Sunday, November 15, 2009

HOWTO Install Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 from USB Stick & Get Wireless Working

For the past 2 days I had been playing around with installing the new Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 OS and getting the Broadcom BCM 4312 based wireless working on the Lenovo S10-2 netbook. After several tries, I finally worked out a procedure on getting this combo to work. There are 2 scenarios - installing from a USB stick and installing from an external CD or DVD drive. There are slight differences between these two. Anyway, there are bound to be users of the Lenovo S10-2 out there that wants to try out the new UNR 9.10. To save them some frustration (and from uttering some swear words - satisfying but unproductive :)) I will now list out the steps required for the installation. The first part is installing from a USB stick and the second part (which will be in a forthcoming blog post) will be installing from an external CD or DVD drive.

How to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 on the Lenovo S10-2 Ideapad Netbook from a USB Drive and get the Broadcom wireless to work.

Author: Ridzwan Abdullah (ridz1a_AT_yahoo_DOT_com)
Last Updated: 13th November 2009

This howto is for guiding users who wants to install the Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 (codenamed Karmic Kaola) onto their Lenovo S10-2 Ideapad netbook as well as getting the Broadcom chipset-based wireless on the netbook to work.

This version of the howto assumes you already have a bootable USB stick containing the Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 (henceforth referred to as UNR). For those who does not have this item, visit the Ubuntu web site ( and download the iso image of the UNR, and then use the image to create the bootable USB stick using an available PC. The instructions on how to do this can be found at Note that, instead of a USB stick, you can also use an SD or SDHC flash drive as the boot device (via the Lenovo S10-2 built-in memeory card slot). The instructions for creating such a device is the same as for a USB stick.

This version also assumes that UNR is the only OS you plan to install on your S10-2 netbook. If you have just installed a new (blank) hard disk into your netbook, then you are set to start installing the UNR. If an OS is already present on the hard disk in your netbook (for example, Windows XP Home) and you want the ability to dual-boot, then you need to refer to instructions how to dual-boot (not covered in this howto). Should you wish to wipe the current OS from the hard disk before installation, then you need make sure to delete all partitions and reset the MBR on the hard disk. Use an available PC to do this - there are lots of free utilities that allow you to do this. You can also wipe the hard disk using the 'cfdisk' or 'fdisk' utility found on the UNR - run the "Live CD" to access this utility.

One last assumption is that internet connection is via wireless NOT through a wired LAN. The majority of people who buys a netbook is for reason of portability, i.e., not tied down to a wired LAN for internet connection.

Here are the steps required to install the Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10:

1) Make sure that the S10-2 netbook is powered off. Unplug any ethernet network cable from the netbook (this howto assumes that you do not have internet access via an LAN but through a wireless AP). Plug the bootable USB stick into any of the 3 available USB ports and power up the netbook.

2) The netbook will automatically boot up from the USB stick - you do not have to press any keys during boot. The first screen that appears is where you choose the installation language. Select one and press Enter. On the Ubuntu Installation Menu that appears next, select the item "Install Ubuntu Netbook Remix" and press Enter. The installer will then start loading - wait until the first installation screen (the Welcome screen) appears. Do not be alarmed if you see a blank screen - it is still loading.

3) Follow the 6 steps as shown on the screen and set your choices - language, location, keyboard layout, prepare disk space, enter personal information and lastly, confirm the install using the information that you have provided. When you press the "Install" button on step 6, the installer will begin the process of actually installing UNR on your netbook. With no LAN access to the internet from the netbook, the whole installation will be completed within 7 minutes typically. When completed, a message box will appear to this effect with a "Restart Now" button which you need to click.

4) DO NOT unplug the bootable USB stick. Press F12 after the restart and at the Lenovo screen. Select item 2 IDE 0 (the hard disk) from the Boot Manager and press Enter (the netbook will start from the hard disk).

5) The netbook will now start the newly installed UNR. The GRUB loading message will appear briefly and then UNR will start loading. If you have selected starting with a password during install, then the Login screen will appear. Enter your password and click OK. If you had selected automatic startup during install, then the Login screen will be skipped. The UNR desktop will now appear to the accompaniment of the "startup sound" - indicating that the sound hardware on the Lenovo S10-2 netbook is fully working. At this point, there is no internet access. In fact, there is no network connection whatsoever and this can be verified if you hover the cursor over the network icon (between the speaker icon and the battery icon) on the top panel, a message saying "No network connection" will appear. To get the wireless network to work, we need to install some software packages manually. Ubuntu's philosophy forbade them from doing this automatically - as a result, it just makes things harder for the average user.

