Kubuntu 7.10 wireless works with Compaq Presario F572US

I purchased the Compaq Presario F572US from Staples two months ago, and have been using Kubuntu 7.04 (Feisty) ever since. The downside was I never could get the wireless to work properly.

When they released 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, I immediately grabbed the Live CD and began testing it out. I still could not get the restricted drivers to work with the Live CD. I grew frustrated and restored back to factory settings (Vista) to make sure things (hardware) was actually working properly. I was tempted to just make this laptop a Windows laptop. Heck…I may have a use for the Windows side after all.

It must of been eating at me, because I grew tired of Vista after a night or two, and really wanted my programming Kubuntu laptop back. I hate writing Linux code C or Python on Windows. I just get use to having my common command line tools available to me on the development environment similar to the server environment.

I decided to shrink the Windows Vista drive, drop the D drive (HP uses this for recovery, but I still have the two DVD’s I burned when I first bought the laptop if I need recovery). I decided to dual boot and proceeded to install Kubuntu 7.10 again.

After going back to the internet and digging up various “how-to’s”, I followed this one, and it worked! I was not able to simply use the “restricted modules” checkbox included with the distro.  It in turn uses fwcutter, which would not work for this laptop under with all of the default options (using the default suggested driver too).

At first when I followed the tutorial linked to above, I tried to download the Vista specific driver from the HP support website.  It did not work.  But once I changed to the Dell driver linked to in the tutorial, everything began to work.

Word of advice… be patient and less /var/log/syslog (then CTRL-F) to monitor what is going on.  I continue to use KNetworkManager with no issues.  I simply right-click on the icon, and the wireless networks are listed in the context menu.

This confused me at first, but selecting a wireless option, will (should) acquire an IP from that wireless router.  If you connect a physical wire to eth0, you have to use KNetworkManager to switch back to wired network.  I initially automatically assumed it would keep both eth0 and wlan0 active with IP’s when they were both connected.  I am sure there is a way to set this up, having two routes, where one simply has priority over the other, etc.

Hope this information helps someone…

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3 responses to “Kubuntu 7.10 wireless works with Compaq Presario F572US

  1. Woot! Rock on, Mark! I knew you’d track it down. Friggin’ proprietary firmware…*grumble*

  2. To clarify… eth0 some times take priority over wlan0. If I unplug the hardwired eth0, wlan0 automatically tries to connect to a trusted wlan0. Plug the wire back in, and eth0 became active again.

    On another night…when plugging eth0 back in, wlan0 did not release. I still had a internet connection, but it did not default back to the eth0.

  3. thanks for your blog…

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