I got the new Dell XPS 13 9310 with a Killer AX500 wifi chip on board. Until now, I have been using Windows my whole life, but I have become a bit fed up with it and want to switch to Ubuntu. I just installed Ubuntu 20.10 on my new laptop, but I quickly realized that the wifi chip is not working under Linux because it does not have drivers built in.

I figured I could just buy a TP-Link AC1300 USB wifi dongle for now until a new Ubuntu version comes out, so I went ahead and bought one. But after plugging it in, nothing happens. I don't have the wifi option in settings (unless I search for it) and when I go to wifi, I don't even see the option to search for any networks (I think the device is just not recognized).

Does anyone know what I can do about this? Keep in mind that I don't have internet on this laptop; it doesn't have a RJ-45 connector, nor do I have a converter from UTP to USB. I'm also quite a noob when it comes to linux, so I need answers to be somewhat explicit :) Thanks a lot! Hope I can enjoy my laptop with Ubuntu on it soon.

  • Let's start by identifying your exact device. Please open a terminal and run: lspci -nnk | grep 0280 -A3 Next, edit your question to show the result. If it is the Atheros chipset, then read the disappointing news here: forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?p=1880335 – chili555 Dec 11 '20 at 2:47
  • Since your USB is likely easier to get working, at least for now, also show us the result of: lsusb Welcome to Ask Ubuntu. – chili555 Dec 11 '20 at 2:49
  • Hi @chili555, the lspci command doesn't return anything. lsusb returns this: Bus 003 Device 004: ID 2357:0138 TP-Link 802.11ac NIC – Leon Cullens Dec 11 '20 at 9:21
  • Do you still have, or can you re-download on some other computer, the install DVD or USB from which you installed Ubuntu? Most of the prerequisites to build the driver are on it. We will adapt this to your exact situation: askubuntu.com/questions/1288547/… – chili555 Dec 11 '20 at 14:52
  • 1
    I will write an answer in a few moments. – chili555 Dec 11 '20 at 15:46

I have been looking for a proven reliable way to use USB drive as an apt repository and simply apt-get install the prerequisites for the driver. I have, so far, been unsuccessful. I propose another method that will get the prerequisite build-essential installed.

This method, although it is tedious, will work. The list of deb files you need is this (with the exception of bcmwl-kernel-source): https://paste.ubuntu.com/p/GbZ689gYXw/

Create a folder on your desktop to hold the files. I suggest:

mkdir ~/Desktop/debs

Browse the USB drive and look in pool/main/b for build-essential; in pool/main/d for dkms and dpkg-dev; in pool/main/f for fakeroot and so on. Continue until every package on the list I provided is dragged into the debs folder.

Now, back to the terminal:

cd ~/Desktop/debs
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Now let’s install the driver. Download this file on some other computer and transfer it to the Desktop of your Ubuntu computer on a USB drive or similar: https://github.com/cilynx/rtl88x2bu/archive/

In the terminal, do:

cd ~/Desktop

Press Tab and the rest of the very long filename will fill in automagically. Press Enter. Next:

cd rtl8

Press Tab and then Enter. Next:

sudo ./deploy.sh

After it completes, remove the USB wireless and reinsert it. Your wireless should now be working.

  • Or... purchase this $11 adapter... amazon.com/TP-Link-Foldable-Gigabit-Ethernet-Compatible/dp/… – heynnema Dec 11 '20 at 21:58
  • Thanks a lot for taking the time to try and help out @chili555. Unfortunately a lot of the packages listed are for some reason not available on my installation USB drive, so I'm getting dependency errors. I ended up trying to install all packages and then running the deploy script (which runs without errors), but that didn't solve anything. I'm now going to try it with the adapter linked above so that I have an internet connection, and then update the kernel to version 5.10 to see if that has any form of driver support for my AX500 chip. – Leon Cullens Dec 14 '20 at 13:56

If you have a Android phone with USB-C, you can use the USB-C to USB-C cable to connect your laptop to the Android phone. Then enable USB Tethering from the Android phone to share your phone's internet connection with your laptop. It works just like WiFi-hotspot, but using the USB. Works like charm for me (XPS 9310, AX500, Ubuntu 20.10). At least you get online and are able to download and install everything you need.

The 5.10 kernel should have support for the AX500, but I haven't figured out how to make it actually work.

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