Sunday, 4 March 2012

Dell Mini 9 Linux wifi broadcom drivers (solved) (updated!)

OK so most of this weekend I have spent fucking about trying to find a lightweight linux OS that worked with the broadcom wifi built in.... here are the results

Crunchbang - doesn't install from USB (using unetbootin)
Ubuntu 12.04 beta - didn't work out the box
Ubuntu 10.04 - worked but way way too heavy
Ubuntu 11.10 - too heavy hate gnome3 and unity
Arch - argghhhh just NO
Xubuntu - lightweight but didn't work out the box
Linux mint debian xfce - didn't work out the box
Linux mint 12 - Live CD worked fine - useable but installed didn't work and needed a wired connection

So what have I gone for? Linux Mint 12, set up with a wired connection to install the bcm-kernal-sources which i am hoping to move over to xfce.

** update **

So i have finally found a perfect solution on getting the dell mini 9 to play nice!

first add this to your software repository (using synaptic for example)
deb testing main contrib non-free

then do the rest in a root termin (sudo -s)

apt-get update
apt-get install module-assistant wireless-tools
m-a a-i broadcom-sta
echo blacklist brcm80211 >> /etc/modprobe.d/broadcom-sta-common.conf
update-initramfs -u -k $(uname -r)
modprobe -r b44 b43 b43legacy ssb brcm80211
modprobe wl

should be done :D


Steve B. said...

I recommend giving Xubuntu another try.

I just went through the same exercise. I'd been happy with Ubuntu for years until Unity came along and slowed things down miserably and unacceptably.

Over the past three days I finally got around to making a move. I tried Kubuntu (awful GUI), Mint 12 standard, KDE, and XFCE versions (all three still a bit too slow and GUI not as user friendly as I'd like), Lubuntu (fast but GUI too restrictive), and finally Xubuntu. I settled on Xubuntu because it was relatively fast to load applications (not quite as fast as Lubuntu) but the GUI is far better - the best I've seen actually. I've got a Runcore 32GB SSD and 2GB Ram in my mini. Note that all of the above installs worked right out of the box except for Kubuntu (which only worked in try me mode). I did a fresh install via USB stick over wired connection (because of the need to download the broadcom drivers).

Anonymous said...

.. or you can just get all the current updates via a wired connection and then use additional drivers to install what is needed for the wireless card.

Anonymous said...

The last part worked for me :D
Thanks a lot for sharing.