Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

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Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

Postby kendew » 2017-05-15 03:05

Hi,
I've successfully installed Stretch on an old Dell Inspiron Mini 10 but have an issue finding a wifi driver. lspci reports a Broadcom Limited BCM4312 LP-PHY (rev 01) for which I would like to install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer. However, as far as I can see, the last Debian release to have this in its repository was Wheezy. Can I download and install a Wheezy package on Stretch? I've heard it's dangerous to install, for example, a Stretch package on Jessie, but what about older stuff? The other b43 firmware packages in the Stretch repository are not working.
When I installed Stretch, the installer told me I needed b43.ucode15.fw, b43-open/ucode15.fw, b43-open and ucode15.fw, but I don't know where to find these.
Any help appreciated to get this wifi working. Otherwise, I have a nice working, if old, computer.
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Re: Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2017-05-15 07:59

https://wiki.debian.org/bcm43xx

For devices with a BCM4312 LP-PHY chip (PCI ID 14E4:4315), install firmware-b43-installer:
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Re: Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

Postby peer » 2017-05-15 12:22

did you edit the sources.list??

add "contrib non-free" to lines in /etc/apt/sources.list
then sudo update
then look for the B43-package

(see: https://wiki.debian.org/SourcesList)
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Re: Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

Postby kendew » 2017-05-15 18:46

Thanks for replies.
I was given a few of these machines, and got wifi working OK with an Arch installation. Other Ubuntu based distros seemed OK out of the box, but I want Debian Stretch. Installing firmware-b43-installer didn't help.
I installed Stretch using the Expert Graphical installer, because I wanted to start with a very base installation due to the limitations of this hardware (pretty old). So I only checked Debian system tools in the installer, no DE, no printer server, etc.
From there I installed Xorg and Openbox, and finally Wicd. Wicd can't find any wireless networks, so I'm guessing something is missing.
Any help is appreciated. Particularly I wonder if there is anyone who has a working Del Inspiron Mini 10 who can advise.
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Re: Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

Postby phenest » 2017-05-15 18:59

You've installed the firmware but you probably need a driver. You could try the broadcom sta driver.
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apt-get install broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-dkms broadcom-sta-source
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Re: Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

Postby stevepusser » 2017-05-15 19:03

Here's a way to find out some information: as root or with sudo, issue the terminal command

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modinfo b43


Among the stuff that results will be the firmware files it likes to find in /lib/firmware, so if an entry says

b43/blah-blah.fw

I'd look in /lib/firmware/b43 to make sure that the firmware was really installed there by the firmware installer.

If it was, have you told Wicd what interface to use, as is necessary? Wicd didn't automatically add available interfaces the last time I used it. I'd also then check to see if a wi-fi interface was created at boot with (as root or with sudo)

Code: Select all
ifconfig -a
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Re: Wifi for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with Stretch

Postby kendew » 2017-05-30 01:18

OK. I thought I'd just let everyone know what happened in case anyone else comes across this. After installing/uninstalling b43 and the proprietary wl and doing a dance with modprobe and blacklisting, I finally decided to try CLI. Using ip link and ip link set wlan0 up, then trying ping, I found there was connection. However, using wicd, still no wifi networks were reported. Investigating wicd I found in preferences among Network Interfaces, the Wireless interface was mistaken. Wicd had stuck with another wireless interface I had used for getting wifi with a USB stick and hadn't updated itself. Manually entering wlan0 fixed the whole problem.
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