I bought a refurbished Dell Latitude E6400. After changing the hard disk to a new SSD, I installed (of course) Slackware64 14.2 on it. Everything went fine, but the WiFi was not supported out-of-the-box. However, there was a
very easy solution.
As returned by
lspci, the network controller is
Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller. Luckily, the drivers are available at SBo as brpadcom-sta. I installed it and the wireless works! Great.
After a day using the proprietary driver, I realised it seems to have certain issues. The network connection would occasionally hang. This was particularly annoying when I was installing packages via
slapt-get from my own home package repository. Also,
dmesg would show the following error:
ERROR @wl_notify_scan_status : eth1 Scan_results error (-22)
I googled a bit and found that this driver is problematic for many users. So, I decided to give the open source driver (
b43) a try. For this, I uninstalled
broadcom-sta, installed b43-fwcutter and b43-firmware from SBo, then added this to
#!/bin/sh # # /etc/rc.d/rc.local: Local system initialization script. # # Put any local startup commands in here. Also, if you have # anything that needs to be run at shutdown time you can # make an /etc/rc.d/rc.local_shutdown script and put those # commands in there. modprobe b43
Reboot and the wireless connection works! We’ll see if it has issues.
A few notes about the laptop. It is old, with an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 4GB DDR2 RAM and a Searial ATA 300. The screen is 14″ with a resolution of 1440×900, so not bad. A new Serial ATA 600 SSD (SATAIII) will not work at its maximum speed, however the difference compared to a spindle disk is still significant. I had to specify in the BIOS to use ATA. I use Xfce and so far the computer seems quite snappy and fast.