6) Click on 'Files & Folders' on the left-hand pane. Under the 'Volume' section you should see your USB stick. Click on that and a file browser screen will appear showing all the files on the USB stick.

7) Double-click on the 'pool' folder icon, then the 'main' folder icon and then the 'f' folder icon and lastly the 'fakeroot' folder icon. Only one file 'fakeroot_1.12.4ubuntu_i386.deb' will be present - double-click on this and the Package installer screen will appear. Click on the 'Install Package' button. Enter your password when prompted (you need administrative rights for all the packages to be installed) and click OK. Click the 'Close' button when finished and then close the Package installer and you will be back at the file browser.

8) Go back to the 'main' folder (click on the 'main' tab) and open the 'd' folder, followed by the 'dkms' folder. Double-click on the only file there (dkms_2.1.0.1-0ubuntu1_all.deb) to install it via Package manager. After this has been installed, close the Package manager.

9) Go back to the 'main' folder. Open the 'p' folder, followed by the 'patch' folder and then double-click on the only file there (patch_2.5.9-5_i386.deb) to install it. After this has been installed, close the Package manager.

10) Go back to the 'pool' folder. Double-click on the 'restricted' folder, the 'b' folder, and the 'bcmwl' folder. Double-click on the only file there (bcmwl-kernel-source_5.10.91.9+bdcom-0ubuntu4_i386.deb) to install it via Package manager. After this has been installed, close both the Package manager and the file browser. Note that there should not be any errors in installing all the 4 files mentioned above. If there is, then there is something wrong with the files (corrupted maybe?). You need to fix this as these files are important to get wireless working on the netnook.

11) Restart the netbook by clicking on the top right-most icon and selecting 'Restart...'. Then Click the 'Restart' button on the dialog box that appears and the netbook will restart. Press F12 and boot from the hard disk. Log in and at the UNR desktop, click the network icon and your wireless AP (along with other AP's within range) will appear in a list. To connect to the internet via the wireless just click on your AP, enter the password (if authentication is required) and you will be connected. You can eject and remove the USB stick at this point if you wish.

12) There will be updates available - use the Update Manager to apply the updates. The update manager can be found in 'System' section. Click on the item and when Update Manager screen appears, click the 'Check' button. Enter your password and the process will start. Update manager will refresh the package information from the remote repositories. Once this is finished a list of available updates will be shown. Click on the 'Install Updates' button to start the actual downloading and installation of updates. This may take a while.

13) The Lenovo S10-2 Ideapad netbook is now ready for use, either on your desk at home or on the road. Enjoy!


Users of the S10-2 may wonder whether the steps above will work - rest assured that I have tested them out - once on my own netbook and 2 other times on friend's S10-2 netbooks. They all work - so go ahead and try out the new UNR.

Stay tuned for the next part...


  1. I have S10 (not S10-2). Afer install there was wireless in connection applet, afer I followed your istruction I got wireless there, but still can't connection either via wired or wireless. I wonder if it has to do with mine not being v2.

  2. Aleksandr,
    I'm not sure whether your problem is caused by your netbook is the v2 (or S10-2) model but if you see any wireless AP's being listed as available, then your netbook's wireless is working. All you need to do is try connecting to one of them. If you do not see any wireless AP's as being available (plus no active wired eth0) then there is something wrong with your network setup. Sorry I cannot help you more.

  3. You are a savior, thank you so much for this detailed instruction, you can't imagine how awesome you are!!!!!!!!!!

  4. This is great Ridz, thanks a lot. It would have taken quite a while to figure this one out on my own!

  5. I cannot thank you adequately. Wow! This is the first time I ever succeeded in installing a Linux version on a laptop with Internet working. Thank you very much, without your guidance it wouldn't have been possible.

  6. This worked great for me on my Acer Aspire One D150 (10 inch). I used Synaptic and a wired connection for the installs, but installing the packages and rebooting did the trick getting the Broadcom 4312 working.

