Fedora 12 and IntelliBook (rtl8187se)

I recently got my hands on an IntelliBook netbook (site in German, but the machine is actually Clevo M810L).  It’s a really small, light, and simple machine, which I got for nothing, and which, I haven’t got it for nothing, would cost me around 400 EUR.  The truth is, if I wouldn’t have bought it for 400 EUR.


The good things about it are: small, light, built-in WiFi and a rather large 160 GB hard disk.  The bad things are: non-standard keyboard layout (I touch type, so I don’t mind, but the other people in my home do), non-Linux-supported web camera, and really low battery life (around 2 hours or so).  Also the touchpad always gets in the way, and the whole case has this cheap plastic feel to it.

When I first got the machine, it was running Ubuntu 9.10.  While I have nothing against Ubuntu, I am a Fedora person.  I want a regular desktop, and I want my commands and configurations to be where I am looking for them.  So I replaced Ubuntu 9.10 with a recently released Fedora 12.  The Live USB installation was as simple as it can possible be – boot from USB stick into a desktop, click “Install to hard disk“, and click Next three or four times.

Once the Fedora 12 Gnome desktop booted up, I was slightly disappointed to find out that wireless wasn’t working.  Since it was working just fine in Ubuntu, I was pretty sure that fixing the problem won’t be hard.  And  I was right.

First, I established that the wireless card uses RealTek chipset (rtl8187se).  Secondly, I Googled for rtl8187se and Fedora 12, which led me to this blog post, comments to which suggested that I need to add RPMFusion to my yum repositories and install kmod-staging* packages (there are two of them, one generic, and one with specific kernel version).  Once the packages are installed, loaded up the driver with “modprobe rtl817se“, and restart both network and NetworkManager servers.  Not even a reboot is needed – NeworkManager picks up the wireless network adapter and connects to the network.  A test reboot confirmed that nothing else needs to be done and everything is just fine.

With that, I now have a little computer, which is easy to move around, and can even be given to my kid to play with.  If it wasn’t for the short battery life, it would be perfect for travelling.  So, either I’ll find an extended battery for this thing (which I doubt), or I will get myself another netbook for all the travels that I do.  Carrying around a full fledged laptop becomes heavy and ridiculous.

7 thoughts on “Fedora 12 and IntelliBook (rtl8187se)”

  1. I had a similar experience described herein that the WLAN was not working when I installed Fedora-12 into my netbook named Cartina UM (almost QBOOK).
    So, I gave up to use F12, and re-installed Fedora-11 to my netbook. Fedora-11 is well working with WLAN(RTL8187SE) driver.
    This article is quite useful to try again to install F12.
    Thank you for your information.

  2. I like both: Fedora and Ubuntu. So, Ubuntu is ok for me. Moreover, media software such XBMC, Boxee, VDR has Ubuntu packages and not Fedora. And it’s difficult to build them from the sources under Fedora.

  3. I happen to have the same netbook and couldn’t get this going so I went straight to the source (the author of this blog post for a solution). We both gave up after an hour and decided that I had faulty hardware.

    Two weeks later, I’m posting my oversights and observations which eventually solved my issues.

    For one, I didn’t want to install “kmod-staging*”. I like having exactly what is needed on my machines and nothing more. I do not need an extra kmod-staging anything for a kernel which I haven’t even got installed.

    When I did my ‘yum install kmod-staging’, everything looked fine so I thought I’d check it against my current kernel. uname however showed me that I was using the PAE kernel and the kmod-staging was not about to install correctly. So I did ‘yum install kmod-staging-PAE’.

    This solved the first part of my problem. What’s left is the blindingly obvious!:

    If you have a new machine with little or no documentation, and you are trying to troubleshoot wireless, make sure that you have any hardware/software switches for wireless devices to ON. The said device has a Fn+F11 switch which was off.

    Also, I did not need to restart network and NetworkManager services. As soon as I did modrobe the thing sprung to life… and what a relief that was.

    Now the wife can use it without a dongle (which btw was even more complex than this to install).

  4. This post saved me from unneccessary trouble with getting the WLAN to work. I never saw the Fn+F11 switch, but now I just got online with it :)

Leave a Comment