Inquiry; Dell WiFi connectivity problems?

Hello All,

I’ve been in doubt weather to install Linux open SUSE or Mint on my Dell inspiron 1501 laptop.
Having tried the latest SUSE live CD (not finding a way to use WiFi) i decided to install Mint (Katya release).
Now it turns out there’s a bug on Ubuntu/debian related linux distros in connection with Dell Laptops, specifically on WiFi cards by Broadcom
(If you want to know more, check this Ubuntu forum thread and my comment on it.)

My question is: are there any known bugs on Dell with OpenSUSE?

An additional question would be: is it at all possible to use WiFi with the latest SUSE live CD?

Thanks very much for your answers :slight_smile:
Tom

I don’t think it’s supported
b43 - Linux Wireless

wait and see if Larry replies.

You could open up a terminal session and enter this suggested command:

lspci -vnn | grep 14e4

The output would give us an idea of the exact Broadcom chipset installed. I wrote a script file that can download and install the proprietary wireless driver from Broadcom you can find here in message #11:

Problems with Wireless 1510 drivers

It is possible to update your kernel to 3.0.3 to get better wireless support. See my blog on the subject here:

S.A.K.C. - SUSE Automated Kernel Compiler - Version 2.50 - Blogs - openSUSE Forums

I kept a copy of some advice Larry had put out on using the latest kernel with wireless here:


With kernel 3.0, the support of the newer Broadcom cards with b43 is much
better. To see for yourself, do the following:

sudo /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware
sudo /sbin/modprobe -rv wl
sudo /sbin/modprobe -v b43

To return back to wl:

sudo /sbin/modprobe -rv b43
sudo /sbin/modprobe -v wl

One of the advantages of using any in-kernel driver such as b43 is that it is
automatically updated when the kernel is changed.


The bottom line is that due to the nature or Broadcom drivers, you most often need to take some personnel action to get them to work and can’t wait for someone else to take action for you. People like Larry spend a whole lot of time working on this issue for you, but it is still often up to you to take that last bit of required effort.

Thank You,

On 08/28/2011 09:36 AM, jdmcdaniel3 wrote:
>
> You could open up a terminal session and enter this suggested command:
>
>
> Code:
> --------------------
> lspci -vnn | grep 14e4
> --------------------
>
>
> The output would give us an idea of the exact Broadcom chipset
> installed. I wrote a script file that can download and install the
> proprietary wireless driver from Broadcom you can find here in message
> #11:
>
> ‘Problems with Wireless 1510 drivers’ (http://tinyurl.com/3rowtlr)
>
> It is possible to update your kernel to 3.0.3 to get better wireless
> support. See my blog on the subject here:
>
> ‘S.A.K.C. - SUSE Automated Kernel Compiler - Version 2.50 - Blogs -
> openSUSE Forums’ (http://tinyurl.com/6y8upm5)
>
> I kept a copy of some advice Larry had put out on using the latest
> kernel with wireless here:
>
> *********************************************************************************************************************************
>
> With kernel 3.0, the support of the newer Broadcom cards with b43 is
> much
> better. To see for yourself, do the following:
>
>
> Code:
> --------------------
> sudo /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware
> sudo /sbin/modprobe -rv wl
> sudo /sbin/modprobe -v b43
> --------------------
>
>
> To return back to wl:
>
>
> Code:
> --------------------
> sudo /sbin/modprobe -rv b43
> sudo /sbin/modprobe -v wl
> --------------------
>
>
> One of the advantages of using any in-kernel driver such as b43 is that
> it is
> automatically updated when the kernel is changed.
>
> **********************************************************************************************
>
> The bottom line is that due to the nature or Broadcom drivers, you most
> often need to take some personnel action to get them to work and can’t
> wait for someone else to take action for you. People like Larry spend a
> whole lot of time working on this issue for you, but it is still often
> up to you to take that last bit of required effort.

My reading of the Ubuntu thread is that the bug was in the kernel. As kernel
code is common to all distros, openSUSE will have the same problem if the same
kernel version is used. As I don’t automatically know what kernel is used in
Natty (I don’t even know what Ubuntu version that is - I hate those names.), I
cannot say if that problem will affect openSUSE 11.4 (with standard kernel
2.6.37). In any case, there are any number of postings that will tell you how to
get kernel 3.0 for 11.4. That version fixes most problems with Broadcom cards.

There has been a very interesting discussion on the linux-wireless ML in the
past few days. The Broadcom people have been campaigning to get the brcmsmac
driver moved from staging to mainline. The standards for drivers in staging are
lower than those for drivers in mainline. The move is meeting a lot of
resistance. The main reason for inclusion in staging was that brcmsmac supported
devices that b43 did not, but now b43 supports everything that brcmsmac does and
more. In fact b43 supports the stuff better as it does managed, ad-hoc, monitor,
and AP modes. The Broadcom driver only does managed and ad-hoc modes. The
progress of b43 has been mostly accomplished by one graduate student in Poland -
contrast that with a team of 6 or 8 people at Broadcom! That shows the advantage
of having a b43 code base that is well structured and easy to extend, either
when adding a new device on the front end, or a new bus driver at the back end.
Broadcom’s code suffers by comparison. That criticism applies to brcmsmac and
wl. Those two drivers appear to share a lot of code.

thanks a lot guys!

For telling about me the state of Wifi in Suse, and for the tips on kernel & driver upgrades.

As i’m completely new to Linux, i’m afraid it will take me some time and effort to do a correct install of drivers or an improved kernel- i’ll have a go at it tomorrow.
Thanks again,

Tom