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12 January 2013

Ubuntu on Dell Inspiron 15R 5520

I am a true believer in Free Software, but I am really considering selling my soul to Apple sometime soon.

For the past four days I have been stuggeling with my laptop's wifi, I installed 2 versions of Ubunto, one Mint, one Fedora and one Debian on it in the past few days. None was able to identify its internal wireless. I bought an external USB wireless device, some were not able to detect it, some needed ndiswrapper, and few were able to detect it, but the latter two, never worked properly, and the wireless connection kept going down.

The sad truth, is that when I bought my Dell Inspiron 15r 5520 laptop, it came with Ubuntu 11.10 preinstalled on it. But when I upgraded it to 12.04 the wireless stopped working, I then realized that Dell was using a custom Ubuntu version with the wireless driver in there. I tried contacting Dell since then to send me the driver, but with no hope. I created a supprt ticket with them almost 6 months ago but with no hope. Just google "Dell Inspiron 15r 5520 Linux Wireless" to realize how Dell doesn't give a rat's shit to their customers. People keep on comming out with workarounds to solve the problem, and Dell simply don't care. But on the other hand, Ubuntu's site mentioned my Laptop among their certified hardware, yet they added that "the standard images of Ubuntu may not work at all on the system or may not work well". So, I still have an option to pick another laptop that is certified by them. However, new models (the one you probably are going to buy) are not on their list yet. So, I am still not sure of that option.

I've been using GNU/Linux since 2002, so may now is the time to switch to Apple, at least for some time, we need to separate for a while. As for Dell, I don'y think I'll buy anything from them again.


  1. hello, were you able to solve those issues yet?

  2. same problem here, man! did you find the solution?

  3. Try these commands:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source
    sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree
    sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
    Then reboot and retest wireless.

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