Installing Broadcom Wireless Drivers

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I’m having serious problems installing the Broadcom drivers for Ubuntu. It worked perfectly on my previous version, but now, it is impossible.

What are the steps to install Broadcom wireless drivers for a BCM43xx card?

I’m a user with no advance knowledge in Linux, so I would need clear explanations on how to make, compile, etc.

lspci -vnn | grep Network showed:

Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:432b] 

iwconfig showed:

lo        no wireless extensions. eth0      no wireless extensions.

I fixed my problem with the Broadcom bcm4311 drivers.

Steps I took for fixing this problem (I stole this method from nm_geo on ubuntu forums):

(You may need to install synaptic or your favorite package manager.)

  • Uninstall the bcmwl-kernel-source package by issuing the following command on a terminal:
    sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
  • Make sure that the firmware-b43-installer and the b43-fwcutter packages are installed (of course you will need internet by others means):
    sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer b43-fwcutter
  • Type into a terminal:
    cat /etc/modprobe.d/* | egrep 'bcm'

    (You may want to copy this) and see if the term ‘blacklist bcm43xx’ is there.

  • If it is, type cd /etc/modprobe.d/ and then sudo gedit blacklist.conf

    Put a # in front of the line: blacklist bcm43xx

    Then save the file (I was getting error messages in the terminal about not being able to save, but it actually did save properly).

  • Reboot

After I did the above the wireless had to be unblocked by rfkill:
How to unblock something listed in rfkill?

This answer is based on an extensive research done by various Ubuntu users that worked together in almost all issues related to Broadcom. Special users like chili555 who have helped in the Ubuntu forums and on this site with many questions related to Wireless devices to others who have contributed through E-Mail, chats, IRC and more in testing various drivers with several of the most popular Broadcom Wireless cards (Huge Thanks to Chili555 really. This guy knows his stuff).

In total we wanted to offer an answer that could be easy to follow and covered most Broadcom Cards / Drivers. After you follow this guide, you will NEED to test your wireless connection for at least 2 hours (I actually recommend 8 hours) with another device in either Ad-Hoc Mode, Infrastructure Mode or Both. Common problems that will be solved (Apart from drivers not installing) are:

  • Connections timeout after several minutes or hours
  • Stops searching for other devices (Does not see any other device)
  • Keeps asking for password even on cases where AP does not have any
  • Stops any receiving/transmitting traffic (Needs reboot to temporarily fix)
  • Crashes system with dmesg errors in log (Link 1 Below)
  • System freezes completely (You can only press Reboot/Power button) (Link 1 Below)
  • Creates huge log reports trying to correctly configure or connect
  • Fails when installed via Additional Drivers / Additional Hardware (Link 3 Below)
  • Connects and disconnects continuously every X amount of seconds
  • Appears connected on Network Manager but does not receive Internet
  • Tries to connect many times without correctly finishing connection
  • Takes too long to connect
  • After upgrading from a previous version (eg: 12.04 to 12.10) it stops working
  • Wireless card does not turn on, enable or disable (Link 2 Below)
  • Wireless card blocked by hardware
  • More problems found in Launchpad, Ubuntu Forum and Askubuntu

Link 1 –
Link 2 –
Link 3 – Gives an error similar to “Sorry, installation of this driver failed.”

So with that in mind, the following is what we have right now which is simplified in just 3 steps:

1. Knowing what Broadcom Wireless Card you have

There are dozens of Broadcom wireless cards and more seem to appear every day. The key to finding the correct driver for any network card is what is known as the PCI ID (PCI.ID). To find out which PCI.ID you have, we proceed to opening the terminal by pressing CTRL+ALT+T (It should open a window with a blank background) and inside this terminal we run the following command:

lspci -nn -d 14e4:

You will get something like the following if you have a Broadcom Wireless Adapter (The ID 14e4 used in the example above in most cases is a Broadcom Wireless Card):

Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter [14e4:4320] (rev 03)

The PCI.ID in this example is 14e4:4320 as seen inside the Brackets […]. In some cases you will also need the revision version (if it appears) for some special cases. In this case, the revision version is rev 03 as shown inside the Parentheses (…) at the end. So what you will need after this search is:

[14e4:4320] (rev 03)

With this new information you can look in the table below and select the appropriate method to install your driver. For example, In this case, since you have the 14e4:4320 rev 03, if we go down the list to the one that shows the exact same PCI.ID you will see that in the columns for Ubuntu 12.04, 13.10 or 14.04 it shows the linux-firmware-nonfree package driver. This means that you will only have to install this particular package since it appears in all Ubuntu version columns.

