cheap ubuntu laptop with wireless that works right "out of the box".

John Toliver john.toliver at
Sat Feb 2 18:35:51 UTC 2008

You may have problems findingg what you want but it still might work.
Before you return the laptop do the following....It'll take 5 minutes
maximum and has nothing to do with the command line:

1. Find the windows driver CD and set it down next to the laptop
2. Find and install ndiswrapper and any utilities, and "ndisgtk"
3. Insert your windows driver CD and locate the driver file and copy
it to someplace you want it to reside permanently (/usr/whatever.....)
4. Go to System>preferences>"Windows Wireless Drivers"(that's what
ndisgtk creates)
5. select your card and click install driver.
6. navigate to the place you copied the windows driver and select it.
7. Now either try using it immediately, log out and back in, or do a
full warm boot and it should work.

The key is ndisgtk

It might be a little harder to find a sub 500 laptop with native wifi
compatibility with ubuntu, or linux in general but it is certainly
doable and this method is even easier than installing it in windows.

I know you don't want to, but on the off chance you gave up trying to
get the thing to work from the CLI, ndisgtk is the key because it's
all GUI based so you don't have to use CLI if you don't want to.


On Jan 29, 2008 9:03 PM, Default User <xyzzyx at> wrote:
> Hello!
> I just purchased a Toshiba Satellite laptop, model A205-S5804, from a
> local big box store.  Price $449 USD (which is why I bought it).  Here
> are the specs:
> Unfortunately, the wireless doesn't seem to work under ubuntu right out
> of the box, and maybe not at all. See:
> For a laptop, that is a deal breaker.
> Wisely, I have not opened the box yet, so as to avoid a 15% "re-stocking
> fee" if returned.  If indeed the wireless doesn't work without pulling
> teeth, it is definitely going back.
> I really need a laptop that will run ubuntu, with wireless connectivity
> that works "right out of the box", with no tinkering or setup needed (no
> ndiswrapper, etc).  But I cannot justify spending $729+ for a Dell
> Inspiron with Ubuntu, or even $699+ for a System76 unit.  I can install
> ubuntu myself, with no problem. But I just can't fight anymore with
> ubuntu laptop wireless problems. Been there, done that (too much agony,
> I quit).
> So, does anyone know of a laptop that will run ubuntu, with wireless
> connectivity that works "right out of the box", for $500 USD or less?
> Thanks.
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Patience yields far greater results than brute force or rage ever
could so's just life !!!

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