By the end of 2013 my laptop was old and slow I had few problems with it, so I decided to made myself a present for my birthday and for the Christmas. I did some research and I find the laptop which covers my requirements – Lenovo E540. Because I’m a Linux user for several years, I know that sometimes you have some small issues with drivers for touchpad, function buttons or something else, so I asked Google: “Lenovo E540 Ubuntu” (because I’m mostly a Ubuntu user).
The very first result was this: Ubuntu on Lenovo ThinkPad E540, where I saw this: “The Lenovo ThinkPad E540 notebook with the components described below has been awarded the status of Certified Pre-Install for Ubuntu.“. Sounds great, right?
Well… yes, but no!
I’ll explain what is the main reason to say no. In my previous experience with Linux installation if I’m wired with cable during the installation process the OS downloads the necessary drivers and after the install is complete I have properly WiFi on my laptop. Which I haven’t when I install Ubuntu 13.04 in my new laptop.
My Lenovo E450 has RTL8723BE Wireless card and apparently RTL8723BE card doesn’t have drivers for Linux. Cool, right? After some search on askubuntu.com I found the solution which works for me.
Install the wireless driver
Here are the several steps for installing working RTL8723BE driver from GitHub:
Open your terminal and paste several lines:
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic build-essential git git clone http://github.com/lwfinger/rtl8723be cd rtl8723be make sudo make install sudo modprobe rtl8723be
*The first line is in case you don’t have a Git installed.
I was very happy when this do the magic and I was able to remove the cable and to start to using my laptop with working Wireless.
But then I had another problem. From time to time I lost the Internet connection and after that I couldn’t connect again. The only solution which helps at that time was to reboot my machine and then the wireless connection works again. Until the next connection drop. You could imagine how inconvenient is this, so I started to search solution for my second problem.
I can’t remember from where I found it, but it was really simple. Just reload the modprobe:
sudo modprobe -r rtl8723be sudo modprobe rtl8723be
Now if the connection is lost, I just enter those two lines and the wireless. The wireless is restarted and I can continue with browsing in the deep water of Internet. I’m hoping that in the near feature we will have official Linux driver and we can forget about this problem.
Updates – 20.05.2014
Couple of months later I decided to switch to Fedora for some time, but in the end of the day I installed Ubuntu 14.04 and I faced the same problem with the Wireless. Yeah, bigger version number, but with the same problem. The driver from GitHub didn’t worked for me anymore, so I had to search for other solution. Pretty annoying, I know!
Huge “Thank you!” to Adam Lee who build custom kernel for me(and not only!) with properly working driver until we are waiting for the official one!
That’s why I love and I’m using Open Source!