  7. Hi Ridz....

    I just bought same lenovo model as yours and follow all the step to on the wifi...glad to say it's work. Thanks for ur tips. But how about to activate the bluetooth in lenovo s10-2...I tried many things google around 3 days...still can't activate it. Have u face same problem with me...happy if you can help me...or put the step in ur blog. Email me also ok

  8. kl2u:
    To use bluetooth on the S10-2, first make sure that you have bluetooth enabled by pressing Fn+F5 and clicking 'On' on the 'Status Setting' botton. If properly activated, the 'Staus' should show 'On' in green.

    Once that is done, you need to activate your bluetooth device - for example your handphone. I cannot give instructions here - it all depends on what type of device it is and you need to refer to the device's manual on how to do it.

    Once your device has been activated, click on the 'bluetooth' icon on your taskbar - if this is the first time you are using bluetooth the S10-2 will start installing all the necessary drivers - wait till it has completed this process (a message will appear saying that bluetooth has been configured and is ready for use). You then need to configure the connection - again I cannot help you here since different bluetooth device has different configuration steps - refer to the device's manual. Once configured correctly and the device and the S10-2 are speaking to each other you can always open the 'Bluetooth Neignborhood' later to view the status of any bluetooth devices connected to your S10-2.

    A word of advice - if you are using the S10-2 netbook on the road (ie, powered via the battery), it is always advisable to switch off bluetooth and wireless if you are not using it - it drains the battery faster if kept on all the time.

  9. kl2u:
    Oops - I guess you are using Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 and was having problems using Bluetooth with it. My previous reply/comment was based on using Windows XP Home with Bluetooth - if this is of no use to you, please ignore it. I will try to help you out on using Bluetooth with UNR 9.10 but it will take some time. Sorry for the mistake.

  10. kl2u:
    I won't be able to test Bluetooth with UNR 9.10 at the moment but why don't you try the tutorials at - check out the posts dated Aug 15 and 16th. Although the tutorials are for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), they may work for 9.10 also. I suggest you try the Aug 15th tutorial first and then move on to the one dated Aug 16th. Have fun and let me know whether this works.

  11. ok will check it out...thanks ridz

  12. Hi..ridz

    Ridz press Fn+F5 won't happen seem that I'm using Linux Mint 8 not UNR but I follow your instruction when install the wifi section and it work perfectly. I think linux mint 8 and ubuntu 9.10 or netbook remix almost the same genre :)

    Ok...I already follow the instruction at ...still nothing happen. Well have to start surf around if anyone success activate their lenovo S10-2 bluetooth by using linux. Anyway I think lenovo bluetooth using Broadcom Bluetooth chipset and not easy to configure but still there is genius out there can solve the problem :) ...still waiting on your site if you can manage activate the bluetooth. Seem you're using Lenovo S10-2 ideapad. Thanks ridz

  13. Ridzwan,

    Thank you. I couldn't get Broadcom 4312 working on my Dell Mini 10. Your steps combined with this post ( solved the problem.

  14. Hi Ridz,

    I followed your steps and installed the wireless driver on my S10-2. After this, I am able to connect to the network, but unable to browse on Firefox or use the Update manager.

    When I connect through the Ethernet cable, the result is the same. Could you please help me.

    I am able to ping to any server on the internet though.

  15. Nagendra,

    I am not sure why you cannot browse the WWW or use the Update Manager. If you are correctly connected to the Internet then you should be able to do both.

    I suspect you may have a DNS problem. If you know the IP address of your ISP's DNS servers (they should and can provide you with this info), you can test this out by adding the lines:

    nameserver XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
    nameserver YYY.YYY.YYY.YYY

    to the /etc/resolv.conf file (where XXX and YYY represent the main and alternate DNS server of your ISP). Make sure you are logged in as root when editing the /etc/resolv.conf file. Try browsing the WWW after the changes have been made. If you still have problems, then it is not a DNS problem. You may have to look elsewhere for solutions - sorry.

  16. Ridz,

    Many thanks for your help.
    The culprit was the IPV6 setting. I reset it in firefox and am able to browse on Firefox now. However, I still cant get the update manager to work. When I googled, I see a lot of 'em have the same issue. Just wondering, why its all this difficult