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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just started playing around with it. I believe I have ver 12.04.

I'm trying to get my wireless card working on my Dell Inspiron and I can't seem to do it. Obviously I have a connection by using my Ethernet cable directly to my router since I am posting here :whistling

I've found a few sites with some information but apparently I'm not grasping it.

Some of the terminal inputs have source and common in the verbage and I'm pretty sure I am suppose to input the drive letter and folder it's suppose to be on.

But I'm clueless here. I don't have it installed on my computer, I am running it off a USB drive.

Anyone have a clue at this and could push me in the right direction to get my wireless going on my Dell?
 

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I'm running 12.04. I've used ubuntu since 8.xx. I can't specifically answer your question, and I've never ran ubuntu off a USB drive. I can say I've been able to find a solution to every problem I've had with Ubuntu online. I've installed it on several different computers, and it seems like with each one I've had to do something to get the wireless to work. Each time I found the answer on an ubuntu forum or website.

You could install ubuntu alongside whatever OS you are currently using, that might make it easier than running off a USB drive, as far as the file paths.

I don't know the specifics of the equipment you are using, but I searched "ubuntu wireless dell inspiron" in google and it came up with a lot of relevant results. If you add your computer model number at the end of that search it might make things more specific.
 

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You could try this site:
http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/dell.html
It will give you some idea of what is successfully running on your brand and model machine.
I was running Slackware on a Dell years ago and had some of the same wifi issues. I had to use this to get things running:
http://madwifi-project.org/
Long story short, it enabled Linux to work with the Atheros chipset that was in the laptop. I don't know if Madwifi will help you (or if you need it) since this was an older Dell that I was dealing with.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It seems when running off the USB the USB itself is invisible. You can't access it unless you unplug it and then plug it back in.

This is the terminal code I'm running

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source
sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

This looks like it downloads an update from a linux server.
Then it looks like it tries to purge/delete the driver from where ever...
Then it looks like it wants to install a file named b43-fwcutter as a new driver.

But its the source and the common that I'm unsure of. If they are directories or drives or what?
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn't try any of them.

I am installing Ubuntu on my wife's just recently crashed computer. Her wifi showed up right away without issues. She has a newer Dell Inspiron N5040. Still installing. We'll have to see what this ends up like.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You could try this site:
http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/dell.html
It will give you some idea of what is successfully running on your brand and model machine.
I was running Slackware on a Dell years ago and had some of the same wifi issues. I had to use this to get things running:
http://madwifi-project.org/
Long story short, it enabled Linux to work with the Atheros chipset that was in the laptop. I don't know if Madwifi will help you (or if you need it) since this was an older Dell that I was dealing with.
I'm using a Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN mini card

Chipset is a BCM4311/BCM2050
 

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It seems like you are on the right track with the b43 software, so disregard the Madwifi link. There could be several things going on, so its hard to say what the issue is. Some laptops have a physical switch to turn the wifi on and off. Modprobe might give you more to go on. There are switches for that command that will give you more information or narrow down what it shows you. The man page should have all of that listed.
I recall having to go through the ifconfig/iwconfig process every time on my laptop until I had edited a config file to do it automatically. If I recall correctly I had to use "iwconfig ath0 up" to turn on the wifi card. Yours is probably "eth0", but I can't say for sure.
Hopefully someone can chime in with more information for you. It's been a while since I've used Linux, and I've barely used Ubuntu. I've been running Windows on my home machine since it is what Autocad and all our CNC software runs on.
 

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It seems when running off the USB the USB itself is invisible. You can't access it unless you unplug it and then plug it back in.

This is the terminal code I'm running

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source
sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

This looks like it downloads an update from a linux server.
Then it looks like it tries to purge/delete the driver from where ever...
Then it looks like it wants to install a file named b43-fwcutter as a new driver.

But its the source and the common that I'm unsure of. If they are directories or drives or what?
Leo, I'm not sure how familiar you are, so I'll start here:

"apt-get" is Ubuntu's program to interact with the their package repositories (the place on the internet where packages come from).

In linux, the proper way of installing/uninstalling packages( ie. programs, libraries and other inner workings) is the use of a package manager (in your case "apt-get")

you could say that "bcmwl-kernel-source" and "broadcom-sta-common" are packages of the driver type. They reside as files on your hardrive. Some packages have folders, some are installed in existing folders.

"sudo" allows a command to be run with "superuser/administrator" rights.

so the command
Code:
sudo apt-get
runs the apt-get command as superuser.

Most/all command line programs have options/switches to tell the program what to do.

The command
Code:
sudo apt-get update
gets the list of available packages from the repositories and if there are updated versions of packages you have installed on your system, it will update them.

The command
Code:
sudo apt-get purge
removes packages that are installed from your system.

The command
Code:
sudo apt-get install
installs a package from the repository to your system.

You can do:
Code:
sudo apt-get --help
to see alist of options for that command.

The commands you listed above will get the correct driver installed for you and ensure that you don't have any conflicting drivers installed.

You should be able to use the modprobe command to load the driver into the kernel and the use the ifconfig command to turn the card(interface) off then on.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It does a little. But it's just like learning DOS all over again. All command line codes. I understand about the non persistence of the install, you can't update it if everytime it starts up it's back to square one.

Anyway, it was just a small, short kick I was on. I needed it to try to recover some files from my wife's crashed computer and now that's done and she's on a new machine. All's better.
 

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It does a little. But it's just like learning DOS all over again. All command line codes. I understand about the non persistence of the install, you can't update it if everytime it starts up it's back to square one.

Anyway, it was just a small, short kick I was on. I needed it to try to recover some files from my wife's crashed computer and now that's done and she's on a new machine. All's better.
Glad it all worked out for you.

I understand the whole learning curve there. It's a PITA at first. Linux has definitely come a long way though and usually you don't have to use the command line if you don't want to. For instance, you could use "synaptic", which is a visual program instead of the command line apt-get.

personally, I prefer to use the command line for most things, but I realize it's not for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did DOS since tandy was making a 2K computer. I did programming in machine language with and without an assembler. I could handle it if I wanted.

I'm just lazy these days. Plus since it was the wife's computer and really had nothing earth shatteringly important on it, I didn't treat it like an emergency. Like I would have with my business computer.
 

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However, I don't know of a way to activate the knew driver without a restart and since you're running a live usb stick, unless it is setup to be persistent, you will lose your settings when you do.
Wouldn't ldconfig work, at least for that session? I've never run a live distro off of a usb stick, so I'm not sure how to keep your settings after a restart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I thought that the persistence partition did that.
 
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