It seems there’s some mixed information about whether the wireless chip in this model works out-of-the-box with Ubuntu. I’ve tested with Karmic and the Lucid Beta (Netbook Remix versions) and for me it didn’t work. The chip in my model is the Atheros AR2427, which although not a new chip, seems to have an an unfamiliar hardware device ID of
002c, and so is not picked up by the ath9k wifi driver found in the kernel. The driver has been patched by the Linux Wireless developers but this patch has not worked its way into a kernel release yet, so the solution is to compile and install the latest bleeding edge wireless drivers, which is actually a pretty painless operation. It’s also a very safe operation, because the installer leaves the original kernel drivers intact and provides an uninstall script; but I have not needed to revert.
In order to compile the driver you’ll need at least a C compiler and the make utility, so I suggest installing the build-essential package:
sudo apt-get install build-essential
You’ll need an internet connection to download packages via apt-get, so hook up to a router using a network cable if possible. If not, then download the package from packages.ubuntu.com. For Karmic for example: http://packages.ubuntu.com/karmic/devel/build-essential. Then use a USB key to transfer the package to your netbook and run
dpkg -i <file_name> to install.
You’ll also need your kernel headers installed, but they should be by default. Double check that the directory
/lib/modules/`uname -r`/build exists.
Download the latest bleeding edge (updated every day) drivers from http://wireless.kernel.org/download/compat-wireless-2.6/compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2. Unwrap the tarball and cd into the resulting directory:
james@netbook:~$ tar -xvjf compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2
james@netbook:~$ cd compat-wireless-2010-03-31
Notice that the directory name will change depending on what day you downloaded
The AR2427 chip is covered by the ath9k driver, so we prep the make utility for making this driver:
$james@netbook:~/compat-wireless-2010-03-31$ ./scripts/driver-select ath9k
And then build and install:
james@netbook:~/compat-wireless-2010-03-31$ sudo make install
This will take a couple of minutes. After installation you should just need to modprobe the driver:
james@netbook:~/compat-wireless-2010-03-31$ sudo modprobe ath9k
and the device will appear under
iwconfig and also a new icon at the top of the screen. To double check you have the right driver installed and active, run a modinfo:
james@netbook:~/compat-wireless-2010-03-31$ modinfo ath9k
license: Dual BSD/GPL
description: Support for Atheros 802.11n wireless LAN cards.
author: Atheros Communications
vermagic: 2.6.32-18-generic SMP mod_unload modversions 586
parm: debug:Debugging mask (uint)
parm: nohwcrypt:Disable hardware encryption (int)
The important line is in bold because this is the new device ID for the 1005PE’s chip, and the one that was added to the driver by the recent patch.
Compiling and installing the driver should work for earlier versions of Ubuntu too.
Aside from the wifi issue, there is also some strange behaviour when using the brightness buttons on the keyboard, but I can live with that for now. Everything else seems to work nicely and Lucid Beta1 seems very stable.