Ubuntu 10.04 amd64 on Lenovo Thinkpad E125, making the LAN, Wifi, Video and Sound to work

UPDATE: I gave the official release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS another try and everything worked out of the box! Nice!!!

So I guess I’ll have to give Unity another chance… (so far, I find the HUD useful)

After almost 2 years since my laptop died on me, I decided to buy a replacement. I proposed the idea to my wife, June, and she approved (maybe because I’ve been using her laptop for the past 2 years🙂 ).

I’m targeting a >= 12″ inch netbook since I’ve learned in the last 2 years that I don’t need that much processing power . My usage pattern can settle for an Atom or Brazos CPU since I’m using laptops mostly as a terminal, the grunt work are done in servers. Besides,  I don’t want to haul a 2kg+ brick.

There’s a plethora of netbooks from different OEMs nowadays so there is a lot to choose from. I narrowed my list to these two: Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E125 or HP DM1. It was a tough choice to make. But after scouring a few stores (in Cyberzone MegaMall) and weighing my options, I settled with the E125.

I chose E125 because of these reasons:

  • Keyboard is better, IMHO
  • 2 DIMM slots (I’m planning to upgrade it to 8GB in the future)
  • no OS pre-installed

I tried installing Ubuntu 11.10 and Ubuntu 12.04 beta but these 2 are not that stable for my needs when I tested it. My SBW Huawei dongle is experiencing intermittent connections for one and I’m not convinced to switch to Unity yet.

This is the rundown of how I found device drivers for the Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E125.

core packages:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-image-generic linux-headers-genericcdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 ia32-libs

lan:

Download the driver from the Qualcomm website (direct link).

mkdir -p ~/drivers/lan-atheros && cd ~/drivers/lan-atheros
mv ~/Downloads/alx-linux-v2.0.0.6.rar ./
sudo make && sudo make install
sudo modprobe alx

wifi:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lexical/hwe-wireless
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rtl8192ce-dkms
sudo modprobe r8192ce_pci

sound:

I encountered a problem with the sound configuration. Sounds are not playing in headphones if you plug one. It will just continue playing in the laptop speaker instead. I was able to fix it by upgrading ALSA to version 1.0.25, just use this guide on how to do it (just replace 1.0.23 with 1.0.25).

video:

I was able to install the latest ATI Catalyst drivers by following this guide. The installation was successful when I installed the driver manually.

card reader:

Download the driver from the Realtek website. Make sure that you switched to superuser (not sudo) when running make, it will fail if you don’t.

mkdir ~/drivers/cardreader-realtek/ && cd ~/drivers/cardreader-realtek/
mv ~/Downloads/rts_pstor.tar.bz2 ./
tar -xjvf rts_pstor.tar.bz2
cd rts_pstor
sudo su
make
make install
depmod
quit

additional packages:

sudo apt-get install vim-gtk ubuntu-restricted-extras pidgin-otr pidgin-libnotify openssh-server subversion rapidsvn

references:

31 thoughts on “Ubuntu 10.04 amd64 on Lenovo Thinkpad E125, making the LAN, Wifi, Video and Sound to work

    1. tar Post author

      I’m pleased with it Nikki, fits my needs. I like the keyboard and battery life is about 5+ hours. On the downside, the hard drive is mediocre at best and 2GB of memory is not enough for my usual applications. I’m planning to upgrade it to SSD & 6-8GB of RAM in the future, IF I have the funds🙂

      Reply
      1. Nikki

        How about the 2 in 1 headphone slot, is it much of an issue? I’ve read somewhere that they don’t like that idea. Any heating issue?

      2. tar Post author

        for the the headphone/microphone jack, I’m not sure if there are issues. I only used headphones so far. Heat is bearable, it’s “cooler” compared against the previous Intel Atom generations (my wife’s netbook is a MSI Wind U100).

    1. tar Post author

      I think the comment was really about the Edge series as a whole, not specifically for e125. I don’t have the authority to say about the rate of defective e125s per month. I don’t repair laptops for a living🙂

      In my experience, factory defects aside, longevity is really up to the owner, how he/she take care of the electronic equipment he/she bought.

      Reply
  1. Nikki

    that’s true. i’ve made up my mind :3 Edge e125! another question…

    How much was your unit? did you buy it cash or CC?

    Reply
    1. tar Post author

      I bought it for P17.5k, cash (cash price is discounted) in Villman, MegaMall. That was late April, maybe it’s cheaper now.

      Reply
  2. Nikki

    i see… so it’s cheaper in megamall branch(or is it their main?), cash price is 18.5k in villman SM cubao, thanks :3

    Reply
  3. Nikki

    hi sir! i bought a thinkpad edge e125,,, but when i tried to install windows through a usb bootable drive, it didn’t work,,, i keep on pressing enter but the screen just keeps on refreshing. i don’t have an external dvd drive atm….😦

    Reply
    1. tar Post author

      Hi Nikki, did you set the laptop to boot via USB? Have you tried booting a different computer using that USB drive?

      Reply
  4. Nikki

    yes sir. i set it up to first boot on the usb. restart then press fn key + f12, select usb but the screen just keep on refreshing. i’ve also tried two more usb drive but failed. pxe boot is sooo complicated for me hehe. my only option left is an external dvd drive, but i don’t have one…

    Reply
  5. Nikki

    it’s my usb drive lol… sorry to bother you. now i’ll try dual booting with ubuntu. Thanks for all the help.

    Reply
  6. Nikki

    Hello! It’s me again :3
    Sir, na-experience nyo po ba yung flickering ng screen? may broken horizontal line na nagfa-flash sa screen. napansin ko kanina from stand-by. pero nung ni-restart ko, ok naman na.

    Reply
    1. tar Post author

      This is using what? Ubuntu? So far I encountered some artifacts in the screen if I’m in a dual monitor setup (crappy video driver support in Linux…)

      Reply
    1. tar Post author

      Sorry Nikki, I can’t give you a good reply in Windows 7. I use my e125 solely for Ubuntu. I don’t have a Windows-based system actually.

      Reply
  7. Nikki

    is the stock ram on this unit ddr3 1333 ? I plan to put on another 4 gb of ram, I just want to be sure :3 TIA

    Reply
    1. tar Post author

      Yup, the stock RAM is a dd3 1333. I recently bought a 4GB ddr3 1333 stick and it worked without a hitch.

      I have to bring my e125 back to the store though, the lcd developed vertical lines. I’m not sure what caused it.😦

      Reply
    1. tar Post author

      Nope, no bumping.

      I returned it last Sunday. They said that I have to wait for 2-3 weeks. I have no choice but to wait…

      Reply
  8. Nikki

    good to know that it’s fine now. i’m using my e125 more on ubuntu lately, for network simulations. the program runs better on ubuntu. medyo kapa-kapa nga lang kasi di ko gamay ang ubuntu 😀

    Reply
  9. Carina

    Hi! I recommended this laptop to a friend. Sadly, I forgot to check if it has Bluetooth. Although the Villman website says it has a built-in Bluetooth, my friend is now telling me that during installation of drivers, no BT was detected.😦 Would you confirm if the laptop indeed has BT? The exact model is Edge E125 3035-36A. Thanks!

    Reply

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