September 7, 2008

Setting up (Thinkpad T400) wireless network in Ubuntu Hardy Heron

I got a new laptop (Thinkpad T400) recently. Lenovo forces all the T400 buyers to choose Vista by default. As far as I know, there used to be an option to choose GNU/Linux operating system with T61 models. I don't know why Lenovo has revoked those options with the T400 model. As I plan to use my T400 was development purpose as well, I want to install a GNU/Linux operating system and my option is Ubuntu, for its behavior in seamlessly detecting all devices.

To my surprise, when I booted the Ubuntu Hardy Heron I noticed that my wireless card wasn't detected out of box. When I googled for it, I found out that to be a know problem with all the Atheros wireless cards. The wireless card that I have in my laptop is:

(output from the command lspci -v)
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)
Subsystem: Atheros Communications Inc. Unknown device 0035
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 22
Memory at f4300000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]

To get that working follow the steps given in the reply #6 (by the user reasoner) in the thread It worked perfectly fine in my case.

Before I landed on the above menitoned link, I tried with the latest madwifi source from its subversion trunk and that didnt workout for me. *May be* the code under the subversion branch '../branches/madwifi-hal-' made the difference.


stylesen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stylesen said...

This is the post on slashdot which says preloaded GNU/Linux offer is removed by Lenovo

Jordan said...

How is everything working now? I have also recently bought a t400 and will install Ubuntu as soon as it arrives.

Arun Ponniah Sethuramalingam said...

There isn't any problem now. I'm totally happy with the laptop, except for the keyboard.

Anonymous said...

How did you install your ATI drivers ?

Do you use Integrated or Discrete graphics ?

What is the battery life ?

Anonymous said...

How did you get your wired connection to work? Mine is not showind up in /Administration/Network

Forrest said...

Do Suspend & Hibernate work for you? I've got a T400 too, with Intrepid installed on it, and it won't wake up from suspend. Any tips would be appreciated - thanks!

Arun Ponniah Sethuramalingam said...

@ forrest

This might help you (I haven't tried it myself though),

karussell said...


I would like to decide between a dell e6400 and the thinkpad T400.
So is it possible to control the fan of the t400 under linux?
I saw something interesting here:

They mentioned that you can enable fan control in the BIOS. Now I would like to know which experiences you made with T400. and does the fan even stops for a longer period (>30minutes)?


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