networkmanager can't see my devices

As a back to school gift (finishing my masters), I recently purchased a Dell Inspiron B130 and dumped XP Home for my beloved Debian Etch. I'm using kernel 2.6.15-1 that I've compiled with ndiswrapper.

The wired connection works fine (I'm typing this message from the laptop), but the wireless is not able to connect to anything, though there are a minumum of 3 wireless routers used by my immediate neighbors. Network manager sees neither: "No network device found"

Both are Broadcom devices:

King:~# lspci | grep Broadcom\ Corporation
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)
02:03.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02)

This is my 2nd install of Etch on this laptop. On my first try I was able to get the wireless partially working (picking up at least my nextdoor neighbour), but screwed up some other settings that were easier corrected by a re-install. This time, no dice with the wireless.

King:~# ndiswrapper -l
Installed drivers:
bcmwl5 driver installed, hardware present

King:~# less /etc/network/interfaces
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).
# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
# The primary network interface
allow-hotplug eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

King:~# iwconfig
lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

wlan0 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:off/any
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.462 GHz Access Point: Not-Associated
Bit Rate:54 Mb/s Tx-Power:25 dBm
RTS thr:2347 B Fragment thr:2346 B
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off
Link Quality:0 Signal level:0 Noise level:0
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

sit0 no wireless extensions.

King:~# ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:14:22:AD:5C:AF
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::214:22ff:fead:5caf/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:598 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1578 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:652333 (637.0 KiB) TX bytes:149185 (145.6 KiB)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:15 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:15 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:832 (832.0 b) TX bytes:832 (832.0 b)

wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:14:A5:8F:9B:C2
inet6 addr: fe80::214:a5ff:fe8f:9bc2/64 Scope:Link
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:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)
Interrupt:217 Memory:dfbfe000-dfc00000

X-wise, KDE sees both as present and active in the network config, but knetworkmanager does not. KWiFimanager reports the surrounding wireless networks as present or not, but I'm unable to switch or connect to any successfully.

Any ideas? I'm a laptop and wireless n00b.

- T.


I haven't had much luck with

I haven't had much luck with Network Manager, although I don't know of a good replacement.


I'd settle for a working WiFi card in any event. Even without network-manager, how can I make this thing connect? It seems to be active as it is able to detect networks, yet the WiFi light on my laptop only flickers. Should it be on steady?

There is a reverse engineering project for Broadcomm drivers, as well as a few different linux drivers I could try. I guess I'll keep exploring options.

- T.

working wifi

wifi works great on my centrino laptop. I also got my Linksys WRT54G card (broadcom based) working using ndiswrapper. In my /etc/network/interfaces file, I have

#The wireless network interface
iface eth2 inet dhcp
wireless-mode managed
wireless-essid MYESSID
wireless-key restricted MYWEPKEY

and it just works.

It looks like bcm43xx driver

It looks like bcm43xx driver has been merged into mainline so there shouldn't be a reason to use ndiswrapper anymore. I have not tried it yet though - need to pull the card from wife's laptop...

Thanks, but...

The bcm series driver does not function correctly with the bcm4318 for some reason, so it must be blacklisted and replaced with the one I already used. After trying the other various ubuntu solutions and walkthroughs unsuccessfully, I decided to install Kubuntu over Debian. Result: - Wireless works after installing knetworkmanager and following the thread here: Or, I'm at least able to see other wireless networks, though I've not connected to any yet. Plus: - Opening/closing the screen now works 100% (system wakes up and 915resolution (Intel WXGA hack) works). -DVDs play nice 'n smooth. As much as I prefer real Debian, yay Kubuntu. :) - T. .:. [size=1][url=]Reg'd Linux User[/url] #75719 .:. Get [url=]Debian.[/url] .:. [url=]Debian Unofficial[/url] .:.

Switched to SUSE

Well, after a few more days of Kubuntu I decided it was a fine desktop but not the best suited for laptops. Suspend, resume and hibernation were iffy and the laptop function keys didn't work at all.

SUSE installed perfectly, setting up the WXGA driver automatically, along with everything else except the wireless driver. After installing ndiswrapper and adding the card to Yast, I now have both encrypted wireless (public connections don't work -- seems to be a Broadcom issue with ndiswrapper or wpa_supplicant) and a wired connection that switches automatically by network-manager depending on whether I'm plugged in or not. Seamless. :)

Non-OSS software is now excluded from the default install, so you'll either need to download install CD #6 and/or follow this guide to add the necessary repositories for Realplayer, DVD playback, etc.:

A great distro with nice eye candy whether you use GNOME or KDE, and the best laptop linux I've found (so far).

Dell 1370 wireless card

I google'd the Dell 1370 wireless card that I think you have and this page might be able to help you out. It's written for Ubuntu Breezy but should work similarly on Etch.