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I'm trying to run Ubuntu 12.10 32-bit from a live USB, and it doesn't detect my dell 1397 wireless card. (I know there are many seemingly duplicates here but so far I haven't found any other case of this happening.)

I've followed these instructions Where to get Dell Inspiron 1545 drivers for the Dell 1397 wlan minicard wireless card?, ie executing

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

and the card is inmediately detected. It is however impossible to subsequently boot the USB drive afterwards, as it throws a kernel panic booting up.

Which is the proper way to get the Dell 1397 driver working under Ubuntu 12.10 live USB with a persistance file size of 2GB? I can recreate the live cd, so there's no need for instructions on how to recover that installation. I do need however a definitive answer: there are way too many different responses on seemingly similar questions here.

marked as duplicate by Luis Alvarado Apr 22 '13 at 0:24

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  • I don't know if this question could be of help for someone else. I wouldn't mind if you closed it: I've written off the hardware in question, having dropped too many hours trying the linux solution to no avail. – s_a Apr 21 '13 at 22:51

For Dell 1397 wireless card, just search for 'bcmwl-kernel-source' in the Software Center and install it.


Please run the terminal command:

lspci -nn

Is your Broadcom wireless 14e4:4312? If so, please do:

sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree
sudo modprobe b43

If that is not your device, post it here and we'll assist.

  • That's the device @chili555. However, the first line fails (as I said in the question, I couldn't boot the corrupted image so I recreated the USB drive) and so does the second one (E: Unable to locate package linux-firmware-nonfree). – s_a Mar 6 '13 at 16:23
  • Are you able to connect to the internet to get the package? If not, here is a method to get the needed firmware without the internet: ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2117874 See post #9. – chili555 Mar 6 '13 at 16:40
  • Yes, I should've been more clear: wired internet does work and I can use the browser. – s_a Mar 6 '13 at 17:25
  • If, for some reason, apt-get is unable to locate the package, I suggest you use the second method I linked. – chili555 Mar 6 '13 at 20:37

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