[SOLVED] Dell Mini 12 + Broadcom 4312

Questions about WIFI networks and devices
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[SOLVED] Dell Mini 12 + Broadcom 4312

Postby Microcord on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:48 am

Hello, Mint NooB here.* To my surprise and delight, I managed to install linuxmint-201109-xfce-dvd-32bit.iso (via USB doodad) to my Dell Inspiron Mini 12 -- a likeable little computer as long as you stick to the Ubuntu (or Windows?) that Dell intended but with hardware complications that make it a pain in the posterior otherwise.

I wasn't at all surprised that wireless didn't work at first. A label under the computer says "Broadcom BCM94312MCG", and using ethernet and Synaptic I grabbed anything that looked relevant. It was downloaded and installed (I think);** but no change. I restarted the computer: still no change.

Right-clicking the ethernet (?) icon at the bottom right of the screen shows a check mark next to "Enable Networking". Left-clicking the same icon shows "Wired Network" and "VPN Connections" (not that there are any of the latter), but that's all.

The thread newbie needs help with wifi (broadcom BCM4311) is of course about the 4311 whereas I want the 4312, and I suppose it's about Ubuntu-based Mint, but it looks useful. Trouble is, I don't understand most of it and I'm reluctant to type stuff I don't understand at the command line. In what's currently the last message in the thread, somebody writes: I have a similar problem [...]. Read through the lengthy post. Would somebody please distill and list the commands necessary to be successful? I'll second that!

Anyway, I did type

Code: Select all
lspci -vvnn | grep Broadcom


which brought

Code: Select all
03:00:0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY [14e4:4315] (rev 01)


What should I try next?

*Almost a year ago I posted this thread about Mint on my then-new little HP notebook. That's now happily running CrunchBang, but I now want to do something useful with the machine that my HP largely replaced (one that doesn't like CrunchBang at all, quickily freezing after CrunchBang is booted live from a USB memory device, and freezing during the GRUB stage before CrunchBang can boot off the hard drive).

** No error message. But I'm told that 300+ recommended updates are available. I get them, install them, see no error message -- but then check to see that 300+ recommended updates are available. Ditto a third time....
Last edited by Microcord on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dell Mini 12 doesn't know what to do with Broadcom 4312

Postby TBABill on Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:37 pm

http://wiki.debian.org/wl Follow the Wheezy section.
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Re: Dell Mini 12 doesn't know what to do with Broadcom 4312

Postby Microcord on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:16 pm

Thank you, TBABill.

It's described as a seven-step process. The first two had already been done (I checked). Further steps brought up funny error messages and eventually total failure -- until I realized that Synaptic was also running at the time. I closed Synaptic, repeated, took the link at step 7 to this additional page of instructions.

At first glance, this additional page is a bit overwhelming, but for our purposes the whole thing can be simplified to: "Use Synaptic to download and install Wicd. This will start automatically. Pay attention to what it says, remember your password, and you'll be in."

So I now have a working Linux Mint Debian Xfce -running Dell Inspiron Mini 12 (aka Inspiron 1210).
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