Ubuntu 10.10, Aspire Revo & WPA2 Wireless Connections

TODO: Replace Generic Alt Text

So after upgrading my Acer Aspire Revo to Ubuntu 10.10, I realized I no longer got a wireless connection. Because all my other devices had NO issues whatsoever, I figured Ubuntu had to be the problem.

I started off by trying this suggestion under Ubuntu’s launchpad bug-tracking section. After trying those work-arounds, I got to the end post that led me to this one in the Ubuntu forums. Great information here – but my issue was slightly different. The user in this post didn’t have any wifi modules loaded. However, I did (both the rt2870sta AND the rt2800pci). BTW, these are drivers for the RealTek chipset included in this machine. This is what I ended up having to do:

lsmod | grep -e rt2 -e rt3

This will return a list that looks a little like this:

As you can see, I have modules for the RealTek 2860sta and the 2800pci generic loaded. One, you shouldn’t have two modules loaded for the same thing. Two, since the device in the Aspire Revo is actually of the 3090 family, here’s why you cannot connect to WPA/WPA2 authenticated routers (actually, for me it was ANY router).

What we want to do now is disable the loaded modules.

sudo ifconfig wlan0 down sudo modprobe -r rt2870sta sudo modprobe -r rt2800usb

To explain, we’re basically telling the machine to bring the wireless device offline (no connection/browsing for connection). Afterwards, we are using modprobe with the -r flag to effectively unload the problematic drivers. Next we issue:

sudo modprobe rt3090sta sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

This will now add the driver for the RealTek 3090 chipset and bring up the wireless adapter as active again. If all is well, you should now be able to scan and connect to your WPA/WPA2 router.

Hopefully this helps someone who’s had this situation. The Acer Aspire Revo is a great little machine (especially the 3610/3700 dual-core atom series) and with Ubuntu, it makes for a great HTPC or general lightweight server in a small footprint.

Cheers!

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