Story about fixing WiFi on a Dell E6400 laptop

Let me tell you a story about resurrecting a former office laptop, a Dell E6400. Everything worked, excepted the WiFi.

I installed Xubuntu 20.04 on the laptop. I prefer Debian based distros and now that Xubuntu also has a dark theme, I couldn’t wait to install it on the laptop.

Everything worked OK, besides the WiFi. I checked the hardware, using the terminal, with the following command


It showed at the network section that the laptop contains a

Intel WiFi Link 5100

But the WiFi did not work, so I searched on the internet and you could check if the module is up and running with the following command in the terminal

rfkill list

Giving the following output

0: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: yes
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: yes

Hard blocked: yes

Hard blocked? Hard blocked? Might be hardware blocked?


On the right of the laptop there is a hardware switch for enabling and disabling WiFi.

Oops, Better enable WiFi using the hardware switch

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