NOTE – Before proceeding, if you have previously installed any drivers, have blacklisted or uncommented any driver files or configuration files or have done any changes whatsoever to the system to make the drivers work in previous attempts, you will need to undo them in order to follow this guide. We assume you are doing this from scratch and have not changed any configuration files, modules or drivers in the system in any way (apart from updating the system). This includes any installations using apt-get, aptitude, synaptic, dpkg, software center or manual compilation and installation of the packages. The system has to start from scratch in order for this to work and to avoid any conflicts that may appear if earlier work was done.

For example, if you have previously installed the bcmwl-kernel-source package, you will need to remove it by using the purge method:

sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source

2. Preparing the System

If you have just installed Ubuntu, you will need to build an index of available packages before we can install your driver if you have not done so already:

sudo apt-get update

I would even go so further as to update the Ubuntu list of PCI.IDs:

sudo update-pciids

Just in case the ID of a particular new Broadcom Device you are using has just appeared.

Now using the PCI.ID you found in the steps above, we then search in the list below to find the matching PCI.ID and the method to install the driver associated with it in a simple and correct way. The terminal will be used to avoid any GUI related issues. This applies with all cases, except as noted. The installation procedure is done only via terminal and also while connected to the internet with a temporary wired ethernet connection or USB modem or any means possible that can give your PC, for the time, Internet access. After you find in the list below the correct package we then proceed with the installation.

3. Installing the Package

Assuming you used the PCI.ID 14e4:4320 rev 03 as found in your search above, and then looked at the table below and found that the correct package to install is the linux-firmware-nonfree, we then proceed to simply install this package in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree

and then reboot

sudo reboot

The format to install is pretty simple, it’s just:

sudo apt-get install <PACKAGE_NAME>

and then reboot. In the example above, the PACKAGE_NAME is linux-firmware-nonfree.

BROADCOM WIRELESS TABLE (Updated 30 August 2014)

PCI.ID              12.04 LTS                      13.10 / 14.04 LTS 
14e4:0576           Special Case #1                 Special Case #1         
14e4:4301           firmware-b43legacy-installer    firmware-b43legacy-installer    
14e4:4306           firmware-b43legacy-installer    firmware-b43legacy-installer    
14e4:4306 rev 02    firmware-b43legacy-installer    firmware-b43legacy-installer    
14e4:4306 rev 03    linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4307           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree          
14e4:4311           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4312           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4313           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree         
14e4:4315           firmware-b43-lpphy-installer    linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4315 rev 01    firmware-b43-installer          firmware-b43-installer      
14e4:4318           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree          
14e4:4318 rev 02    firmware-b43-installer          firmware-b43-installer          
14e4:4319           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree         
14e4:4320 rev 02    firmware-b43legacy-installer    linux-firmware-nonfree         
14e4:4320 rev 03    linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4324           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4325           firmware-b43legacy-installer    linux-firmware-nonfree  
14e4:4328           bcmwl-kernel-source             linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4329           bcmwl-kernel-source             bcmwl-kernel-source     
14e4:432a           bcmwl-kernel-source             bcmwl-kernel-source     
14e4:432b           bcmwl-kernel-source             bcmwl-kernel-source     
14e4:432c           bcmwl-kernel-source             bcmwl-kernel-source     
14e4:432d           bcmwl-kernel-source             bcmwl-kernel-source    
14e4:4331           linux-firmware-nonfree          linux-firmware-nonfree      
14e4:4335           UNKNOWN                         linux-firmware-nonfree  
14e4:4353           Special Case #1                 Special Case #1         
14e4:4357           Special Case #1                 Special Case #1         
14e4:4358           bcmwl-kernel-source             bcmwl-kernel-source     
14e4:4359           bcmwl-kernel-source             bcmwl-kernel-source     
14e4:4365           Special Case #2                 bcmwl-kernel-source 
14e4:43a0           UNKNOWN                         bcmwl-kernel-source        
14e4:4727           Special Case #3                 Special Case #1     
14e4:a962           UNKNOWN                         linux-firmware-nonfree  

