Wireless on Ubuntu 11.10 and Lenovo Thinkpad E420

Unlike 11.04 and earlier, Ubuntu 11.10 runs much better on Lenovo Thinkpad E420. The only glitch is the wifi drivers which don’t run by default, and it could be corrected easily

Using LiveCD or a running system

  • Press Super (Window) key, and open Terminal
  • Type sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi

That’s all. You should be able to connect to the wireless till next reboot.

Making the change permanent

Edit the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and in the end type

blacklist acer_wmi

Reboot and you’re done. If you’re doing it entirely from the GUI, then editing the file could be done by pressing ALT+F2 (this would open a “Run” window) and typing there gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Please note: This applies to wireless card having rtl8188ce chipset. You can view that by typing lspci in a terminal and searching for the entries respective to Network Controller.

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15 thoughts on “Wireless on Ubuntu 11.10 and Lenovo Thinkpad E420

  1. Thanks for the tip, 11.10 works great! I have a slight issue though with the brightness control, it seems to dim fully before the last setting then it gets slightly lighter. Do you have this issue? And if you do, do you know how to fix it :). Thanks!

    • @Idris – Glad it worked. As for the brightness, I’m afraid didn’t try anything. All I did was to reduce the brightness to the end and then increased it a bit (just like you do) and continued with the work.

      The brightness setting used to be a value in some /proc file long time ago, not sure if that’s the case. If that is, then all you need to do is to echo the brightness in that file and it’ll do.

  2. Thanks for the tip, I could activate my wireless.
    I didn’t plan to upgrade to ubuntu 11.10 however my thinkpad E420 had display resolution problems, when I installed ubuntu 10.04 LTS. I could not change the default resolution from 1024×768, and some where I read that E420 works best with Ubuntu 10.10 and above.

  3. hi, ask.com search found your blog — my BEGINNER ubuntu 11.10 (both 64- and 32-bit) issue was failure of its live flashdrive and DVD (created with .iso files from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download burned by either Roxio or ImgBurn) to proceed to display desktop for either of the following causes:

    1. default setting under “try ubuntu without installing” goes black/blank/dark, even though the ubuntu tune can be heard;
    2. turn on (by checking) “nomodeset” under F6, then you do see a low resolution progress screen for quite a few minutes unti this error occurs: “acer_wmi: No or unsupported WMI interface, unable to load. ….” then you only got the command prompt.

    But luckily v.10.04 (LTS) 64 bit iso image worked: booted from an 8G microSD, mounted my dead windows 7 harddrive, and transferred out my work about to be lost due to the frequent, unpredictable, AND severe windows 7 crashes on my Gateway NV55S02u Laptop (AMD Quad-Core A6-3400M, AMD Radeon HD 6520G graphics with 512MB video memory, 4GB memory, 500GB hard drive, windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit).

    now i plan to try your tip w/ my wireless soon…. thanks in advance.

  4. hi.i have done the above cmd .but while editing and saving the blacklist.config it is not allowing to save.tell me wat to do..pls…

  5. 近所14日目 « blog – 鶫

  6. Out of sheer curiosity, what is going on with the acer_wmi module that causes this issue, or is that yet to be determined?

  7. hey, how to get it back? i did that and now it shows me “The system network services are not compatible with this version.” before I had wired, at least. thanks

    • Having not experienced this problem myself, my advice can only be a shot in the dark, but here goes:

      First, did you make sure that you’ve got the network card specified? It’s conceivable that there may have been a change at Lenovo, and different cards used in the same model.

      Second, did you try restarting Network Manager, or rebooting? (The former can be accomplished by typing ‘sudo NetworkManager restart’ into a terminal)

      Third, if none of the above works, undo the change to blacklist.conf, and reboot.

  8. To enable wireless on Thinkpad t440s | Ubuntu InfoUbuntu Info

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