… and how to fix it
Previously, I wrote about installing Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex beta in my eeePC 900 here. In that post, I mentioned the WIFI was detected and worked out-of-the-box. It was able to connect to my home’s WPA2 network. I have also subsequently used it in public/open WIFI networks without any issue. After a week of constant usage, the WIFI was pretty stable and I have not encountered any issue with it.
Last Saturday, I applied a bunch of Intrepid Ibex updates in my eeePC 900. Following a reboot, the WIFI was now broken. After searching the internet for a while and trying to understand the issue, this launchpad report seemed to apply in the situation.
In other words, the Ubuntu developers have disabled the WIFI ath5k driver in the Intrepid’s Linux kernel (2.6.27). I am not going to argue to merit of this action, which was meant to solve WIFI issue for a bunch of people. Unfortunately, it has caused a regression in my own eeePC 900 setup. Luckily, an easy way to fix this was available, which was to install the linux-backport-modules package.
In my case, I simply have to run this command in the terminal:
sudo apt-get install linux-backport-modules-intrepid
Once installed, I toggled the WIFI off and on, and it’s now working again.