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Several days ago, I installed Ubuntu 9.10 onto my Acer Aspire 3100 laptop, running it alongside Widows Vista as a dual-bootable system. Creation of the Ubuntu boot CD went fine, and the installation onto my hard drive was flawless. Ubuntu opens and behaves as I would expect, except for one little problem.

For reasons unknown to me, Ubuntu is not communicating with my laptop's networking hardware, and I have no internet connectivity, it works fine under Windows Vista.

Up in the right side of the Ubuntu desktop, I click on the network icon and it does not show a wireless connection at all. At home, where I use a dialup modem, I also see no means of getting online.

My modem is an HDAUDIO Soft Data Fax Modem with Smart CP,manufactured by CXT (Conexant Systems Inc., file version 4.0.13.0, and the driver version is 7.58.0.0).

I am an advanced computer user, but I am not a programmer. I seek a solution that is user-friendly for normal people, something equivalent to a driver that I can easily install or activate that will allow Ubuntu to see my hardware and get me connected.

Can anyone help me over this hopefully-little glitch

My processor is a Mobile AMD Sempron Processor 3500+ at 1.80 GHz, 1.50 GB RAM, and a 32-bit Operating System.

PROGRESS:

Entered Code into Terminal: lspci | grep net

Received this OUTPUT: 06:01.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)


"linux-restricted-modules-generic" not found in Synaptic Package Manager.

I have a Broadcom 802.11g Network Adapter according to Windows Device Manager

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Okay guys, I'm on it, and should know the results of applying your suggestions tomorrow. I am reading the links you both provided, have obtained my network device information, and will hopefully be successful this time. I will post again tomorrow an update. Thanks! -Steve –  Steve Greene Apr 14 '10 at 0:32
    
UPDATE: I just downloaded Fedora 12, and it immediately locates the libary wireless signal. I am online within seconds, with no glitches. So, it appears that Fedora will be my entry point into the world of Linux, rather than Ubuntu. Thank you all for your Ubuntu assistance. Wish I had the time to dedicate to further Ubuntu study and setup, but since Fedore handles it all seemlessly, my path is now down that road. Sincerely, Steve –  user34332 Apr 15 '10 at 18:58
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2 Answers

Since you are using the networking hardware (wired, i.e. with a cable or wireless?) you are not concerned with the modem, but the network device, sometime called a Ethernet or WiFi device.

First, you can look at the documentation for your laptop model such as the manual that came with it, or the description and technical specifications from the manufacturer's website to see if they specify what model the network device (or "adapter") is.

Next, if that isn't clear or useful, you can look at the Network device description under MS Windows Vista. In earlier versions of MS Windows, the best way was with Device Manager found under the System Properties of Control Panel. It should show a list of device types, and you want to make note of the Network Adapter. The process may be somewhat different under Vista, but I personally don't know much about Vista.

Then assuming you have now found out what model of Network Adapter your system has, you can do an Internet search for to check Linux support for the network device.

For example on the system I'm currently using, Device Manager lists

1394 Net Adapter  (ignore this unless you are using a Firewire device)
Marvell Yukon 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller  (wired Ethernet)
Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB2.0 Network Adapter (wireless Wi-Fi)

So I could do an Internet search for "linux Marvell Yukon 88E8056" if I was having problems with my wired Ethernet or "linux RTL8187" for my wireless Wi-Fi device.

One common thing you may need to do is install a package under Ubuntu called linux-restricted-modules-generic. You can easily do this using the Synaptic Package Manager tool. It is located as the System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. menu item on the menu bar found at the top of the Ubuntu screen by default.

I hope that gets you started as far as making your laptop's networking work under Ubuntu for you. I hope I have keep the descriptions plain enough to follow. If you are still having issues, you can edit your question with new information, and refine your question to help you get it working. Good luck!

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As for a user friendly solution, Ubuntu has a pretty nice tool that can find if additional drivers are needed. It is surprisingly good. Give it a try.

As a totally unrelated hint, consider not to become a (Ubuntu) fanatic (or whatever). There are enough of them already.

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