[Solved] WiFi Not Working In Lucid Lyux or Ubuntu 10.04 On HP / Dell Laptop

by Rohit Khurana on July 9, 2010


I have installed Ubuntu Inside Windows Using Wubi on my desktop sometime back and I was totally impressed. Ubuntu is a user friendly and feature packed variant of Linux. The graphics and functionality it offers tightly competes with the visual effects and ease of use which Windows Operating systems provide. Last night I installed the same on my HP DV4 Laptop Computer (mine is HP DV4 1131 TX) , the installation competed successfully and to my surprise, the WiFi was not working !


In this post I will share a very easy tutorial to fix the WiFi not working problem with Ubuntu 9 or 10.04 versions especially with some laptop computers.

My desktop was using wired Internet connection, so  I never faced any problems and all the features worked perfectly without any problems, but in case of my laptops, graphics and Wireless were not working. I have earlier shared some tips regarding Sound Not Working in Ubuntu , desktop not showing up in Ubuntu and Manually Install graphics drivers in Ubuntu. The problem of WiFi not working with Ubuntu is common with HP and Dell Laptop which use WiFi chipsets from Broadcom or Atheros as some of these drivers are not bundled in the Ubuntu installation.

On searching through Ubuntu forums I came across some useful information to make it work, well there are two approaches to make things work, first one is an easy and recommended way, second one is geeky way and needs some terminal commands to be executed to install missing drivers manually. In both these methods, you need to connect the laptop to some wired Internet connection via a LAN cable since the WiFi is not operational. I will share both methods below :


Install Missing Wireless Drivers In Ubuntu – Easy Way

1. First ensure that you are connected to the Internet via a wired LAN port. To install the missing drivers easy way in Ubuntu, click on System > Administration > Hardware Drivers

this will open up the list of devices detected by Ubuntu for which the drivers are not installed by default.


2. Check for the Hardware device list and try to locate the Wireless device, for HP / Dell laptops, it will be mostly Broadcom or Atheros Wireless device. Select the Device and click the activate button on the right bottom of the screen, it will download the required drivers and install it. You will need to restart for these drivers to become effective and Wireless will start working on your HP / Dell Laptop on Ubuntu 9 and 10.04 installations.


Install Wireless Drivers Manually In Ubuntu – Geek’s Way

There are geeks among us who want to do things using the Linux terminal, so there is a way to solve this problem that way also. There are few steps to be followed. I tried it, but somehow compilation failed, so I did the first method as I was not in mood to locate the header files manually and get into coding part. You can give this method a try as it mat work on your machine. Check out this link – Detailed Steps To Manually Install Broadcom Wireless Drivers (Ubuntu Forums). This method is recommended for the cases in which the above way is not working, however, if you like to work things out at the ground level, you can give it a try.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

basil September 30, 2011 at 1:00 am

Thank you so much.
But the machine is connecting through wireless but no website is opening.

Jarard October 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Great, great, great tip. Have been pulling my hair out for some time on this wireless no work um problem. Follow your step by step instructions and like a magic the wireless now works. Can’t thank you enough!!!!

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