Wireless and Ubuntu Linux on the Lenovo Ideapad U400


Update (2012-04-26): On a new install of Ubuntu 12.04 I was able to connect to my wireless network without any additional configuration.

After lots of time fighting to get my wireless going for my U400 in Ubuntu 11.10 (more specifically, Kubuntu 11.10), here’s what I’ve learned. (This may also apply to the U300 & U300s)


Before installing Ubuntu, make sure that the wireless is working under Windows, specifically that the hardware switch (Fn + F7) is set to on. If it’s set to off, you’ll be forced to reinstall Windows to do it – apparently there’s currently no way this can be done within Linux on this laptop.

You can verify that this is done correctly by putting in the command rfkill list into the terminal and seeing something like the following. Note that what you’re looking for now is that nothing is hard blocked, it might still be soft blocked, but the next steps should take care of that.

colby@colby-laptop:~$ rfkill list
0: ideapad_wlan: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
1: ideapad_bluetooth: Bluetooth
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
3: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
4: hci0: Bluetooth
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no

To get it working temporarily:

This is more for trying out a live CD, etc.. Run this command in the terminal:

sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi

and you should have wireless for your session.

To make this permanent:

Open up /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf with your favorite text editor, for example:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

and add to the bottom:

blacklist acer_wmi

And that should be it. Restart and you should still have wireless. Hopefully this helps someone. If I’ve omitted something important, please visit the forum or comment below and tell me so I can correct the article.

If your U400 seems to be running way hotter than it should be under Ubuntu, check out this article.

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  • Ankit Arya

     Thanks a lot buddy!!!

  • Arun

    Thank you so much , it worked to me too

  • http://twitter.com/Grayband lee shelley

    Thanx for the insight! This worked well for me with 11.10, but I have not had the same luck with 12.04.  Have you any suggestions? 


    • colbyj

      Sorry, I don’t know what it could be. I’m still on 11.10. When I finally do upgrade, I’ll be sure to update the article if it needs it.

    • colbyj

       Well, I just loaded up Ubuntu 12.04 beta 2 and the wireless worked right away. I’m posting from the live CD running on my U400. Is it possible you’ve accidentally turned off the wireless with the hardware switch on the keyboard?