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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 12-19-2009, 08:09 PM   #1
neuroman
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Registered: Jan 2005
Posts: 18

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Configuring wifi on ThinkPad T500


Just got a ThinkPad T500, set up dual boot between 64 bit Win 9 and 32 bit CentOS 5.4, and everything works fine except for wifi under Linux.

/sbin/lspci
returns, among other stuff,
03:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Unknown device 8172 (rev 10)
A little digging shows this is the 8172se. I couldn't find a Linux driver for it so decided to try ndiswrapper--which I installed, then ran modprobe ndiswrapper.

The Win 7 partition had two sets of driver files:
/mnt/c_ntfs/SWTOOLS/DRIVERS/WLANRLTK/RTL_Driver/Win7X86/
which contained net8192se.cat net8192se.inf rtl8192se.sys
and
/mnt/c_ntfs/SWTOOLS/DRIVERS/WLANRLTK/RTL_Driver/Win7X64/
which contained three files with the same names but different sizes.

There weren't any files named rtl8172*, so I assumed that the files in .../Win7X64 were appropriate for a 32 bit OS. I copied them to the Linux partition, then installed by
/usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -i rtl8192se.inf
and finally did
/usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -m
so that /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper contains
alias wlan0 ndiswrapper


Now /usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -l
reports
net8192se : driver installed
device (10EC:8172) present

So far, so good--if I guessed correctly that the 8192 driver will work for the 8172 device.

But there are some problems. First, neither the 8192 nor the 8172 appears in the list of "wireless devices" displayed by the "Network Configuration" tool's "Create a new wireless connection" widget. There's a "Realtek RTL8129 Fast Ethernet" and a "RTL8139, SMC EZ Card Fast Ethernet," but these seem to be ethernet devices, not wireless.

Could this problem be caused by the fact that the wireless card seems to be turned off when I'm running Linux? The LED that indicates whether wireless is on or off is always off under Linux. Alt-F5 and the T500's hardware wireless switch, which turn it on or off under Win 7, have no effect under Linux. Every Win 7 shutdown also shuts off the wireless card, and it doesn't come back on during a Linux boot.
 
Old 12-20-2009, 12:48 AM   #2
jstephens84
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Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: (Home)Opensolaris, Ubuntu, CentOS, (Work - AIX, HP-UX, Red Hat)
Posts: 2,043

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try using ifconfig wlan0 up. this should turn on the wireless adapter and in turn make the configuration tool see it. Do you happen to know what the exact model of your wireless card is? It would probably be better to see if there is a native driver for this somewhere.
 
Old 12-22-2009, 12:27 AM   #3
neuroman
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Posts: 18

Original Poster
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Good suggestions.

ifconfig wlan0 up
returns
wlan0: unknown interface: No such device
and the LED that indicates whether the wireless card is on or off remains off.

As far as native Linux drivers are concerned, RealTek's web site only provides drivers for MSWin. However, I stumbled across this
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/401126
which contained a post from "david woo" dated 2009-10-19 that pointed to
http://launchpadlibrarian.net/339279...12.2009.tar.gz
That looked promising, but after expanding the archive I found that make generated several "warnings" and a couple of "Error" msgs before exiting in failure on my PC equipped with CentOS 5.4 (RHEL 5.4 sans trademark, licensing fee, and support) plus kernel sources and development tools.
 
  


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