Getting wireless working on a Toshiba Satellite Pro L10 in Linux

I feel like I’ve run the Comrades Marathon.

I recently installed Kubuntu Edgy on a friend’s machine. It’s an identical machine to mine – almost. Mine’s a Toshiba Satellite L10-101, her’s is a Toshiba Pro L10. I’ve already blogged about what I needed to do to get wireless working on my machine. Thankfully Feisty (which I checked out over the weekend) makes the great leap forward of actually including KNetWorkManager, so most people will be able to connect, even via WPA, without facing the Catch 22 situation of needing extra downloads.

But back to the Toshiba Pro. Everything worked fine. Except (there had to be an exception didn’t there) the wireless network card was not detected. Of course, once you know how, the 5 little commands seem entirely trivial, but it took me a good while to find out what to do!

This solution should work on any flavour of Linux requiring wireless connectivity. In my searches I saw zillions of forum posts about similar issues, with people using everything from Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Gentoo, SUSE, Red Hat and Fedora all getting stuck. The problem has nothing to do with Kubuntu, KNetworkManager, Wireless Assistant, NetworkManager or anything else beyond the basic level, so all my time spent looking there was a deadend.

Here’s what I needed to do:

1) Install the Windows wireless network driver from the Toshiba disk.
It’s probably something like:
sudo ndiswrapper -i /media/cdrom/Wireless\ Network\ Driver/Ambit/Winxp/neti2220.inf

sudo ndiswrapper -i /media/cdrom/Wireless\ Network\ Driver/Intel\ 802.11bg/w29n51.INF
If you do have to copy the files, make sure the .sys file is also present in the same directory. If you need to install ndiswrapper, it’s available from the Ubuntu respositories, and is probably also available on most other distros.

2) Check that it’s correctly installed.
sudo ndiswrapper -l
neti2220 : driver installed
device (17FE:2220:1468:0310) present
device (17FE:2220) present

w29n51 : driver installed

3) Create dependency file
sudo depmod -a

4) Load ndiswrapper module
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

5) Load automatically on boot
$ sudo ndiswrapper -m

Thank you thank you thank you to user CalgaryStevens who saved the day on Kubuntuforums!

Not being native, it runs a little bit flakily, occasionally needing a reconnect to actually connect, but at least it works, and I haven’t unjustly put someone off Kubuntu for life!

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4 Replies to “Getting wireless working on a Toshiba Satellite Pro L10 in Linux”

  1. Was your problem that it just wasn’t finding the wireless card?

    I can turn my wireless card on, and it starts fine. I just can’t seem to connect to networks. I give it the network’s SID, and it just keeps trying to connect. I’m not entirely sure where I should be looking next to fix this…

    Any ideas?

  2. Yes, the problem I had was not detecting the network card so, sorry, can’t help you with your problem. 🙂

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