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Thread: First Linux in my life, can't get it working (wireless driver + build essentials)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    2

    Unhappy First Linux in my life, can't get it working (wireless driver + build essentials)

    Hi, everyone! I bought a laptop with Ubuntu (DELL 5520). I never worked with Linux before, so assume zero knowledge. My friend insisted that we have identical Ubuntu versions - 12.04LTS and told me to upgrade from 11.10 that I had.
    Important: when I had 11.10 everything worked almost correctly, even after the updates.
    I must say here that I don't have any access to wired or adsl network, only wireless (or 3G, but that doesn't work either).
    So, after I managed to upgrade 11.10 to 12.04 it forgot how to use wireless. I tried to activate Broadcom wireless proprietary driver, but it requires internet which I can't have if I can't use wireless module!!!
    Surely I googled and found out that I'm not alone with this problem. Here's what I've found: http://www.broadcom.com/docs/linux_sta/README.txt
    I downloaded the driver, but to install it I need a whole bunch of other files.... I can't do this part of the instruction:

    On Ubuntu, you will need headers and tools. Try these commands:# apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic# apt-get build-dep linux
    Because to get it... I need Internet... which I can't have because I can't use wireless. Kinda recursive Linux logic ((((. And I don't have a place where I can go and connect to wired network. (((
    Is there a solution to this problem??? Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Metro-ATL; PM free zone.
    Beans
    9,037
    Distro
    Lubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: First Linux in my life, can't get it working (wireless driver + build essentials)

    You are in a pickle. I would be surprised if the full DVD/ISO install of 12.04 doesn't include all the needed files - just perform the install without the network connection at all. If you do need non-repository files, have those ready on other media. The manifest inside a .DEB package lists 1st order dependencies, but not other lower dependencies.

    Another option is to get a wifi-bridge device so you can connect the PC with a wired connection - not needing any wifi drivers. Your PC connects to it with a wired connection, then the device connects over wireless to the internet. I assume you pay for a wifi-only internet provider? Then you can install the wifi drivers when connected to the internet.

    Otherwise, you can get a $15 wifi/wired router and plug into the router with an ethernet cable directly. Actually, that would be preferred. WiFi will always - always - always be less easy than wired ethernet.

    Anyway, a few options. Being wifi only is dangerous still and can be difficult unless you get the best supported, F/LOSS-ready wifi chips. Using proprietary wifi chips from companies who are less-than-nice towards Linux and troubles will likely follow. Sorry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Beans
    16,064
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: First Linux in my life, can't get it working (wireless driver + build essentials)

    Please post the output of:
    Code:
    lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    New Meadows, Idaho
    Beans
    222
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: First Linux in my life, can't get it working (wireless driver + build essentials)

    Another answer is to go to a public library, friends house or such where wired Internet is available and then get the required packages installed. Check and make sure you WiFi is working before you leave.
    Michael Nelson -=- AKA: Mopar1973Man

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    Beans
    2,271
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: First Linux in my life, can't get it working (wireless driver + build essentials)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    You are in a pickle. I would be surprised if the full DVD/ISO install of 12.04 doesn't include all the needed files - just perform the install without the network connection at all. If you do need non-repository files, have those ready on other media. The manifest inside a .DEB package lists 1st order dependencies, but not other lower dependencies.

    Another option is to get a wifi-bridge device so you can connect the PC with a wired connection - not needing any wifi drivers. Your PC connects to it with a wired connection, then the device connects over wireless to the internet. I assume you pay for a wifi-only internet provider? Then you can install the wifi drivers when connected to the internet.

    Otherwise, you can get a $15 wifi/wired router and plug into the router with an ethernet cable directly. Actually, that would be preferred. WiFi will always - always - always be less easy than wired ethernet.

    Anyway, a few options. Being wifi only is dangerous still and can be difficult unless you get the best supported, F/LOSS-ready wifi chips. Using proprietary wifi chips from companies who are less-than-nice towards Linux and troubles will likely follow. Sorry.
    If you have an unused router, you could check if one of the 3rd party firmwares (DD-WRT, Tomato etc.) can install. At least DD-WRT can temporarily convert a wireless router into a wifi-bridge referenced above. Another option would be to get an inexpensive WiFi adapter that 'works out of the box'. Use that to help get the integral wifi working.

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