Linux Forums about Linux operating systems on the Dell Inspiron Mini.

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caseybea caseybea is offline
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Talking Linux Mint 16 (Petra) - On mini 9 with broadcom wifi - EASY - 12-11-2013, 06:40 AM

Have had my mini 9 since the old days :-)... had OSX on it, but have recently gotten tired of not being able to update it, always worrying about the delicate balance. And maybe even getting bored with it, since a year or so after my setup, my office provided me with a macbook air :-)

What to do with my mini 9?

Anyway... having converted some other system I had to Mint 16-- it got me thinking, and so I dug out my trusty mini 9 and wanted to see how good it all is.

I am... surprised. Really surprised.

Install went fine. BUT-- as I suspected, my wifi was not working. The Broadcom BCM4312 (as is found on MOST of the dell minis) didn't work, for lack of drivers. Wired connection worked fine.

This is where it gets interesting. There's *all* sorts of forum posts out there, going back a few years all describing various recipes for getting the b43 driver to behave. And even for me, (a guy who is a linux professional during the day) -- it just seemed to much of a pain. Until I saw ONE comment buried in a longer article that raised one of my eyebrows, and I tried it out.

Getting to the point:

Summary: Install Mint 16. boot. login. Plug in a wired cable for your network (sorry, it's necessary). Open up a terminal prompt. Type this ONE command:
"sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree"

reboot. **voila** Wireless. The linux-firmware-nonfree contains several goodies, one of which is the EXACT set of drivers etc from Broadcom that's needed to get this particular wireless module to work. And installing that one package is ALL you need to do. Nothing else. No modprobes, no manual driver builds, no blacklisting, NONE of that sillyness.

So, how's the rest?

Other goodies as pertains to Mint 16 on the mini 9:
Trackpad: Good. Two-finger scrolling does not seem to work, but edge scrolling does. (If I recall, the trackpad itself on the mini 9 isn't capable of multitouch)
Sound: Yep.
Hibernate: Yep
Suspend: Yep (including flashing LED)
FN-controls for display brightness: Yep
FN-controls for sound volume: Yep

Enjoy, kiddies! :-)
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AM825 AM825 is offline
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Default 12-30-2013, 01:50 PM

caseybea which version did you use? vcfe?

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BeeDeeAitch BeeDeeAitch is offline
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Default 01-01-2014, 08:19 AM

Nice! Could not have been easier. Worked for me when I installed Mint 15 a couple of weeks back, and again when I updated to Mint 16 today. Many thanks CASEYBEA.
Wed 1-Jan-14 19:19
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gdsmit1 gdsmit1 is offline
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Default 04-08-2014, 03:04 AM

Thanks for this post. I had Linux Mint 13 on my Dell Mini 10. I felt it was getting a bit old and wanted to upgrade. I put Linux Mint 16 on it and as expected the wireless didn't work. I found this post, did the apt-get and was online through wireless in just a couple of minutes.

Great post. Thanks again.
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JEBB JEBB is offline
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Default Thank you very much!! - 04-08-2014, 09:55 PM

Your entry has made it so easy to make my DM9 useful again!
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gdsmit1 gdsmit1 is offline
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Default 05-19-2014, 10:19 PM

Well, As I reported almost 2 months ago, I used this post to get my Dell Mini working. Unfortunately, today it started dropping connection to my wireless. The longest that it stayed connected was about 20 minutes. Then it drops the connection. Initially it was reconnecting, but now it's stopped reconnecting.

I now have to click the wireless in the task bar and connect to a hidden network, even though I don't hide my network. It then will stay connected for 5-10 minutes.

I'm no Linux expert, so I'm looking for help from the community

Anyone have some suggestions as to what I can look into?
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lswartz lswartz is offline
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Location: Maryland
Default 05-20-2014, 11:11 AM

You might try looking at your wireless connection, right click on the wireless connection & edit your wireless connection. If you can't see anything wrong, delete your wireless connection, restart & restablish the wireless network connection.

I don't use Mint but it is similar to Ubuntu. Sometimes it is just plain hard to figure out.

Another thought, can any other computer, tablet etc. connect wireless? If not then it is your router that needs work.

| Dell Mini 10v | Linux Lite |

Last edited by lswartz; 05-20-2014 at 11:17 AM.
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griguolcomerranas griguolcomerranas is offline
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Default 06-11-2014, 07:51 AM

Thanks a lot for this thread!! It is great to have wifi working in linux mint!!!
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gdsmit1 gdsmit1 is offline
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Default 11-15-2014, 10:34 PM

As a follow up, it is a problem with the Broadcom wireless. I just ordered and received one of those mini wireless adapters, an Edimax. Plugged in and connected right up.
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gdsmit1 gdsmit1 is offline
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Default 11-27-2014, 04:49 PM

I decided to upgrade from Linux Mint 16 to Linux Mint 17. This process didn't work this time.

I ended up going into Driver manager and had to select the bcmwl-kernel-source for the Broadcom 802.11 wireless 1397 WLAN Mini-Card. No reboot required.
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