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Wireless Help - Dell Latitude D420

wireless setup zorin dell lattitude d420 bodhi linux

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#1 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:52 PM

I just installed Zorin on this little Dell machine. It's working fine and dandy except for one thing. I can't figure out how to get the wireless going. :(

Zorin is basically Ubuntu under the hood. Any ideas? I know it's something simple, but my head's just not workting at the moment.

Thanks in advance...

#2 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:26 PM

http://askubuntu.com...ireless-working

I would think if you can install the additional Broadcom driver under the Ubuntu menu  it should work OK. Of course you'll need a wired connection to get the software.
I'm using the broadcom 80211 driver with my Dell  Mini 12. Arch has a good article on this subject.
https://wiki.archlin...oadcom_wireless

Edited by raymac46, 11 July 2012 - 08:42 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:40 PM

Followed that link and attempted a few things. Rebooting now...

#4 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:52 PM

Always hated Broadcom wireless chipsets. Historically terrible Linux support.

Tweak it 'til it breaks, then learn how to fix it.

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#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:03 PM

Well, no joy so far. :(

#6 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:13 PM

http://www.zoringrou....php?f=5&t=2048
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#7 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:32 PM

I'm tired. Getting aggravated. I'll come back to this tomorrow. Thanks, guys. Have I mentioned lately that I hate Broadcom. I'm tempted to blow this Zorin off of here and install Bodhi. Hmmm... we'll see. After a fresh look at this tomorrow. No hurry. I have a couple weeks to get this set up and ready to go. It's a birthday gift for a pal.

Later...

~Eric

#8 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:20 PM

Honestly Eric it shouldn't be any harder than hooking up by wire and then going to the Additional Drivers section to get the Broadcom kernel source and firmware and let the wizard handle the installation. I installed Xubuntu on a similar Dell and that's all it took. It's not any more complicated than installing the Nvidia driver. Bodhi would give you the same issue I think. It's really Dell that has the problem and the distros scramble to get it right.
Some of these laptops can have the Broadcom mini card hauled out and replaced by an Intel one...then you're in business right out of the box.
In Xubuntu you find it right in the menu: Settings - Additional Drivers.

Edited by raymac46, 11 July 2012 - 10:24 PM.

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#9 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:25 PM

Bodhi automagically worked on my Dell Latitude 610. Who knows about this D420. I had a heck of a time getting wireless going on my Dell Inspiron 1521 in Slackware. That was my first experience with setting up wireless on anything. Josh and Urmas were a big help with that one. :yes: I'll try to get it going in Zorin tomorrow. I think I had just been at it too long already tonight. I was getting flustered, because you're right... it shouldn't be that difficult.

#10 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:35 PM

Ah but the 610 probably had an Intel mini wifi card. Intel Centrino is as good as Linux gets. The 1521 would be one of these Broadcom babies.
Bodhi worked like a charm on my Acer Aspire One but that was an Atheros based system - very friendly to Linux. Bodhi on a USB stick won't work at all in my Inspiron M501 laptop and that's another one of the Broadcom  cards.
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#11 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:47 PM

Well, I'll get 'er going. It'll just take a fresh look, I think. Wouldn't be any fun if everything worked right away out-of-the-box. ;)

#12 OFFLINE   Urmas

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:03 AM

All Broadcoms are equal, but some Broadcoms are less equal than others. Or something like that.

From Finnish Ubuntu Forums — you might want to give this a try (assuming you have the same chip):


1. Sanity hardware check:

lspci -nvn | grep -i net

0c:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11a/b/g [14e4:4312] (rev 01)

2. Remove unnecessary crud:

sudo apt-get purge broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source bcmwl-kernel-source

2.1 Let's be überparanoid:

sudo apt-get purge b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

3. Reboot:

sudo shutdown -r now

4. Install drivers:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

5. Reboot Reboot:

sudo shutdown -r now

6. Got wireless? No?

sudo modprobe b43

6.1 Got wireless NOW? Good! Add b43 to /etc/modules:

sudo vim /etc/modules

Add b43 to the last line.

