Wifi on a Dell Latitude D620

Asked by davidkam on 2007-08-29

So I have an old Dell Latitude D620, trying to go microsoft free. Installed Ubuntu, everything worked perfectly, except my built in wireless. It finds nothing, and when I specify my network, it doesnt connect. I've perused various sources trying to find an answer, but no such luck. I'm suprised such a common machine is not supported. I'm a mac guy who's dabbled in Linux, but this illustrates why Linux is not viable on the desktop for 95% of users. I'd like to learn and get this working, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Justin M. Wray (wray-justin) said : #1


If you card is not natively supported in Linux, you have the option on using 'ndiswrapper'.

Please take a look at this documentation, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/Ndiswrapper

You will need to obtain your drivers from Dell. http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?os=WW1&osl=EN&catid=-1&impid=-1&servicetag=&SystemID=LATITUDE+D620&hidos=LN90&hidlang=en

Justin M. Wray

Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said : #2

The D620 works beautifully with Ubuntu including wireless, but I suppose not all came with the same card. Open a terminal and type


and look for the line referring to wireless. Paste that info here. If it's a card that should work we can help figure out why it won't. If it's a broadcom card you are going to have less luck. If it's broadcom check this link


Depending on the model it may help.

davidkam (david-kamedulski) said : #3

Looks like a broadcom.

0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-PC I Card (rev 01). I'll investigate the link provided, thanks.

davidkam (david-kamedulski) said : #4

OK, so I can't get a wired connection either. Looks like I buy windows or I have a paperweight.

Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said : #5

Well, it kind of depends on which broadcom card you have. Some seem better than others. I don't see a model number in that output. Was there more to it than that? Something like "Broadcom Corporation BCM4306".

It is a shame that dell is using these cards and at the same time shipping Ubuntu systems. You'd think they would realize that broadcom cards are not a good choice for a company that wants to be Linux friendly. I let them know that. I'd also try and convince them that the broadcom card is defective (it doesn't work, right?) and get an intel replacement. If that fails, buy one for $30.


davidkam (david-kamedulski) said : #6

There was no more output. I believe the model number is bcm4311 tho.

I havent fully researched, but the wireless card is built in so no easy way to swap out. I could buy a card for the card reader slot tho. Any recommendations for a cheap card that will work out of the box?

Justin M. Wray (wray-justin) said : #7


     You could switch the internal card out with little problem, and you could also buy a new PCMCIA card, but neither is necessary for normal network usage. If you plan on changing the mode, monitoring, or injecting (if you are unsure about any of these, simply ignore), then a new card may be in order[1], but if you only plan to use the card to connect to access points and access network resources, then you can use your current card.

     You can download the Windows bcm4311 drivers from the dell website. [2] Follow the directions at [3] and [4]. The directions are step-by-step for your card and will allow you to use the Windows drivers, within Linux.

Justin M. Wray

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Proxim-8470-FC-ORiNOCO-802-11b-Card/dp/B000227PC2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-8721003-2565619?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1188483302&sr=8-1
[2] http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?os=WW1&osl=EN&catid=-1&impid=-1&servicetag=&SystemID=LATITUDE+D620&hidos=LN90&hidlang=en
[3] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx
[4] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/Ndiswrapper

Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said : #8

One of the many cool things about Linux is that there is a work around for just about anything. One of the bad things is that some hardware makers don't think Linux is worth supporting. I vote with my wallet and only buy hardware that mentions Linux somewhere on the box (in the sense of support) whenever possible. Just my 2 cents.

Yousif Anwar (youssif2j) said : #9

I am using Latitude D620 and My wireless didn't enabled until I enable it form the restricted drivers. Now it can see the Access points on my office but when I provide the key it's still unable to connect. I hope you can help on this ?

My System is Ubuntu 7.10 Gusty Gibbon (Final), Dell Latitude D620
Wireless Name as appeared under Windows' Device Manager: Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card.
Thank you in advance.

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