Using Linux Mint and fixing the issues

As of Feb 1, 2013, my WiFi works.  If you have a wireless adapter that starts with 14e4, will help greatly.  Linux Mint is based off of Ubuntu.  Therefore, this should work for Ubuntu users also.

Make sure you read the section labeled Install With Internet carefully.  When I followed the instructions with Linux Mint 13 XFCE edition, none of the bcm drivers was installed.  Therefore, I installed both b43fwcutter and firmware-b43-installer.

Strangely enough, I have no need to use either NDISWrapper or the restricted network driver which are both currently broken.  Fortunately, there are open source drivers for both that work OK.

The speed may not be as good as using the proprietary Windows driver, but I am not complaining.  I can view my blog to write this article, access the Internet through WiFi, enter in a WiFi password that will work.

I have tried another Linux distribution to see if that will work.  Unfortunately, I ended up unable to connect since the router will not accept my password.  Therefore, I had to make a choice to either use WiFi without a password or try something else.

As of Jan 25, 2013, my WIiFi is not working.  I am still looking for a solution and will give one when I find one.

It seems that the restricted driver is the wireless adapter.  Furthermore, it cannot work in conjunction with NDISWrapper.  Therefore, I will have to decide to install either one or the other.  In any case, the restricted driver crashes Linux Mint 13.  Therefore, NDISWrapper is the only option. Unfortunately, NDISWrapper seems to be broken also.

The command below in bold gave me some useful information that I was able to do a Google search with.

lspci -vvnn | grep 14e4

It seems that the name Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 does not help much in  a Google search.  The Google search must have the exact model number which is 14e4:4311.  Using the model number with Ubuntu 12.04, which Linux Mint 13 is based on, gave much better results on how to solve my problem.  I have read somewhere that the name means nothing since it can be produced differently by different manufacturers.  Therefore, a BCM4311 in one computer may have a different model number from another computer.   Both computers require different drivers since they are not the same BCM4311 WiFi adapters.

05:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)
08:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX [14e4:170c] (rev 02)


July 25, 2012

Upon installing Linux Mint 13 32-bit, everything seems to work fine.  The main problem I seem to encounter with every Linux distribution is getting WiFi (wireless) working.  Therefore, I decided to try a few things to solve the problem with my Dell 1501, over 4 years old and still working, and the WiFi (wireless) issue on Linux Mint 13 32-bit.

First off, I added the Windows XP wireless driver from the Dell website to the ndiswrapper provided with Linux Mint 13.  I got the “ndiswrapper not found” error message.  Therefore, I did some searching and found a simple solution.

Going to Menu -> Package Manager will open up the Synaptic Package Manager.  Under Quick filter, you will have to type in ndiswrapper.  Clicking on the search button will give the results which will show that ndiswrapper-source and ndiswrapper-dkms are NOT installed.  Installing these two packages are required to get ndiswrapper working.

When that is done, uninstall and reinstall the Windows driver provided by the laptop manufacturer for your WiFi (wireless) Internet.  When you install the Windows WiFi driver through ndiswrapper, no error message will pop up.  Ensure that you get the Windows driver for the earliest working wireless driver.  I currently use an XP version that works fine.  I have not tried the Vista version, but have no need to use it.

Rebooting the computer should enable you to toggle the WiFi (wireless) off and on.

As for ndiswrapper, it is called Windows Wireless Drivers in the Control Center in the menu bar.

The Dell wireless driver is not installed by default; therefore, I must install the Dell wireless driver under Additional Drivers in Linux Mint 13. The current state of this driver is activated but not currently in use.  Unfortunately, removing this driver will turn off the WiFi light and the ability to turn it back on.  Therefore, it is a mandatory install in my Dell 1501.  It can be found under Menu -> Control Center -> Additional Drivers.


Linux Mint 32-bit is recommended over Linux Mint 64-bit since it is more widely supported.  In the future, Linux Mint 64-bit maybe the better choice.  In any case, it maybe possible that Linux Mint 13 64-bit’s WiFi works while Linux Mint 13 32-bit’s WiFi does not.  Therefore, trial and error will remain one of the ways we solve problems.

In some cases, you may also have to turn off and turn on the WiFi.  The WiFi light may turn on, but the WiFi is disabled.

Updating Adobe Flash

When it comes to Linux Mint 13, there might not be the latest Adobe Flash version for Linux Mint 13 available in their repositories or in Synaptic.  Therefore, one will have to download the latest Adobe Flash version directly from the Adobe website.  Therefore, which version can you download?

In the case of Linux Mint 13, the Ubuntu (apt) version should work since Linux Mint is based of of Ubuntu.  If that does not work, the tar.gz version will work.  Unfortunately, the tar.gz version must be installed manually.  Therefore, either reading the readme file or following the steps below is necessary to figure out how to install flash manually.

In order to install the tar.gz version of Adobe Flash, one will have to:

  1. Download the latest version of Adobe Flash which is as of Oct 7, 2012.
  2. Extract all the files into a directory.  In this case, I extracted the tar.gz files into the Documents folder.
  3. Navigate to the install_flash_player_11_linux directory.
  4. Right-click anywhere in the white space in the window and navigate the mouse pointer to Root Actions -> Open Terminal Here.
  5. Left-click on Open Terminal Here.
  6. A password dialog box may open up where a password needs to be entered to run commands as a super user.

In the Linux command prompt, the following, shown in bold text, must be entered. Remember to press Enter after typing in each command.

computer install_flash_player_11_linux.i386 # cp /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins

computer install_flash_player_11_linux.i386 # cp -r usr/* /usr

When it comes to figuring out where to put the file in other versions of Linux, a useful command to remember is locate.  I had to locate the exact location where the old file was located.  Therefore, I typed in locate then pressed the Enter button and got the following output.

computer install_flash_player_11_linux.i386 # locate

I took a guess and decided to stick the file in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins.  It worked for me.

In any case, one can try sticking in all the locations, but ensure that you rename the old to libflashplayer.bak before copying the new over.  Therefore, navigating to the folders above and opening a terminal as root in each location will be the easiest method.  The command to rename the files is mv libflashplayer.bak.

The final thing to remember is how to close the terminal window.  The command to close the terminal window is exit.

As of Oct 7, 2012, I am unable to get the apt version working.  Therefore, I downloaded and installed the tar.gz version.

If you need to make flash faster, provides some options that one can use.  How well the various options work is debatable, but they are worth a try.

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