Special Case #1 – This device uses the driver combination bcma and brcmsmac. It shouldn’t be necessary to install anything at all. Required firmware is installed by default in the package linux-firmware.

Special Case #2 – Probably only working in 64-bit only. See: How do I install BCM43142 wireless drivers for Dell Vostro 3460/3560?

Special Case #3 – Use brcmwl-kernel-source for kernel versions less than 3.8. To check for Kernel version open the terminal and type: uname -r. For kernel versions 3.8 and later, use brcmsmac.

If you have a Broadcom card that has a different, please ask a new question. Once solved, the solution will be added to this howto.


The following is additional material to read about solving various issues related to Wireless Management and conflicts with other Network areas. Know that it some cases you need to have an updated Kernel version, since each new version of the Kernel introduces either new Network drivers, improvements over existing drivers or solves bugs regarding them.

  • To configure your wireless devices through the terminal I recommend How to connect and disconnect to a network manually in terminal?
  • If your connection drops every so often some users have suggested to set IPv6 to Ignore. Just go to Network Manager (The network icon on the top panel). Click on it then select Edit Settings. Then go to the Wireless connection you are using, select it. Now go to the last Tab in there that mentions IPv6 Settings. In the Method field select Ignore.
  • If your laptop does not detect your wireless card some users have mentioned that using rfkill unblock all will solve the problem. Others simply turned the WiFi switch on their laptops off and then on again (Physical switch available on this laptops). For more information about rfkill please read rf kill unblock all DOES NOT WORK!
  • If you are getting b43-phy0 ERROR: Fatal DMA error / b43-phy0 warning: Forced PIO do the following:
    sudo rmmod b43     
    sudo modprobe b43 pio=0 qos=0  

    If it works then add it to you RC files so it is executed every time you boot. You can change PIO to 1 if you need to it.

This is a common problem to Broadcom wireless chip.

Run the following in the terminal:

sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source

If the command run successfully try to switch on wireless (with the hardware key).

If it doesn’t work or the command failed saying there is no such module, then you could try opening a terminal and type

dmesg | grep b43

If you see lines like:

[   17.453421] b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file "b43/ucode15.fw" not found
[   17.453427] b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file "b43-open/ucode15.fw" not found
[   17.453432] b43-phy0 ERROR: You must go to and download the correct firmware for this driver version. Please carefully read all instructions on this website.
[   17.680077] b43-phy0: Loading firmware version 478.104 (2008-07-01 00:50:23)
[   17.993040] b43-phy0: Radio hardware status changed to DISABLED

Then you probably are lacking the firmware for the broadcom card. Open Software Center, search and install the following packages,

  • b43-fwcutter
  • firmware-b43-lpphy-installerer

Reboot once. Now the wireless should work.

Drivers for the 4313

Let’s just enumerate the driver for Broadcom chipsets and how they work with the 4313:

  • Broadcom STA. Suggested by additional drivers. Old. Awful. Absolute junk. Skip it. If you’ve already installed it, remove it.
  • b43-fwcutter. Lots of people see “Broadcom” and jump on this but it’s not compatible with the 4313 (which is newer). If you’ve installed it, purge it.
  • ndiswrapper. Even more flaky than the STA driver. I managed to get it working for about 10 minutes before everything imploded.
  • brcm80211 aka brcmsmac. This is a (relatively) new driver that was recently added to Ubuntu (since the driver was added to the kernel). This should work well and (in recent version of Ubuntu, Natty and Oneiric) should “Just work”. This is the droid you’re looking for. Use this driver for the 4313.

