Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just installed Ubuntu 10.10 to make my dell inspiron 1564 <64bit> dual boot. But I can't access wi-fi. I guess, I need to download drivers for wireless.

My system details are:

raman@ubuntu:~$ sudo lshw -C network
       description: Network controller
       product: BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY
       vendor: Broadcom Corporation
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:04:00.0
       version: 01
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list
       configuration: driver=b43-pci-bridge latency=0
       resources: irq:17 memory:f0200000-f0203fff
       description: Ethernet interface
       product: RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller
       vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:05:00.0
       logical name: eth0
       version: 02
       serial: 00:26:b9:21:a7:41
       size: 10MB/s
       capacity: 100MB/s
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=2.3LK-NAPI duplex=half latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=MII speed=10MB/s
       resources: irq:45 ioport:3000(size=256) memory:f0410000-f0410fff memory:f0400000-f040ffff memory:f0420000-f043ffff
  *-network DISABLED
       description: Wireless interface
       physical id: 4
       logical name: wlan0
       serial: c4:17:fe:d5:ec:ca
       capabilities: ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=b43 driverversion=2.6.35-22-generic firmware=N/A link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bg

raman@ubuntu:~$ iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=0 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off

raman@ubuntu:~$ ifconfig
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:26:b9:21:a7:41  
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
          Interrupt:45 Base address:0xe000 

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:265 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:265 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:22358 (22.3 KB)  TX bytes:22358 (22.3 KB)

Any suggestions?

share|improve this question

It looks like the wireless device is recognized and the driver is working, otherwise we would not see wlan0 in the list given by iwconfig.

First, look to see if your system has a switch or a function-key for turning off wireless, and make sure it's not activated.

After that, check the Network Manager applet; this is an icon in your notification area. If you haven't changed your Ubuntu setup, it should be in the upper-right and look like either an up/down arrow or radio waves (concentric arcs). If you click it, it should show a list of networks, including your wired ethernet and any wifi access points in the area. If it shows the list, connecting should be as simple as clicking on the your access point and typing in the passphrase. Here is a good article that shows the Network Manager icon and describes this process.

If there is no access point list in Network Manager, run iwlist wlan0 scan; it should show a list of access points in your area. If it does show a list of access points, then there is something wrong with Network Manager, and more work is required to either fix Network Manager or get an alternative to Network Manager.

If it doesn't show the list, it would seem that the driver isn't working completely right, and there will be more work to figure out what's wrong.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.