Help me get wireless internet working on my Ubuntu laptop.
February 17, 2007 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Help me get wireless internet working in Ubuntu on a Thinkpad R60.

I've scoured forums across the internet, but I can't seem to find a process to get wireless running on my (Ubuntu) laptop. Any suggestions?

I think the problem may have to do with the fact that the (built-in) wireless card is PCMIA.
posted by dkleinst to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
What kinda chip is it, do you know? You can look at the output of "lspci" to get a sense of what's in your machine.
posted by ph00dz at 3:46 PM on February 17, 2007


Response by poster: 11 a/b/g Wireless Lan Mini PCI Express Adapter
Atheros Communications, Inc.
PCI Slot 1

(is this what you were looking for?)
posted by dkleinst at 3:49 PM on February 17, 2007


As it would happen I've recently gotten an R60 too, nice machines apart from the LCD.

Are you sure it's PCMCIA? The R60 has a miniPCI slot. Someone could have put in an atheros wireless adapter, but you get them from lenovo with either an intel 3945 or thinkpad wifi card. Usually it's the intel one, in which case you need the drivers from here.

Do you know about thinkwiki? Great site for those of us who want to run something other than windows on their thinkpad.
posted by fvw at 4:44 PM on February 17, 2007


Yeah, from the thinkwiki site, it looks like madwifi is what you need.
posted by ph00dz at 5:12 PM on February 17, 2007


Response by poster: Sorry, I'm kinda a newb - what exactly is the procedure for getting these drivers loaded and working? I tried madwifi before, but couldn't get anywhere.
posted by dkleinst at 5:23 PM on February 17, 2007


It's cool. We were all linux newbies once...

There are some good installation instructions on the madwifi website. Let us know how it works out or if you have further probs...
posted by ph00dz at 5:29 PM on February 17, 2007


By the way -- sorry to post twice -- it looks like they were installed by default under ubuntu, unless you did something crazy.

How do you know they're not working?
posted by ph00dz at 5:31 PM on February 17, 2007


Response by poster: My wireless card simply doesn't show up in Ubuntu's network config program. I can see Eth0, but that's it. The networking icon continually shows that I'm not connected. I don't have an ethernet connection, so it creates a bit of a problem.
posted by dkleinst at 5:35 PM on February 17, 2007


what if you type: sudo ifconfig

... what does it tell you?
posted by ph00dz at 5:56 PM on February 17, 2007


By the way -- this happened to me, too. Ubuntu seems to want the wireless card to live at wlan0 to be gui-controllable. My wireless lives at eth0, so I had to write a little script to connect it to my local wireless network.

You can tell if your wireless is operational with this command: sudo iwlist scan

It'll fire up the 802.11 network scanner to see what it can see. If that reports something meaningful, you're golden.

So... I dunno how to the fix the basic gui problem -- I'd love to know if someone did -- but I wrote a little shell script and run it everytime I start up my box. It resets the wireless, sets the network details, connets, and gets a dhcp client address. Just save the following lines as "wireless.sh" after you've filled in your own info. From there, run it using: sudo sh ./wireless

ifconfig eth0 down
iwconfig eth0 essid networkname
iwconfig eth0 mode Managed
iwconfig eth0 key 6fe7c0aWHATEVERYOURKEY IS
ifconfig eth0 up
dhclient eth0
posted by ph00dz at 6:02 PM on February 17, 2007


Sorry. Gotta read this stuff before I post. It should've been:

sudo sh ./wireless.sh
posted by ph00dz at 6:04 PM on February 17, 2007


Response by poster: I did that, ph00dz and got this:

Error for wireless request "Set ESSID" (8B1A) :
SET failed on device eth0 ; Operation not supported.
Error for wireless request "Set Mode" (8B06) :
SET failed on device eth0 ; Operation not supported.
Error for wireless request "Set Encode" (8B2A) :
SET failed on device eth0 ; Operation not supported.
Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client V3.0.3
Copyright 2004-2005 Internet Systems Consortium.
All rights reserved.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/products/DHCP

Listening on LPF/eth0/00:16:d3:24:bc:7d
Sending on LPF/eth0/00:16:d3:24:bc:7d
Sending on Socket/fallback
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 8
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 8
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 13
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 9
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 20
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 3
No DHCPOFFERS received.
No working leases in persistent database - sleeping.
posted by dkleinst at 7:14 PM on February 17, 2007


Response by poster: and re-reading your original post i realize i shouldn't have because I the network scanner didn't report anything meaningful.
posted by dkleinst at 7:57 PM on February 17, 2007


FWIW, I've never had any luck with wireless and linux on my Thinkpad (i-series) other than knoppix. I think has the card interface with the system in a weird way.
posted by dantekgeek at 2:36 AM on February 18, 2007


Well, anyway -- if all else fails, you should probably go to ubuntuforums.org.

General words of advice:
* Some nutball somewhere has figured out how to do this. All you have to do is find him.
* The biggest thing about becoming a proficient linux d00d is to learn how to test and characterize problems. Go through the list of possible causes:
- Does the system recognize it as a hardware device?
- Are the proper drivers really loaded? If not, how do you get them?
- Is your device recognized by the drivers?
- Is your system sending messages to the wrong place for some reason?
- Don't be afraid to ask for help.
posted by ph00dz at 6:41 AM on February 18, 2007


I'm not sure how Ubuntu maps an Atheros, but on my Debian laptop, the Atheros wireless card appeared not as eth0 or wlan0, but ath0. You might poke that interface instead.
posted by Netzapper at 9:51 AM on February 18, 2007


Response by poster: The ath0 trick doesn't seem to work either. I've installed the windows drivers via ndiswrapper, but am unsure how to proceed.
posted by dkleinst at 11:52 AM on February 18, 2007


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