HI! I just recently purchased the XPS 8500 and installed Mandriva 2011. My proble lies in the wireless network and the fact that Mandriva doesn't sense the NIC. I have been trying to find out, at the very least what the chipset is on the wireless card - would anyone know? Next question would be - does anyone know of drivers pertaining to the Linux OS? I'd prefer not to use ndiswrapper but if I must, I will. Knowing the chipset would be a great help. Thanks!
I also just purchased an XPS 8500 and had the same problem. The solution offered on the Ubuntu Forums worked for me (ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php see post #63). I am running Linux Mint 11 (Gnome) 64-bit. For the sake of completeness, I'll post the directions here:
uname -r produces: 2.6.38-8-generic
uname -a produces: Linux katya 2.6.38-8-generic #42-Ubuntu SMP Mon Apr 11 03:31:24 UTC 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
First upgrade to all latest software using package manager.
$ sudo apt-get install --reinstall linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential
$ tar jxvf compat-wireless.tar.bz2
$ cd compat-wireless*
$ ./scripts/driver-select atheros
$ sudo make install
$ sudo make unload
$ sudo make wlunload
$ sudo make btunload