    If you’re not running Natty or Oneiric, your kernel probably won’t have this driver. You need to be running at least 2.6.27 and I’d recommend 2.6.28 as the bare minimum (you can check what you’re on by running uname -r).

    If you’re behind on versions, I’d suggest the upgrade but for a quick fix, you can take a look at the mainline kernels and try one of those. Installing kernel packages is rarely a risky thing because you can usually just fall back to an old one using the grub boot screen.

You know you’re probably on the right driver if you run lsmod | grep brc and you see brcm80211 or brcmsmac in the output.

Blacklisting your way to success

If you’re not seeing that, something else has been loaded in and you need to blacklist that. If you can see what has been loaded, great, edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and start adding lines like:

blacklist b43
blacklist b43legacy
blacklist bcma
blacklist ndiswrapper

You obviously need to be careful if you have another wireless device that might be using a conflicting driver as if you blacklist it, you’ll break that one too :)

Thanks for your valuable response.

This problem was solved by the following steps:

  1. I removed the Broadcom STA wireless driver from Additional Drivers.
  2. Type bcm in Ubuntu Software Center,
  3. Install “Installer Package for firmware for the b34 driver” (firmware-b43-installer)

Now it’s working wirelessly. You don’t need to follow the above steps. Install the “B43 driver” for wireless.


Install the firmware-b43-installer package. First uninstall the proprietary driver from ‘additional drivers”.

Then in a terminal, execute:

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

just after reboot, works beautifully for me.


Finally I’ve solved the problem myself, but I’m not sure how. I was about to compile the driver with the source from and instructions provided in, but at this step of the instructions

On Ubuntu, you will need headers and tools. Try these commands:
# apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic
# apt-get build-dep linux

build essential and headers were already installed. I just ran the sudo apt-get build-dep linux command and, Voilá!, after one reboot my connection started running at its normal speed.

I’m not sure of what I’ve done. I guess it builds kernel or driver dependencies (or both). The BCM driver needed this step and the jockey self-configuration omitted it for some reason.

Anyway, it is fixed.

Peter Mortensen

Open Synaptic and use b43-fwcutter and firmware-b43-lpphy-installer instead of bcmwl-kernel-source or any other.


I always recommend removing and reinstalling the broadcom drivers using your terminal

In a terminal type the following command

sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source


sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

This will then rebuild your driver.

Let us know how you get on

You can either restart your pc or if this is a pain type the following commands in the terminal which will ‘switch on’ your wireless

sudo modprobe -r b43 ssb wl


sudo modprobe wl 

Jorge Castro

This is what worked for me:

  1. Install firmware-b43-installer (+ b43fwcutter automatically added in Synaptic)
  2. Uninstall the bcm-kernel-source package using Synaptic
  3. Remove the original Wireless STA driver from Additional Drivers
  4. Reboot

Step #3 was a key step for me. If you don’t remove original Wireless STA driver, you’ll run into problems.


What worked for me for my Broadcom bcm4313 on Asus Eee PC Seashell 1015PEM with Ubuntu 12.04:

  • don’t use restricted drivers
  • add “blacklist bcma” to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
  • sudo modprobe brcmsmac
  • add brcmsmac to /etc/modules
  • reboot

I had the same problem yesterday (Dell Latitude D530 w/broadcom 4311).

I did:

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

That was that until the next reboot. Now I had to find out how to re-enable it but now the problem lies somewhere else.


I had the same problem with my Acer TravelMate 8172 and its Broadcom 4357 controller on Ubuntu 12.04. I had tried several solutions posted on the web for other Broadcom devices but they didn’t work. andybleaden’s solution above worked for me.

Following Andy’s instructions, first I removed and reinstalled the Broadcom drivers with:

sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

After that, I executed

sudo modprobe -r b43 ssb wl
sudo modprobe wl 

to enable the wireless card.

Unfortunately, the wireless card is off whenever I reboot, so I created a script with the above two modprobe commands to execute whenever I reboot. This will have to do until Ubuntu 12.04 is updated with a fix.


