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Last week I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my Dell Inspiron 1520. It used to have Windows, but it crashed and I didn't want to pay for Windows again so I am trying to figure out Linux.

After logging in, I am unable to connect to the internet at all. When the Ethernet cable is plugged in, I cannot connect to the internet. In the System Settings -> Network, there are no wired or wireless options listed for me to connect to.

Other machines in my house can connect directly to the LAN and wireless so I know the internet is working. I have tried restarting the machine with the wifi switch in the on and off positions.

When I ran sudo ifconfig I get:

Link encap:Local Loopback  
inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0  
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host  
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:16436 Metric:1  
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0  
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0  
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0  
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

When I ran sudo iwconfig I get:

no wireless extensions.  

Then I installed linux-firmware-nonfree_1.1ubuntu2_all.deb, the non-free firmware for Linux kernel drivers and I am still unable to get online. Now the results of sudo ifconfig while the computer is wired are slightly different:

Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:16436 Metric:1
RX packets:16 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:16 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:944 (944.0 B) TX bytes:944 (944.0 B)

What else can I do to get the internet to work on my computer?

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Please add the output of sudo ifconfig and sudo iwconfig to your question. –  Danatela Aug 12 '13 at 4:19
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1 Answer

I think the network adaptors in the Dell require "non-free" firmware.

Try installing the linux-firmware-nonfree package.

If you have an alternate ethernet adaptor (e.g. USB<=>ethernet), then you can install it with apt-get.

Otherwise download the package from http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/package/core/precise/multiverse/updates/linux-firmware-nonfree and put it on a USB drive, then install it with dpkg.

See also http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2154459 - you may also need to remove the STA driver with these commands:

sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcm43.conf
sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/broadcom-sta-common.conf
sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/broadcom-sta-dkms.conf
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So I downloaded both the 1.11ubuntu2_all.deb file from the ubuntuupdates.org page you listed and the 1.14ubuntu1_all.deb file from the ubuntuforums.org thread you listed onto a USB drive and tried to install on my laptop. Double clicking the 1.14ubuntu1 file brings me to the Ubuntu Software Center where it says "An older version of 'linux-firmware-nonfree' is available in your normal software channels. Only install this file if you trust the origin." –  Perrin Aug 14 '13 at 2:53
    
Double clicking the 1.11ubuntu2 leads it to say "Please install 'linux-firmware-nonfree' via your normal software channels. Only install this file if you trust the origin." Both of these screens have an install button on them that I cannot click. What am I doing wrong? –  Perrin Aug 14 '13 at 2:54
    
The software centre is trying to keep everything in order. You have to get networking going, then you can rely of software centre to fix things. Instead of double clicking, launch a terminal and install the package with sudo dpkg -i linux-firmware-nonfree_1.11ubuntu2_all.deb - once you have Internet access get everything in order with sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade –  David Purdue Aug 14 '13 at 7:52
    
Now it says dpkg" error processing linux-firmware-nonfree_1.11ubuntu2_all.deb (--install): cannont access archive: No such file or directory Errors were encountered while processing: linux-firmware-nonfree_1.11ubuntu2_all.deb I have the file saved on my desktop and the USB drive where it is saved is also plugged in. I don't know how to tell the terminal where to find the file. –  Perrin Aug 15 '13 at 3:16
    
I moved the file to a different location and was able to successfully install the non-free firmware for Linux kernel drivers but my internet still doesn't work wired or wifi. When I run sudo ifconfig the only difference between now and in my initial post is the last line. It now says "RX bytes:23704 (23.7 KB) TX bytes:23704 (23.7 KB)" and before it was all those 23704's and 23.7's were 0's. I tried restarting since installing the firmware and that didn't change anything. –  Perrin Aug 15 '13 at 3:27
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