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I want to have UNIX or Linux on my laptop but I found that the wireless did not work on all the ones I tried. I have not tried again for over 6 months but don't have the time to experiment. It took me a week straight last time, I tried PCBSD (8.1), Ubuntu, OpenSUSE (11.3), and various others. The laptop was just released then, so I can understand why all the drivers might not have been compatible then.

I am hoping someone else has successfully added a distribution and can tell me which.

LAPTOP: Dell Inspiron M5010 (15R) [not to be confused with Dell N5010, which is the Intel version]

Here is my hardware (from Speccy):

  • MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II N850
  • RAM: 8.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz (9-9-9-24)
  • Chipset: 785GX
  • Southbridge Model: SB850
  • Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250
  • Hard Drive: 488GB Seagate ST950032 5AS SATA Disk Device
  • Audio: IDT High Definition Audio
  • Network: DW1501 Wireless-N WLAN Half-Mini Card
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google results suggest this card has a broadcom BCM4313 chipset – Stephanie Jul 23 '11 at 0:08
yes, in fact, the DW1501 Wireless-N WLAN card does indeed use the BCM4313 chipset. I know this because I even had tried to compile drivers (although to no avail), and had to research my card to find out. – user91357 Jul 23 '11 at 10:36
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You last tried it 6 months ago, and things have changed since then. Your best bet would be to get an Ubuntu or Fedora LiveCD, and then booting into that. If you are able to use your wireless on the LiveCD, then you should be fine to do a full system installation.

share|improve this answer
It's also possible that Ubuntu has support, but the driver's aren't on the CD for license reasons. If you can, connect an ethernet cable for long enough to do the install and to check for non-free drivers that can be installed. – Stephanie Jul 23 '11 at 0:09
I do not plan on paying for drivers. Also I will not do this and this is not a solution if it does not include drivers. – user91357 Jul 23 '11 at 10:44
@user91357 You don't have to pay for drivers. "non-free" means that they are not license-free and therefore not included in the distribution per default. See here. – slhck Jul 23 '11 at 14:10
thanks 4 your answer =) – user91357 Dec 9 '11 at 1:31

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