I used user ‘bkratz’ solution on and it worked for me.

Run these:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall bcmwl-kernel-source broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source
echo "blacklist brcmsmac" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf    
echo "blacklist bcma" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

The first makes sure that the sta driver is in place, the second and
third blacklist the two drivers brcmsmac and bcma which clash with the
correct sta driver. Copy/paste or make sure your typing is correct!

The last step is to go to ‘Additional drivers’ and enable the driver.

Eliah Kagan

“Installer Package for firmware for the b34 driver” installation package worked well for me on a HP Pavilion DV5000


Make sure your wireless adapter is not disabled. You can check it by running:

rfkill list

To enable wireless adapters, run:

sudo rfkill unblock wifi

Jorge Castro

Dell Inspiron E1505, the following steps (alone), worked for me. I had to undo the extra steps of editing the blacklist file.

  • open the ‘Synaptic Package Manager’ and search for ‘bcm’
  • uninstall the bcmwl-kernel-source package
  • make sure that the firmware-b43-installer and the b43-fwcutter packages are installed
  • reboot

Jorge Castro

BCM4311 for my dv6000 is not working with STA driver nor with the b43 driver.
With b43 the led always stays orange (wlan disabled).
With rfkill I can see:
1: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no

With STA driver I can search the network, but connection never finishes.
System worked fine with 10.10 (x86) – now I am using 11.10 beta2 (x64).

Dmesg gives some light to the error:
s/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware and download the correct firmware for this driver version. Please carefully read all instructions on this website.
[ 367.927967] b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file “b43/ucode13.fw” not found
[ 367.927981] b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file “b43-open/ucode13.fw” not found
[ 367.927989] b43-phy0 ERROR: You must go to and download the correct firmware for this driver v

Seems like the firmware files are missing from the linux drivers?
I got the led back to blue (WLAN is enabled) and scanning working with:

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

This was from the site

Now the WLAN network is working for me (doublecheck for the WPA2 password was required :-)

Manu Kemppainen

I had the same problem and I have solved it by adding

blacklist acer_wmi

to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

A restart later wireless worked.

(this was taken from

Yi Jiang

Just installing the additional drivers, it works in my Dell Vostro 3500.

I did the following steps:

  1. sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
  2. Then re install the additional drivers given below. I activated it.

This package contains Broadcom 802.11 Linux STA wireless driver for use with Broadcom’s BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4313-, BCM4321-, BCM4322-, BCM43224-, BCM43225-, BCM43227- and BCM43228-based hardware.


for anyone else who getting the “wireless is disabled by hardware switch”-a messege under wireless (you’ll see by clicking on the icon)-and it’s “hard block”, that may work in any model (that is working for me in netgear “wireless USB adapter”, havn’t chacked yet others but may work).

first chack if it hard blocked, run in termional (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo rfkill list

if it is, first run this to unblock:

sudo rfkill unblock all

then I Shutdown my pc > disconnect it from electricity and opened its left door.
I removed the cycled battery and hit the power-button 20 long and short presses to reset the bios.

then I returned the battery and connected the pc to electricity.
I turned on the pc and set the bios (also for things like no diskette and boot pririty) in the WakeOnLan category where it says something on PME to enabled.

I pressed F10 to save setting and restart. after all the system was ready-desktop and its files i waited for a while and the wifi was responding again.

that have already worked for me four times (may happen any time you are forcing a shutdown or disconnecting the wifi).

I hope that it would help to some too (:

In the case where either the blacklist.conf or apt-get re-install for b43 Broadcom didn’t work, it may simply be because the default wireless config still hasn’t been enabled properly for WPA/WPA2.

Network folder, wireless and select Options ubuntu 12.04:

  • ipv6 tab – just keep the method as automatic and uncheck the ‘Require IPv6 addressing…’
  • ipv4 tab – method should be automatic (DHCP) and check the ‘Require IPv4 addressing…’
  • wireless tab – force device mac address to lock connection to the permanent mac address of the laptop

Eliah Kagan

I have a b43 card and have been using Ubuntu with it since 9.04, I’ve used the same method to get it working since. It involves some command line usage but believe me it’s worth it.

