{a} gvfs-daemons{a} gvfs-libs{a} iw{a}
    libaacs0{a} libaccountsservice0{a} libarchive12{a} libbluray1{a} libclutter-gst-1.0-0{a} libclutter-gtk-1.0-0{a} libcogl-common{a} libcogl-pango0{a}
    libcogl5{a} libevince3-3{a} libgail-3-0{a} libgjs0b{a} libglib2.0-bin{a} libgnome-bluetooth8{a} libgnome-desktop-3-2{a} libgnome-keyring-common{a}
    libgtksourceview-3.0-0{a} libgtksourceview-3.0-common{a} libicu48{a} libimobiledevice2{a} libjavascriptcoregtk-3.0-0{a} liblzma5{a} libmozjs185-1.0{a}
    libnautilus-extension1a{ab} libnettle4{a} libnl-3-200{a} libnl-genl-3-200{a} libnl-route-3-200{a} libnm-glib4{a} libnm-gtk-common{a} libnm-gtk0{a}
    libnm-util2{a} libnotify4{a} libp11-kit0{a} libpoppler-glib6{a} libpoppler13{a} libsushi-1.0-0{a} libtracker-sparql-0.12-0{a} libunistring0{a}
    libwebkitgtk-3.0-0{a} libwebkitgtk-3.0-common{a} nautilus{a} nautilus-data{a} poppler-data{a} wireless-regdb{a} xserver-xephyr{a}
  The following packages will be upgraded:
    gdm3 gnome-bluetooth gnome-session-bin gvfs gvfs-backends libatk1.0-0 libatk1.0-data libclutter-1.0-0 libgdu0 libglib2.0-0 libgnome-keyring0
    libgnutls26 libgstreamer0.10-0 libgtk-3-0 libgtk-3-common libjson-glib-1.0-0 libpango1.0-0 libpixman-1-0 libxklavier16 nautilus-sendto network-manager
    network-manager-gnome network-manager-pptp xserver-common
  The following packages are RECOMMENDED but will NOT be installed:
    desktop-base gnome-power-manager libclutter-1.0-common libgtk-3-bin
  24 packages upgraded, 67 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1066 not upgraded.
  Need to get 64.5 MB of archives. After unpacking 110 MB will be used.
  The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    network-manager-pptp-gnome: Depends: network-manager-pptp (= 0.8.4-1) but 0.9.2.0-1 is to be installed.
    gvfs-bin: Depends: gvfs (= 1.6.4-3) but 1.10.1-2+b1 is to be installed.
    libnautilus-extension1a: Conflicts: libnautilus-extension1 but 2.30.1-3 is installed.
  The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

       Remove the following packages:
  1)     gvfs-bin
  2)     mint-meta-xfce
  3)     nautilus-sendto
  4)     network-manager-pptp-gnome

       Keep the following packages at their current version:
  5)     gnome-sushi [Not Installed]
  6)     libnautilus-extension1a [Not Installed]
  7)     nautilus [Not Installed]

       Leave the following dependencies unresolved:
  8)     nautilus-data recommends nautilus
  9)     gthumb recommends gvfs-bin


Here are the version numbers of packages that were upgraded:

    gdm3: 2.30.5-10 ==> 3.0.4-4
    gnome-bluetooth: 2.30.0-2 ==> 3.2.2-1
    gnome-session-bin: 2.30.2-3 ==> 3.2.1-1
    gvfs*: 1.6.4-3 ==> 1.10.1-2+b1
    libatk1.0-*: 2.0.1-2 ==> 2.2.0-2
    libclutter-1.0-0: 1.6.14-1 ==> 1.8.4-1
    libgdu0: 2.32.0-1 ==> 3.0.2-2
    libglib2.0-0: 2.28.6-1 ==> 2.30.2-6
    libgnome-bluetooth7: 2.30.0-2 ==> 2.30.0-3
    libgnome-keyring0: 3.0.0-2 ==> 3.2.2-2
    libgnutls26: 2.10.5-2 ==> 2.12.16-1
    libgstreamer0.10-0: 0.10.35-1 ==> 0.10.36-1
    libgtk-3-*: 3.0.10-1 ==> 3.2.3-1
    libjson-glib-1.0-0: 0.12.0-3 ==> 0.14.2-1
    libpango1.0-0: 1.28.4-1 ==> 1.29.4-3
    libpixman-1-0: 0.20.2-0ubuntu1 ==> 0.24.4-1
    libxklavier16: 5.0-2 ==> 5.2.1-1
    nautilus-sendto: 2.28.4-2+b1 ==> 3.0.1-2
    network-manager: 0.8.4.0-2 ==> 0.9.2.0-2
    network-manager-gnome: 0.8.4-2 ==> 0.9.2.0-2
    network-manager-pptp: 0.8.4-1 ==> 0.9.2.0-1
    network-manager-pptp-gnome: 0.8.4-1 ==> 0.9.2.0-1
    xserver-common: 2:1.10.2.902-1 ==> 2:1.11.4-1

