Connecting to Belkin N150 in Ubuntu 10.10

belkin ubuntu10.10

I had bought a Belkin router few months back. The label on the router box said that it supports only Windows and Mac operating systems. I wondered why it can’t support Linux(Ubuntu) when it could sense a Mac. So I set out on a frustrating journey to find out how to make my Compaq Presario CQ50 dual booting Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.10 to be able to detect my Belkin N150 router in Ubuntu.

First, I created a wireless connection in the Network Manager. It should be noted that the wifi button on my laptop never toggled between ON and OFF. It was always turned ON.The “Wireless Networks” option in Network Manager applet either read as “device not ready” or “wireless network disabled”. Moreover I was conveniently able to connect to wired Internet.

So I probed for the driver used by my system.

$ ethtool -i eth0 

My driver was r8169, which I downloaded from this[1] site.

I installed it as instructed in that downloaded package.

Next, I ran the following command to list all the wired and wireless connections available for my system.

$ ifconfig -a 

Surprisingly, it showed an entry “wlan0” for the wireless network, apart from “eth0” and “lo” for wired and loopback connection.

So, I thought of enabling the wireless connection using the following command:

$ sudo ifconfig wlan0 up 

But, that threw an error “SIOCSIFFLAGS: Operation not possible due to RF-kill” so I googled for solutions using that error message and I chanced upon this[2], this[3] and this[4] solutions.

Based on the instructions in those sites i did the following:

$ rfkill list 

the result was:

0: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN

Soft blocked: yes

Hard blocked:no

1: phy0: Wireless LAN

Soft blocked: no

Hard blocked: no

Now we would reach the solution if we set “Soft Blocked” to “yes” for hp-wifi.

So i did:

$ sudo rm /dev/rfkill 

then restarted laptop and then again in the terminal:

$ sudo rfkill unblock 0 

or

$ sudo rfkill unblock wifi 

and then finally,

$ sudo ifconfig wlan0 up 

Bingo! it worked. The wireless networks were now detected by my ubuntu 10.10

[1] http://goo.gl/4SUAn

[2] http://goo.gl/Ubpc6

[3] http://goo.gl/NmWWz

[4] http://goo.gl/oy3We