Lenovo G580 – enabling ethernet under linux

I recently bought a Lenovo G580 laptop to do my development stuff on, and while the wireless works ‘out-of-the-box’ on most linux distros, I found that the ethernet port was the one thing that wasn’t automatically detected and installed by Mint 14’s setup.

After a quick trawl on the internet I found the solution, and thought I’d share it here too for anyone else who might run into the same problem. As far as I know this works for Mint and Ubuntu and may well work for other Debian-based distros.

Disclaimer: anything you do is at your own risk, don’t blame me if your computer blows up or a dog runs off with your Gran’s false teeth.

  1. Download compat-wireless-2012-02-28-p.tar.bz2 from http://linuxwireless.org/download/compat-wireless-2.6/. Ensure that it’s that exact file, anything with a later date won’t work. And yes, I’m aware that the link and filename have ‘wireless’ all over them. Trust me.
  2. Open a terminal and browse to wherever you downloaded the files. In my case it was ~/Downloads.
  3. Enter the following commands, in order:
    tar -xvf compat-wireless-2012-02-28-p.tar
    cd compat-wireless-2012-02-28-p
    scripts/driver-select alx
    make install
    modprobe alx
  4. That should be it. You’re basically building the drivers from source and installing them.

It’s not complicated, but it’s a pain in the neck if you don’t know where to turn and want a quick fix.

Credit where it’s due, I found this solution here, which in turn pointed to here.

7 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    Was this a Win 8 or a Win 7 G580? I’m looking at getting one but the whole UEFI thing sounds like a complete mess.

    How easy was it to install Linux on it – apart from the problem with the wired network?


  2. Adam says:

    This was a Win 8 one unfortunately.

    UEFI was a complete pain in the backside, but I managed to figure it out in a couple of days. I actually wrote a complete guide to how I did it on the LinuxMint forums > http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=121912 .

    It was actually really easy to install Linux on it. Hit F12 at boot and you can switch from UEFI to BIOS mode, and providing you’ve made some free space on the disc for a partition or two, you can just install as normal. The trick comes in converting that install from a BIOS one to a UEFI one, so that you don’t need to keep going in and switching between the two modes.

  3. Lollpop says:

    I would love to re post this entry on my own website will that be okay

  4. Adam says:

    Depends, what is your website?

  5. kalombo says:

    Thanks man, I’ve been sweating with this all weekend. Just one question are the changes persistant?

  6. Adam says:

    Yes 🙂

    I made these changes once, and never had to do it again. I’ve even done a few apt-get upgrades too and not lost it, so far so good.

  7. kai says:

    I have a Lenovo G580 and I’m trying to get linux to work on it. My problem is greater than simply getting linux installed. I completely whiped the drive to install linux fresh and now I’m having trouble with stuff like getting my ethernet, wireless and GUI to work properly. I didn’t think anything of it. But now I’m wondering, since this is a new one released in Feb, if maybe they added some new feature where if you do that it disables all that stuff? That would be real cheap. I’m going to try using Linux Minth 14 and see if that works. If you have any ideas or tips I’d be happy to hear them!

    My how I hate UEFI and Windows 8!!!!

Leave a Reply