I tried SL 5.4 E17 x86 edition LiveCD on an old Gateway Solo 9300 laptop and installed it to the HDD. Everything works except for wireless networking. I have a Linksys WPC54G v7.1 wireless notebook CardBus adapter (Atheros AR2413 802.11bg NIC), but I believe this is incidental to the wireless networking problem I experienced, as explained below.
Both with the LiveCD and with the installation on the HDD, NetworkManager is loaded as the networking backend and Wicd client is loaded as the GUI. Strange, but I assume it's intentional due to the lack of a network GUI for E17.
Wired Ethernet works fine but wireless does not work. Wicd either gives a 'Bad Password' error message or an 'Unable to get IP address' message, depending on the different things I tried (and I tried them all, believe me). The Web is littered with posts from people experiencing these two problems with Wicd (actually there are a few posts in the SL Forums too). It's not an application I like, as I have also had trouble with it in the past.
One of the things I tried was to replace the NetworkManager backend with Wicd (see HOWTO: Replace NM with WICD
) but the behaviour was the same as before: Wicd displayed the messages 'Bad Password' or 'Unable to get IP address'. I think there must be a bug in Wicd as I could get wireless networking working from the command line.
Unfortunately I could not get nm-applet working under E17, which would have enabled me to use NetworkManager as the backend and get rid of Wicd. So, after too many hours messing around with SL 5.4 E17, I wiped the HDD and installed PCLinuxOS E17 2010.11 edition, which works nicely (once I set the MTU to 1464 or less). I'm not yet sure what PCLinuxOS E17 uses for networking, but it works very well for wired and wireless networking and is easy to configure using the PCLinuxOS GUI tools.
BTW, nm-applet and NetworkManager on the SL 5.4 Xfce Spin x86 works fine with this same hardware. (Notice something? Yes, no Wicd.) Unfortunately I can't install the SL 5.4 Xfce Spin to the HDD as the Installer either crashes or refuses to set up Grub2 correctly. So the E17 Spin installs but WiFi doesn't work, and the Xfce Spin doesn't install but WiFi works. It's a good job they are labelled 'Experimental Spins'.
Anyway, if anyone knows how to get nm-applet working in SL 5.4 E17 instead of Wicd client, so that I can use NetworkManager with SL E17 edition, then please let me know.