I just installed Pinguy OS 11.04 (a derivative of Ubuntu) and I can't seem to get the wireless to work. I've tried everything on this question and a bunch of other stuff. I even reinstalled and that didn't solve anything.

What do I have to do so that I can browse the web wirelessly?

  • As a new linux user, I would strongly suggest that you start with one of the primary releases, either Ubuntu itself or Mint (linuxmint.com/download.php) since you wanted a fleshed-out Ubuntu by picking Pinguy. – unpythonic Jul 2 '11 at 0:34
  • I cleaned up your post a little. You were right to post here, good job following the FAQ's about on and of topic posts. Can you give us any more detail about what "not working" means? Does the device not show up? Does show as an interface but not connect successfully? Do yo have any error messages? Can you connect through the wired network ok? – Caleb Jul 2 '11 at 6:14
  • Many wifi device manufacturers don't cooperate with Linux driver writers, so some models are not well supported. What device do you have? Run lspci in a terminal and post the relevant line (or all of them if you're unsure). Ubuntu has a large repository of documentation about wifi drivers. Sometimes the only option is to get the Windows driver and hook into it with ndiswrapper. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 2 '11 at 10:49
  • Finally I installed Ubuntu 10.10 (because I had the official cd) and everything is working perfectly. But thanks for your answers. And to answer Caleb, I was able to connect to a wired network, but it couldn't show the wifi device, and I didn't have any error messages. – Raphael Jul 2 '11 at 15:59

I had the same problem on my Dell Inspiron laptop. I got the internet AND wireless working by taking the following steps:

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
sudo modprobe -r b43
sudo modprobe -r ssb

(These remove the ssb driver that interferes (supposedly) with b43 function, though I later found that the b43 driver automatically loads ssb also, in my case)

sudo modprobe b44

(This enables my ethernet (wired) connection)

Then install proprietary wireless drivers and enable the sta wireless driver. Link is on desktop or through Control Center.

sudo apt-get remove firmware-b43-installer
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

(This then automatically loads the firmware files)

I don't know whether all these steps were required, but they sure helped me. So go ahead and give it a try.


It happened to my dell laptop and I just ran the first command then reboot, finally, the wireless device is back to work!

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

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