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runbei 11-02-2007 12:30 PM

Seeking experienced user to review these steps
I succeeded in getting wireless working under SuSE SLED 10 SP 1on my Dell Inspiron 1501, which has the problematic Broadcom chipset. I advised TuxMobil and Linux for Laptops about this, with a link to the page where I describe what I did. I would really, really like it if someone with strong Linux experience would review the steps, so that I'm not leading other newbies in dangerous paths. Thanks!

Here's my existing guide:
Installing SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP 1 on Dell Inspiron 1501

This version of SLED still requires the use of ndiswrapper to make wireless work. A page on the Novell Web site gives detailed instructions for setting up ndiswrapper.

Before you proceed with the steps to install ndiswrapper, you will need to download the Windows drivers for the Broadcom Corporation Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-PCI Card. You can get the drivers from the Dell Web site here. Be sure to download the file to your Windows machine, not the machine running Linux. After downloading, run the .exe file to extract the drivers.

Then copy the .inf and .sys files to the Inspiron 1501. If you're a first-time Linux user, this will be fun! You'll learn how to use chmod to change file permissions so you can save the file on your laptop! (Seriously, at this point you may want to read a copy of Naba Barkakati's excellent SuSE Linux 10 for Dummies.)

Failing that, try this. Note: I am a SuSE beginner, and I'm positive that I'll get flack from old-timers, warning that the following instructions are completely clueless. (I will be more than happy to correct the steps; feel free to email me using the link at my fitness Web site. Nevertheless, this works:

Open a terminal window.

Type sudo and press Enter. At the prompt, enter your root password and press Enter again.

Type: cd /

Press Enter

Type: chmod a+rw opt

This allows you to create a new directory for the drivers, under the /opt directory. Type mkdir wireless

Press Enter

Type chmod a+rw wireless

Press Enter

Now, go to the desktop. Open Nautilus and navigate to the location of the .inf and .sys files you copied from your Windows machine. Ctrl-click the files and press Ctrl-C to copy them.

Navigate to the /dev/wireless folder and press Ctrl-V to paste the files there.

The section near the end of the Novell ndiswrapper page that describes how to make the ndiswrapper changes permanent can be a bit confusing. Under "Making the Connection Permanent," there are two sections: "Kernel File Method" and "Yast Method." This makes it seem as if you can choose one or the other method. Not so. You must do both. The second (Yast) step is where you set up SuSE to connect to your home's wireless router. In order to fill in the required info, you will need to know your network's name, SSID, etc. You can get this info by logging to your wireless router's administration control panel, as described in the router's manual.

Software for playing DVDs is not included in the SLED distribution. It's illegal for such software to be distributed for free. If you're in another country where the laws permit this, the VLC player comes highly recommended. It has excellent instructions for installing the software on SuSE. SLED 10 SP1 users should use the SuSE 10.1 repository, not 10 or 10.2.

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