May 1, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 Wireless On A Dell Latitude D610

Like millions of other anxious Ubuntu enthusiasts, I downloaded the latest version of Ubuntu (9.04 Jaunty Jackelope) and decided to install it on my laptops at home. On one of my laptops, I got the idea for a quick blog post. The motivation? I ran into some problems with wireless on my Dell Latitude D610 laptop. I thought it was a little strange because in the last two or three versions of Ubuntu I didn't have a problem with wireless on my Dell D610.

I am sure it was just an oversight on Ubuntu's part, but it appears that they forgot to include the proper wireless drivers for the Dell D610. Never fear, Bauer-Power is here! Well, Bauer-Power and the power of ndiswrapper. For those not in the know, ndiswapper is a Linux utility to load Windows drivers when a Linux version isn't available.

It seems like we have everything we need right? Not exactly. It turns out that ndiswrapper isn't installed by default in Ubuntu 9.04. That sort of sucks because we are trying to connect to the Internet via wireless right? Oh well, suck it up and walk your fat-ass across the room and plug your laptop into the router with a CAT6 cable, and lets get your wireless working.

After you plug in your laptop install ndiswrapper from the terminal:

>sudo apt-get update
>sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils-1.9

Now that is installed, you need the Windows drivers. You can get them here: (D610 Wireless)

After you download the tarball, right click on it and select 'Extract Here'. Now in a terminal CD into the DellD610 folder that you just extracted from the tarball. Install time using ndiswrapper!

>sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf (Installs the driver)
>sudo ndiswrapper -l (Checks to see if the driver installed)
>sudo ndiswrapper -m (Creates the wlan0 alias)
>sudo modprobe ndiswrapper (Loads the new driver)

After that the driver is installed, but is still not quite activated. To activate the driver click on System> Administration> Hardware Drivers:

Activate the new driver:

Your wireless should now be working. If it doesn't work straight away, try de-activating the driver, the re-activating the driver again. I had to do that a couple of times before I was able to see all of the wireless networks around me.

Did something similar to this happen on your laptop in the new realease of Ubuntu? Were you able to get your wireless to work? Lets hear about your troubleshooting steps in the comments!

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