Nov 17, 2009

Getting Wireless To Work on Dell Mini 9 Using Ubuntu 9.10

I am kind of getting grumpy with the latest Ubuntu release. In previous versions of Ubuntu I had no driver issues out of the box. Just install and away we go. Last version, Jaunty Jackelope, I had a problem with the Wireless driver on my Dell Latitude D610 which I blogged about. This weekend I decided to upgrade my Dell Inspiron Mini 9 to Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10) netbook remix and I had a similar issue.

So here is the low-down. I installed Ubuntu 9.10, and bam, wireless did not work. At first I plugged my Mini into an ethernet jack and install all updates, then I went to System >  Hardware Drivers and checked for new drivers. I first tried to install the Broadcom BCM driver, but that did nothing. Then I tried to install the Broadcom STA driver, and I couldn’t test it. Want to know why? Because after installing updates, then installing the Broadcom drivers I got a Kernel panic error and Ubuntu would not boot!

I finally got it working though, so if you are having the same issue here is the right order to install stuff to get Wireless working on your Dell Mini 9 in Ubuntu 9.10:

  • Install Ubuntu 9.10bauer-power tux
  • Plug in an ethernet cable with internet access to your Dell Mini 9
  • From the terminal run: sudo apt-get update
  • Reboot
  • Go to System> Hardware Drivers and search for new drivers
  • Install the Broadcom STA Wireless Driver
  • Reboot
  • From the terminal run: sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Install available updates.
  • Reboot

I’m not sure why installing the driver first works, but it does. If you install the driver after the updates it is Kernel panic city!

Have you had any driver problems in the new Ubuntu? Let us know in the comments.

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