Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ubuntu 8.10 Kernel Update Has Broken Wired Connection

The 2.6.27-11-generic kernel update to Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex has broken the wired Ethernet connection on the Dell Mini 9. It is a known bug (330355) on launchpad and is scheduled to be fixed with the 2.6.27-13 kernel update.

The real issue is with the Realtek RTL8101/RTL8102E card used inside the Mini 9 and this bug is actually a duplicate of bug 326891. One of the Ubuntu kernel developers have already uploaded the patches to intrepid-proposed repository for testing. Early Mini 9 testers report that the 2.6.27-13 update has a working Ethernet connection.

The Fix (Two Methods)
1. You can add the Pre-released updates (intrepid-proposed) repository to your software sources and install the test/proposed 2.6.27-13-generic kernel.
Screenshot-Software Sources
- You can find your Software Sources under System>Admin.
- Select Pre-release updates (intrepid-proposed) repository under the Updates tab.
This is not my prefered method as the proposed kernel could have other problems associated with it.

2. You can load into the older 2.6.27-9-generic kernel when you have to use the Mini's wired connection. The 2.6.27-9 kernel had a working wired connection and until a week ago we here all using it without any major problems.
Selecting 2.6.27-9-generic kernel is an easy process:
- Load into your Grub menu. (After the Dell splash logo at start-up hit Esc during Grub loading)
- At the Grub menu select the 2.6.27-9-generic kernel and hit enter.
I prefer this method because I know what to expect, the 2.6.27-9 kernel will have a working wired connection and won't break anything else on my Mini.

The only feature the 2.6.27-11-generic kernel offered Dell Mini 9 users was a broken wired connection, it won't be missed. The 2.6.27-13-generic kernel update should hit soon and I will update the blog when it does.

Have a question or problem that this article doesn't cover?
Ask our Ubuntu Mini 9 Google Group for help.


gid said...

Your post says to check Unsupported updates (intrepid-proposed) , but Unsupported update is actually (intrepid backports). Or did you mean Pre-Release (intrepid proposed)?

redDEAD said...

I was really drunk when I wrote that yesterday. I did mean Pre-Release (intrepid proposed), I fixed it thanks for the assist.

aprice2704 said...

just FYI, I'm running Jaunty on my '9 and it too had broken wired ethernet support too last time I tried it. Wireless works very well though. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip, I was wondering why my wired connection stopped working. If you want to change the default kernel for boting you can edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file (make backup first!!!). Change the "default 0" line to "default X" where X = the relative position of the kernel that you want to boot (0 is the first menu item, 1 is the second menu item, etc.). I changed mine to "default 2" and it works perfectly.

gid said...

Btw, wired works for me when I added the proposed updates to my sources and updated. No side effects so far for me, but I don't use the netbook-launcher, so I can speak for that.

Bill said...

I followed this tip, and when I was presented with all the software in the -proposed source, I whittled back my selections of software to just the kernel, and installed that fine; the problem was resolved.

However, the remainder of the -proposed stuff shows as updates to be installed.

How should I handle (or should have handled) this?

Scott said...

Just wanted to say thank you. As a relative new user to Ubuntu, this fix was great, as I did almost immediately blast away the Dell default partitions and load Intrepid. Your audio fix and your fix for this wired network problem in this kernel were spot on.

Thanks again for your site.