No WiFi, No Touchpad, and more! - Dell XPS M1530 Ubuntu Hardy Heron
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I've seen some reports that NetworkManager in Ubuntu is broken, particularly with respect to WPA encrypted access points. You might try replacing NetworkManager with wicd and see if that can do the job. I also experienced something similar when I installed Hardy on a friends laptop. NetworkManager wouldn't connect to my WPA network, but wicd picked it right up.
Networkmanager worked before I performed the available updates.
Something about the new version suddenly took away my WiFi access.
I've seen people using WICD having similar problems, but I'll try it again.
Now just for curiosity, are you using WPA 1 or WPA 2?
Does it connects every time or sometimes it fails to assign an IP?
What is your AP?
I'm having some issues, sometimes I just can't get an IP. I'm still looking at the wpa_supplicant logs to determine what happens when I do connect and when I don't.
I just tried this laptop at work and it's a no-go with my GetNet (read no-name) brand 802.11b router here. It's running WPA1 Personal and refuses to connect. None of the dots turn green in networkmanager and other wifi configuration apps give the same results.
I hope this flakiness is figured out some time soon. :|
At home I have it working with my Linksys WRT54GS v7 with DD-WRT Micro installed. I highly recommend flashing DD-WRT over the default BIOS of this device as with 5 roommates the original BIOS crashed all the time somehow. I hate devices based on VXWorks... >_>
Just an update, I think this is new (at least I still haven't seen before)
There is a hibryd driver from Broadcom that worked very very well here. I used to have problems to receive a DHCP answer from the AP, and most of the times it just timed out.
The Gentoo wiki has the HOWTO, although I have downloaded from Arch User Repo.
Sorry, I should explain more. Broadcom has been a thorn in the side of Linux for years and years. Dell and Linksys (and others) use their chipsets extensively, so lots of people have them. However, Broadcom hasn't (until now) either written a Linux driver or released enough information for anyone else to do so. They've been downright idiotic about the whole thing. The end result has been that people with Broadcom chipsets have either had to use ndiswrapper or the bcm43xx/b43 series of drivers. The problem with ndiswrapper is that the FOSS crowd really doesn't like it since it requires the use of Windows drivers directly. The problem with bcm43xx/b43 is that they are reverse engineered from some specs Linksys was forced to release about their Linux based wireless routers and they have never worked particularly well.
So the fact that Broadcom has released their own Linux drivers for at least some of their chipsets is a huge change for them. It clearly isn't an open source driver either as it has a proprietary binary blob, kind of like Intel does. However, it may make life a lot easier for some Broadcom users. Since these don't support the chipset I've got, I can't tell if they are good or not, but it is probably a good thing that someone at Broadcom has finally pulled their head from whatever deep, dark, dank place it was stuck and recognized that Linux exists.
Well, the fact that Broadcom doesn't support Linux is known to most of us... I know it's not an open source driver, but as you said, ndiswrapper isn't either. Next time I will probably get an Intel card since their support is a little better.
One thing I did like about this driver is that the act of connecting is much more reliable. With ndiswrapper I needeed to try 20+ times before getting an IP.
I thought you were saying that you were expecting odd things because of the driver installation messing up with other things in the system (kind of what I heard about nVidia's proprietary driver does, leaving files behind when removed, etc).