Sunday, December 16, 2012

Enabling Linux Mint 14 Wireless on Dell E1505

Mostly I'm saving this off so if I ever have to get wireless in linux working on this machine again, I'll know how to do it. I hope that it saves someone else the 5+ hours it took me to solve this.

# Open a terminal window and run this:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcm43.conf

# If the blacklist-bcm43 file does not exist, don't sweat it.

# Now you need to comment out bcm43xx in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
# In its place you will need to add blacklisting of ssb_hcd and ssb
# So do this launch the editor that comes with Mint 14 to the conf file:
sudo pluma /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

# And in the editor, change this:
blacklist bcm43xx
# To this:
blacklist ssb_hcd
balcklist ssb
# save and close.

# Now run these to install the correct driver and firmware:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

# After installing b43-fwcutter, make sure to REBOOT your PC!!

# When you're back up, run the following Terminal commands:

sudo modprobe -r b43 b44 b43legacy ssb

sudo modprobe b43
sudo modprobe b44

# Then RETEST wireless. (Fn+F2 should re-enable it and turn on the wifi LED).
# If the LED comes on, you're home free. 
# Right click on the network connection thing in the tray 
# and use the wireless tab to hook up to your router. 
# These settings should all stick when you reboot.

Special thanks to dwhitney67 for getting me 95% of the way there in this thread:
Most of the text is copy-pasted from there, with a few very important tweaks without which the process does not work.


  1. thank you so much! it worked perfectly for me.

  2. Glad to help!

    It took me a number of failed tries to get it just right, so I'm glad to hear that after cobbling it all together as an instruction list, I didn't miss anything.

  3. These instructions helped me out about a year ago, but when I installed Linux Mint 17 today on the same machine (a Dell Inspiron 6400), it didn't fix my problem: my computer sees the wireless networks, but doesn't actually connect. Fortunately, I found a simple solution that fixed the problem for me. Add a line containing the word "b43" (without quotes) to the file /etc/modules. (I saw this on That did the trick for me; hopefully it helps someone else out.