Linux driver available for Dell Wireless cards


The Official Dell Corporate Blog

Linux driver available for Dell Wireless cards

Christopher Tozzi's blog from Thursday reminded me of the announcement that I never made: Linux driver support is now available to Dell-branded wireless cards. We started working closely with Broadcom early this year on providing this support, as our customers have been asking for a Linux driver for our cards for a while now. As a result of this effort, Broadcom released an updated Linux wireless driver that supports cards based on the Broadcom 4311, 4312, 4321, and 4322 chipsets, which include the Dell 1490, 1395, 1397, 1505, and 1510 Wireless cards. This driver is included in the Ubuntu 8.10 release, and should be added to Ubuntu 8.04. It is currently only partially open-source, similar to ATI or NVIDIA video drivers, so keep this in mind when deciding if you want to use it. For those who want to try it out immediately, the driver can be downloaded from here.

We're currently offering the Dell 1397 card with the Studio 15 system with Ubuntu 8.04, and  the 1395 card is supported on our new Inspiron Mini 9. Please give us feedback on how well this driver works for you on any of our Dell wireless cards on our Linux Desktop mailing list.

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  • The link is broken for the try it out.  It tries to access

    Awesome News!

  • Thanks Christopher, thats good to hear. I recently ordered 2 inspiron 1525 laptops from the (canadian) website that come with dell branded wireless cards.

    I really wanted to buy a dell ubuntu system, but unfortunately - at least in Canada - the "sale" that they had featuring inspiron 1525 provided a Vista 1525 that came with more memory, larger hard drive, and a vaster processor for less $$$$$$ than the ubuntu 1525. I want to support linux adoption, but I can't pay extra money to buy a technically inferior system just because it doesn't come with windows :S

    I called a dell but they were not able to sweeten the linux system deal at all so I was forced to purchase the vista version of the laptops. However, I wanted to make it clear to someone at dell (maybe you know who I can email about this) that the only reason I'm buying their computers at all is to support their move in the right direction regarding linux PCs. So Dell got my business because of their 'playing nice' with the open source/free software world - but it really would have been preferable to actually buy the linux system without costing me hundreds of $$$$s to match the windows system.

    Sorry for the off topic rant, and keep up the good work with linux/ubuntu :D


  • How about support for the Broadcom 4328, found in the Inspriron 1521s?  I'd love to get off the ndiswrapper driver I'm using.



  • When you say the driver is included in Ubuntu 8.10 do you mean that:

    1. it will be included in the ISO distributed by the web-site
    2. it will be included in the Dell's own Ubuntu image
    3. or it will be automatically downloaded by the proprietary driver manager?

    Frankly, I wouldn't mind if Dell provided an image for every Ubuntu release with all drivers bundled in it (proprietary or not), because I end-up installing proprietary drivers anyway as I am sure do most other owners of Dell laptops/desktops.

    The third option, the one I had to deal with when upgrading to 8.04, is a little inconvenient for wireless drivers, because you lose connection as soon as you upgrade and forced to look for that RJ45 cable to plug into the router directly to download the driver (that is if you have physical access to the router).


  • Any word of support for 1501?

  • Any chance of the BCM4310 chip in the Vostro 1000 being supported?


  • Link still broken...?

  • The link above titled "here" does not go to a valid url


  • @Bryan: fixed the link

    @uga: the driver will be included in the standard Ubuntu "restricted" repository, similar to the NVIDIA proprietary driver.

  • Like PJ said above, any chance of support for the Broadcom 4328 found in my Latitude D630?

  • It's not true.

    I have a dell 1505 and is a boardcom BCM4328

    In my vostro this driver isn't work


    when we have a driver for dell 1505






  • Dang, I was all set to switch over to Ubuntu 8.04 I had even booted to it and spent over an  hour and a half trying to get the thing to recognize my wireless connection. We really need to get the drivers going for the D630 series. Talk about a let down, back to Windows XP for me.

  • Hi,

    I'm try compile this driver in my machine and not compile (kernel in a Debian sid/experimental). The driver is bad make.

    Is posible dell tel boardcom to fix this.???

    Can you said we where maquines it's work??? I'm confuse about this. I have a vostro 1510 the driver working in that machine???

    Other one.

    When dell make a space when localize the infomation about install and configure our machines. Model per model.

    In this moment is very hard find it. If you said true about linux and dell you need work very much. The support linux is a compromise with the your clients. And this moment we are in the expectative what we need much more.

    I think is very wheel if you starting with the models information billing.

    Hi, I'm very happy with my vostro, its very weel work, but a few devices ist'n work weel.

    I compromise put my information about this vostro in the an web site space. but isn't. Please build this one

    sorry for my very bad english






  • I have to confirm too, that this driver won't work on my Dell D630 Latitude running Ubuntu 8.04.

    There is a proprietary driver being offered in Ubuntu from Broadcom which I enabled. However, when I restart, the driver is marked as "enabled" but is not in use.

    I have to say that Broadcom sucks. From all the WiFi vendors, it is the worst when it comes to Open Source operating systems.

    Even if Broadcom offers a working proprietary driver this is only a very bad "solution".

    Dell should look for WiFi vendors that support Free driver development for their chipsets. The Dell I use right now is my company device, personally I wouldn't spend a single € on a notebook with Broadcom hardware. Broadcom is a showstopper.


  • I use a dell laptop model m1330. It works. I check it now. you can't compile this driver in kernel version. some kernel APIs such as iwe_stream_add_*() are changed at 2.6.27 version so you can't compile this driver over 2.6.27 kernel version. anyway I compiled this driver to modify iwe_stream_add_*() APIs and run on Fedora Core 8, at my laptop and it works.