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Old 06-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2010
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14 on T430, custom kernel with WPA

Hopefully I can save someone some time with this:

Others have noted in other threads that Slackware 14 and its 3.2.29 kernel does not do well on the Thinkpad T430 -- you get fairly frequent system hangs/freezes, often enough that the system is unusable. This is definitely a kernel problem, fixed in more recent kernels.

I like to build custom kernels for my machines, so I sought to solve this with a custom 3.9.5 kernel. Except I could not, for the life of me, get the wireless (iwlwifi) working. I use wpa2. The wifi worked fine with the huge 3.2.9 kernel, as long as it ran, so this this was not an issue with /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf or /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf; they were correct.

The problem, of course, was my kernel configuration. You *must* enable CONFIG_CFG80211_WEXT (you will find this in make menuconfig -> Networking Support -> Wireless -> cfg80211 wireless extensions compatibility). This is not enabled by default when you just download the kernel sources from

I am typing this on the system running my 3.9.5 kernel and while I don't have a lot of hours of testing to report yet, the wifi works fine and I've had no system lockups. If anything unusual turns up during further use, I will report.

/Don Allen
Old 06-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
Registered: May 2010
Location: Germany
Distribution: Slackware
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maybe you try the slackware conf for 3.9.x

regards fl0
Old 06-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by fl0 View Post

maybe you try the slackware conf for 3.9.x

regards fl0
Yes, I actually did that to prove that this wasn't a newly-introduced bug in the iwlwifi driver. But, as I said, I prefer custom kernels, which I always found easy to build. Perhaps I should have mentioned that I've only recently come back to Slackware after trying Arch for a while, and haven't built one of these kernels during my absence (Arch kernels boot very quickly, so no point). The issue I ran into with configuring the kernel properly for wifi/wpa didn't exist the last time I built a kernel for laptop.


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