Originally Posted by oldeskule
I am running opensuse 12.1 on my Dell 1501 Inspiron and am totally frustrated by my systems inability to detect and run on my wifi router (belkin 801.11 n) In order to connect I either have to plug my cell phone in and activate a hot spot or plug directly into an ethernet cable.
I have a 1545 and am running OpenSUSE 12.2 on it. Both are similar enough to your setup that you might find this helpful
I seem to recall that the process was, essentially, to: a.) ensure that wireless was enabled in the BIOS, b.) make sure that you have a box checked in the bottom of the "manage connections" dialog box (I think it was that dialog, anyhow) that says "enable wireless". I have seen some accounts where users had to press the wireless button (above F2 on the 1545). The process was actually easier than I had to go through enabling wireless access on my wife's Win7 laptop. I installed 12.2 while I was visiting relatives over Thanksgiving and had wireless almost
working before we came home. (The sticking point was that all of wireless networks in that neighborhood had been locked down; I could see them but could get no farther than that. Bummer for me but I was glad to see they had security in mind.) Getting my Netgear router up and running was pretty simple once I found the PDF containing the manual configuration instructions.
If you are able to scan for available access points, you're halfway there. If you don't see anything when you scan for wireless networks check that that checkbox is filled in and that you have the wireless hardware enabled in the BIOS. I assume you've gone into the Belkin (caveat: I have no idea what is involved in the setup of the Belkin hardware) and defined a recognizable SSID, say something like "oldeskulenet". Then when you go into the network connection utility you should see "oldeskulenet" when you scan for networks.
Sorry if this is all very general. Please post more details as to what you've tried and what you're seeing.
... would it make more sense to install a different distro or drag my knuckles across the ground trying to understand the command line?
I wouldn't think that installing a new distribution is going to help that much. Understanding the command line will always be good for you -- there are some things that are easier to do once you know what's hiding behind the GUI. In this case, I found that the GUI was actually easier to use in getting the wireless networking up and running that it would have been to go mucking about with a slew of configuration files.
Again... I hope some this helps.