There is a process in Ubuntu called "avahi-autoipd" that is absolutely evil. What this process does is go out of its way to sabotage any attempt to have a static IP in Ubuntu. I've configured /etc/network/interfaces to use a static IP. avahi-autoipd ignores this configuration. I then had to use "ifconfig" and "route" to manually give my computer a static IP. avahi-autoipd then, 90 seconds later decides I don't want a static ip, erases my static ip and tries to get a DHCP ip (which doesn't work, since there isn't a DHCP server).
I tried killing the avahi process. Some evil daemon then ressurects the avahi process so that it can remove my IP 90 seconds later.
I finally did a "sudo rm /usr/sbin/avahi-autoipd" and rebooted the computer; the monster that decides I can't have a static IP is finally dead.
I'm sure there's some exotic recipe to make avahi behave. I don't care. I have better things to do with my time than to configure some new fangled daemon that doesn't work. The daemon should not be disabling static IPs every 90 seconds, end of story.
Now, I'll see if dhcp works. If not, I'll compile the dhcp client that comes with Busybox, which is, at least simple and not prone to failure.
My other Ubuntu rant: Making backups to a DVD-RW with a UDF filesystem is dog slow. We're talking hours to copy 50 megabytes of data. On a DVD-RW that I could burn in 15 or 20 minutes. Why is this so dog slow?