Ubuntu: Wireless card not recognized? Broadcomm 4311, Compaq laptop



Question:

I"m running Ubuntu 14.04 from a usb flash drive on a Compaq Presario C700 laptop. The wireless card is a Broadcom 4311. When I look at System Settings --> Software & Updates --> Additional Drivers, it says it's using the Broadcomm 802.11 Linux STA drivers from bcmwl-kernel-source. But there's no sign of any wireless functionality. The network menu shows only the wired connection.

The laptop has a push button that toggles red or blue to toggle the wireless. When I'm running Ubuntu, the button stays red no matter what. When I run Windows, it goes blue and wireless works fine.

Wired networking works in Ubuntu on this laptop.

I'm pretty much ready to conclude that Ubuntu is not capable of running wireless, at least on this hardware. Is this correct?

I"m relatively new to Ubuntu and it really surprises me that Ubuntu is so user-unfriendly on such a basic function as wireless connectivity.


Solution:1

Ubuntu is quite capable of running this hardware wirelessly. Remarkably, the live USB, DVD and indeed Broadcom themselves offer to install the wrong driver for this device. Getting it corrected running the live USB is a bit tricky.

I suggest you reboot the device. Ignore the offer to install Additional Drivers; in this case, Wrong Drivers. Get a temporary internet connection by whatever means possible and open a terminal and do:

sudo purge bcmwl-kernel-source  <---if it isn't installed, just continue  sudo modprobe -r b43  sudo modprobe -r ssb  

Check:

lsmod | grep -e b43 -e ssb  

Did all the wireless drivers unload? Please continue:

sudo apt-get update  sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer  sudo modprobe b43  

Detach the ethernet. The wireless should now be working perfectly.


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