I'm at a loss how to narrow this down further. My aptitude fu is weak, and gnome/gdm/network-manager has changed a lot (lots more interacting packages!) since I last looked. All suggestions would be most appreciated.
akkartik
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby akkartik on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:18 am

After several reinstalls I've narrowed it down to these three packages:

Code: Select all
The following packages will be upgraded:
    gnome-bluetooth network-manager network-manager-gnome


None of these can be upgraded in isolation, and upgrading all of them borks things up. Versions again, for convenience:

    gnome-bluetooth: 2.30.0-2 ==> 3.2.2-1
    network-manager: 0.8.4.0-2 ==> 0.9.2.0-2
    network-manager-gnome: 0.8.4-2 ==> 0.9.2.0-2
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby Sonsum on Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:33 pm

I'm not a pro at this, but I'll help the best I can.

Funnily enough, I have that router and am using it now and it's working great. (I'm running network-manager version 0.9.4.0-5)

It looks like your card uses the drivers found here: http://wiki.debian.org/iwlwifi#Wheezy. I'd make sure those are properly installed.

Do you have Windows installed on this machine? Does the problem happen in it too?
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby akkartik on Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:36 pm

Hi Sonsum, yeah the driver was my first suspicion as well, but I find that upgrading the drivers continues to work. It's upgrading network-manager that triggers the issue.

And yes the machine has windows 7 as well, which has given no problems.
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby Sonsum on Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:24 pm

I'd be curious if the newer version of network-manager in testing fixes the problems (which is the version I'm using, since I'm running pure testing and not the UP method).

Perhaps the best solution is to hold those three packages at their current version. When UP5 comes, you could make a backup and then try upgrading - perhaps it would bypass your issue.
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby akkartik on Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:44 pm

One of my problems is that I don't know how to revert a package or set of packages to an older state. The older packages are no longer available in the paths in /etc/sources.list. Do you know how I should fix this? For the past week my laptop has been tethered to ethernet because my main partition has broken wifi while I run tests with my older LMDE DVD on an experimental partition. If you could help me even just go back to the old versions without needing to reinstall LMDE I would be eternally grateful :)
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby Sonsum on Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:46 pm

From what I believe, it can't be done with the repos. You have to manually reinstall the packages you want, by finding the versions from a mirror somewhere and installing them with
Code: Select all
dpkg -i package.deb
(where package is the name of the package)

If there are any packages depending on the newer version of network-manager, you'll have to downgrade those too. It might get really nasty.

I have an idea. have you tried WICD instead of network-manager? That sometimes solves people's problems and might be the simplest solution.
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby akkartik on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:34 am

WICD was the answer, yes! Thank you so much, Sonsum!

I followed the instructions at http://wiki.geteasypeasy.com/How_to_use ... rk_Manager

Two things I had to figure out for myself:

a) when you first bring up wicd-client it won't find any wifi networks. Go to preferences and type in your wireless interface (mine was wlan0; the above link uses ath0; you can know yours for sure by running ifconfig *before* uninstalling network-manager.) Rescan, and it found my network.
b) you have to choose the right kind of encryption. There's like 3 kinds of WEP and 3 kinds of WPA.

It requires knowing a little more about your system, and it won't spoonfeed you like network manager. But I feel more empowered now.
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Re: Subtle breakages after recent update (not Mint specific)

Postby Sonsum on Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:45 am

:D I'm glad you got it working! Wireless issues can be very frustrating.

For example: On my old desktop, I run Stable. The wireless problems were so bad that I ended up forsaking my USB wireless adapter and bought an old router. I put DD-WRT on it and configured it to pick up WiFi and transfer the connection through the router's Ethernet port. No problems now, but that solution just wouldn't work for a laptop.
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