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#13 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:06 AM

I will try this out in a while, Urmas. Thanks. Off to go ride about 15 miles on my bike now. :yes:

#14 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:29 AM

Better make it quick or you'll be riding in the rain.

Tweak it 'til it breaks, then learn how to fix it.

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#15 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:42 AM

Yup raining here as well....
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#16 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:15 PM

Didn't get a drop on me. And besides, I may not like riding in the rain on a motorcycle, but on a bicycle it's nice sometimes... cools you off. :)

OK, now... it's time to test Urmas' method for wireless. Stay tuned...

#17 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:42 PM

Well, I did this much...

1. Sanity hardware check:

lspci -nvn | grep -i net

0c:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11a/b/g [14e4:4312] (rev 01)

2. Remove unnecessary crud:


sudo apt-get purge broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source bcmwl-kernel-source

2.1 Let's be überparanoid:

sudo apt-get purge b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

3. Reboot:

sudo shutdown -r now

... and then lost ALL connectivity. Can't get it back either. No wired. No wireless. No joy whatsoever here. :(

Oh, well...

Time to try another distro on this baby. Zorin is displaying other bugs that I don't like anyway.

Off I go...

#18 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

Nuked Zorin. Intalled Bodhi... Nirvana achieved. Wireless worked on first boot. Ahhhhhmmmm! Ahhhhhmmmm! Jeff, if you're still lurking around here, Bodhi is FABULOUS, man! :)

#19 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:22 PM

Glad you got it to work Eric. I'll have to try Bodhi again on my laptop with Broadcom chipset. I haven't tried the latest version.
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#20 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:26 PM

I installed their stable release version 1.4.0, Ray. :yes:

Zorin is fine for a desktop machine, but I think it may have been too much for this little netbook. Bodhi is just a feature-rich, but much lighter. It's running very well on this little machine. I had it running and all set up within an hour or so. My friend will enjoy playing his favorite online backgammon game while sitting in his recliner with this little Dell in his lap.

Cheers! :)

#21 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:16 AM

Excellent!! Glad you got something working!!

One day I am going to have to devote a spare partition to Bodhi. I have used it a bit on one of my netbooks but I ended up just installing Archlinux on it. I have heard many great things about Bodhi from users here so maybe I should give it a try sometime.
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#22 OFFLINE   ichase

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 06:05 AM

I know I have said this many times on BATL and I am going to say it again.  I have to give mad props to Jeff Hoogland and his team.  Bodhi with the Enlightenment desktop is really amazing for many reasons.  The one that always blows me away is how fast it runs on older hardware.  I had it running on that old Toshiba with a maxed out 512 ram and it ran like a champ.  I ended up slicking the HDD on that HP I got and it is running straight Bodhi.  Everything worked including wireless OOTB.  I thought about using it as a work computer but decided against it.  Got something else tracking for that.  More than likely I will end up donating the HP with Bodhi to someone and "Enlighten" them to Linux.  :thumbsup:
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#23 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:23 PM

Bodhi rocks on older hardware primarily because it is a very light installation. That being said, though... features are not lacking at all in this distribution. It is robust and extremely usable. I only have an installation of it on my old Dell Latitude 610, but I have some more tester partitions available on my shop system. I may add it to one of them. Plus, I now have a 100% usable "live" version on a thumb drive. That's how I had to install it on this Dell D420 Netbook, by the way, because it has no CD/DVD player.

#24 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:55 PM

I try to use a LiveUSB for everything these days. USB is nearly as fast as an internal installation.

My Lenovo ThinkPad also has no optical drive, but usb Live environments fly on this machine.

Tweak it 'til it breaks, then learn how to fix it.

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#25 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:35 PM

If you use a USB Linux that runs 100% from RAM, like SLAX, you're using an OS that is much faster than an internal installation. I don't even think solid state drives have the access times of RAM yet, do they? They're probably close, though. SLAX in RAM is the speed of light... almost. ;)





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