Ubuntu / Linux WiFi Compatibility

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Marco C Posted: Tue, Sep 30 2008 3:54 PM

You guys seems to have some good stories and input related to the questions I have been answering on the Laptop Experts website, so I thought I'd throw another one your way to see what you all thought. A reader named Joe asked the question, "How can I get my Toshiba Satellite P105-S6084 built wireless to work with Ubuntu?"

I haven't had any experience working with a Toshiba notebook and Ubuntu specifically, so I did a bit of research and found that his machine seemed to be equipped with a Realtek RTL8187B Wireless LAN controller. So, I told him he'd need to install a driver and network configuration utility for a Realtek WiFi controller, that also happened to be compatible with the version of Ubuntu he was running.

While I was poking around the web, I also came across a related post that I conveyed to Joe. I haven’t followed the procedure outlined in the post myself, but saw a number of responses that said it had worked so I passed it along:

http://danmarner.blogspot.com/2008/01/rtl8187b-linux-native-driver-works-on.html

What do you all think? Any experience with Ubuntu--or any other Linux distro for that matter--and funky WiFi compatibility you can share? Any other related stories? I always dig hearing about niggling computer problems solved by my fellow geeks. :)

Marco Chiappetta
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3vi1 replied on Tue, Sep 30 2008 6:02 PM

>> Any experience with Ubuntu--or any other Linux distro for that matter--and funky WiFi compatibility you can share?


Lots... but mostly with RT2500 based NICs.

Since 2.6.27 has much better wifi support, and 8.10 Beta 1 is due out in two days:  the first thing I would recommend is getting that LiveCD to see if it's not supported now.  Dist-upgrade is usually a lot easier than fighting with backported drivers.

Should he not want to take that dive, Check out http://briancantin.blogspot.com/2007/11/hacking-rtl8187b-on-linux.html.  There are drivers out there that work, it will just be a little more involved to get working than upgrading the OS.

Difficulties aside, wifi support has been getting a lot better in the last few releases of the *ubuntu family.  I used to have to compile my own drivers for the Linksys NICs I use, all the way up to Gutsy, but nowadays they work right "out of the box" so to speak.

-J

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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Marco C replied on Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:35 PM

GREAT input evil one. 

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Marco C:

GREAT input evil one. 

lol

When I can't find drivers for hardware linux wise I do exactly what you told him to do. Find out the chipset and download the drivers for that. Works with winmodems as well. Most hardware is build off of reference boards so it will work in many cases. Like 3vi1 said though wireless has been getting a lot better lately. I have a wpci810g motorola wireless g pci card that just started working out of the box with ubuntu 7.04.

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ice91785 replied on Thu, Oct 2 2008 12:32 PM

I think knowing how to run Linux distros and being very smart are directly related... you guys always seem to amaze me with what you can do when reading through posts like this.

Compiling your own drivers? Granted I hate programming (a lot) but this still seems like a feat.

Anyway, I just wanted to say you Linux junkies impress me (and intimidate me a little bit too Stick out tongue)

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ice91785:

I think knowing how to run Linux distros and being very smart are directly related... you guys always seem to amaze me with what you can do when reading through posts like this.

Compiling your own drivers? Granted I hate programming (a lot) but this still seems like a feat.

Anyway, I just wanted to say you Linux junkies impress me (and intimidate me a little bit too Stick out tongue)

Lol its really not that hard. People think the same thing when you tell them that you build PCs. Most of all its just different. There are things that are better about linux and things that are better about windows. I don't see myself ever switching to just one.

Although if they ever get 3d graphics working inside VMs then ubuntu will be in a VM so I can quick switch. I can't live without Compiz Fusion.

 

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I agree with using ndiswrapper and the windows drivers if there are no linux drivers available. its a bit of a chore but it does work very well.

 

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ndiswrapper/

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digitaldd:

I agree with using ndiswrapper and the windows drivers if there are no linux drivers available. its a bit of a chore but it does work very well.

 

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ndiswrapper/

It is quite annoying though.

 

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eric_free replied on Sun, Apr 11 2010 9:37 PM

I understand that using the NDIS Wrapper should be a thing of the past now that newer kernels inlcude modules for this card.

As for my experience: Using Ubuntu with my Dell MINI 9 netbook, the bcm43xx drivers work very well, and maintain links even at great distance and when the rated power of the connections hovers around 10%....

 

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Inspector replied on Sun, Apr 11 2010 10:34 PM

Please don't bump a 2 year old tread :)

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