Dell Wireless and Ubuntu Linux

Last Modified: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 17:47:00 +0000 ; Created: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 17:47:00 +0000

I found a great thread that details how to get your wireless network card in a Dell laptop working under Ubuntu Linux (8.04, not 8.10).

I tried it running Ubuntu Live with a Dell D430 and a Dell 1500 draft n wireless card. I ignored the part where I was told to reboot (Ubuntu Live doesn't remember across reboots), and it still worked fine.

Easy Setup Alternative for Ubuntu 8

If you

  • Run Ubunut 8.04 (not 8.10 which doesn't work)
  • Have a Dell D430
  • Have a Dell 1500 draft-N wireless card
You can use this alternative method for easier setup to get your wireless working:
  1. Download the latest Dell wireless driver (Try
  2. mkdir /opt/DellWireless
  3. chdir /opt/DellWireless
  4. unzip Dell_multi-device_A17_R174291.exe
  5. Install ndiswrapper
    1. System menu
    2. Administration
    3. Synaptic Package Manager
    4. Search
    5. ndiswrapper
    6. Select ndisgtk
    7. Select ndiswrapper-common
    8. Select ndiswrapper-utils-X.Y
    9. Click on Apply on the tool bar
    10. Follow remaining prompts to install the packages
  6. System menu
  7. Administration
  8. Windows Wireless Drivers
  9. Install New Driver
  10. Select inf file location is /opt/DellWireless/DRIVER_US/bcmwl5.inf
  11. Click on Install
  12. bcmwl5 should show up in "Currently Installed Windows Drivers" list
  13. You should also see Hardware present: Yes
  14. Configure Network will show profiles, but may be disabled
  15. Click on Close
  16. Connect to a wireless network
    1. Open nm-applet (icon to left of audio icon on top of screen)
    2. Select a wireless network from the list
    3. You can also select Connect to Other Wireless Network...
  17. If you get a "No network configuration tool" error then install gnome-network-admin