[sf-lug] wifi on linux (notably laptops)

Robert Fletcher lobatifricha at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 19:17:05 PST 2010

Hey there Jim,

I've run into some laptop wifi problems in the past with Ubuntu, but I find
that the more recent versions support it pretty well without too much
mucking about.  I'm running a Dell XPS M1710.  On my laptop as well as
others running more recent versions (9.04, 9.10) I've had luck by first
plugging into a wired connection, running a 'sudo apt-get update && sudo
apt-get upgrade' and then checking out the restricted drivers under
System->Administration.  I think you can probably get the necessary drivers
off of the CD as well.

Hope that helps,

On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 6:58 PM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:

>   my ignorance is getting in the way.
>   i'm sure there's some kind of ladder or hierarchy
> that, once understood with terminology nailed down,
> could help make sense out of diagnosing not only how
> come the <BADWORD> wifi isn't working but other things
> as well.
>   the specific problem is to get wifi working on a
> dell inspiron 1545 that's got a broadcom 43xx chipset
> and on which we've installed ubuntu 9.04.
>   i'm looking for a general mental model that uses
> standard terminology for the pieces that play togethers.
> my current impression is the cast of characters includes:
> network manager (ubuntu)
> /etc/modprobe.d/
> ifup
> iwconfig
> iwlist
> wlan0
> lspci
> lsusb
> lsmod
> dmesg
> wep and wap
> tcp/ip
> firmware
> ndiswrapper, drivers
> realtek, atheros, intel, <BADWORD> broadcom
> * up at the top are the applications such as browsers
> and email clients.
> * beneath the apps is the TCP/IP stack.
> * below that there's some other stuff
> * then there's firmware and drivers ("kernel modules")
> * down at the bottom is the chipset.
> recently found links:
> http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43
> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1266620&page=8
> someone claimed that post 79 had info to get the wifi working,
> and it did until the guy who achieved the success left and the
> laptop owner rebooted.
> http://www.linuxhomenetworking.com/wiki/index.php/Quick_HOWTO_:_Ch13_:_Linux_Wireless_Networking
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