Slackware 13 on Lenovo T61, Intel Wireless 4965

I had some trouble getting the wireless to function properly on my T61 with Slackware 13. I tried combinations of wicd (the wireless network manager) and DHCP clients, different drivers, but nothing seemed to work. I could see the wireless points, but they always showed up as “hidden” and appear to connect, but would dever be able to get an IP address.

At this point I moved to Debian to see if that would connect using wicd. Sure enough, wicd connected and authenticated fine, but a kernel panic in Lenny using that wireless adapter would only leave it connected for about 5 minutes and then lock. Enough of that.

Back to Slackware. One thing I noticed was that Debian used the latest wicd, version where the Slackware extras includes the Slackware package. Even the wicd site recommends using the included package in the extras.

Slackware also came with the same firmware for the 4965 wireless as Debian, so I know if I used that, I should be good to go on that end. First, enable the firmware as root:

modprobe iwl4965

Restart your computer and make sure the wireless adapter is loading properly on boot. You should be able to do an lsmod | grep iwlagn and see a few lines with the module enabled. Now grab wicd from source; you can view them here: Unpack it and install wicd.

cd /usr/src
wget http://sourceurl/wicd-
tar zxvf wicd-
cd wicd-
python configure
python install

You can check /etc/rc.d and find a rc.wicd executable. This means the daemon should start on it’s own when booting. Start the wicd daemon and then the curses version of the client.


The curses GUI is pretty easy to understand and you should be able to configure the network no problem. When you hit Shift+C to connect to an AP, you can see that it will authenticate and grab an IP this time…finally. I’ve been able to connect to WPAv2 and WPAv1. Previously I could connect to neither, although I never tried plain old WEP. Others clamined WEP would work and WPA would not, but not being able to connect to a WPA network was a big show stopper for me.

2 thoughts on “Slackware 13 on Lenovo T61, Intel Wireless 4965

  1. Wow after two days messing around with wpa_supplicant.conf and a mess of other stuff I stumbled upon this, and using wicd fixed the WPA2 issues I had for a hidden network… thanks.

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