To begin with,if you already have b43-fwcutter installed, you need to reinstall it, please run:

sudo apt-get remove b43-fwcutter

I assume you know the type model of your wireless card. This method does not use the Additionals Drivers way.

After you’ve uninstalled b43-fwcutter reboot your computer. NB if you’ve no access to a wired network on your machine you will need to download the b43-fwcutter package manually from here, as well as your card’s driver from here. My card is the 4311 so I download the broadcom-wl-4-150-10.5.tar.bz2.

Once you have reinstalled b43-fwcutter either by running sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter or by using the .deb file you’d have gotten from the quoted website, you need to extract your firmware from the tarball. Run tar -xvjf broadcom-wl-4-150-10.5.tar.bz2 (you may need to change the filename to reflect what you downloaded from the driver site, or just use tar -xvjf broadcom*. Then run cd broadcom-wl- and finally sudo b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta_mimo.o. Now reboot and everything should work fine!

Eliah Kagan

Sometimes, the Additional Drivers Utility will fail to install the Broadcom STA Wireless Driver. When that happens, first check if your card is indeed supported by the STA driver, and to do that, open a terminal window (ctrl-alt-t) and run

lspci -nn | grep -i BCM

The output will include the wireless card model, make sure it is among the models listed below.

Broadcom wireless cards supported by the STA driver:

BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4313, BCM4321, BCM4322, BCM43224, BCM43225, BCM43227, BCM43228

If the card is supported, try installing the driver manually. Open a terminal window (ctrl-alt-t), and run

sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

You may need to reboot at this point.


Make sure you’re not having an unresolved linux-headers dependency, cf. After upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04, my Broadcom STA Wireless driver is not working, otherwise install them.

Jim Rogers

As I’ve found out, to systemize this a little, there are four driver families available:

  1. open-source b43 from the the [b43m project][1] that is available in [Linux kernel][2],
  2. open-source brcmsmac/brcmfmac, also availalble in [kernel][3]
  3. Windows libs via [ndiswrapper][4], and
  4. [Broadcom][5]’s own linux [libs (STA)][6]

These links also provide reference to the drivers and lists with chipsets supported.

To be clear with referencing the different IDs, make sure to consult the STA link above prior to reading on, and comprare to yours via:

lspci -nn | grep Network | grep "[....:....]"

Here’s an example for 4313 (from link #6):

BRCM Product Name | PCI Vendor ID | PCI Product ID | Dell Device ID

4313 2.4 Ghz | 0x14e4 | 0x4727 | Dell 1501

Other than the driver, you also need the firmware, firmware-b43-installer.

The description below has been applied to the STA driver but has been written before this.

Although Ubuntu is meant to be versatile, beautiful, and easy to use for everyone, packages still are prone to dependency faults. Look, installing drivers and other system stuff, it’s reasonable to get as verbose a feedback as possible, i.e., do this manually or semi-manually (apt-get), avoid those GUI installers.

I’ve been experiencing the same issues with my 4313. Let me offer a blunt and partly non-analytical solution:

  1. remove everything of STA that you have

    sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source

  2. install that again manually:

    sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source

  3. read the output. I’ve been having a nice double-liner:

    Building for architecture x86_64
    Module build for the currently running kernel was skipped since the
    kernel source for this kernel does not seem to be installed.

In such case, which I assume happens quite often, since (1) the inherent dependency isn’t resolved and (2) there’s a break in the wl interface upon upgrades (which may involve a kernel update), in such case, you should simply do the following two steps and I assume you don’t need to reinstall the WiFi driver sources:

  1. check you current kernel version as follows (third entry):

    uname -r

  2. install the appropriate linux-headers, which in my case is:

    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-3.5.0-17-generic

    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic

After this command you should see (as this has been deferred upon incapacity to compile during the installation procedure of the STA WiFi driver source files):

Setting up linux-headers-3.5.0-17-generic (3.5.0-17.28) ...
Examining /etc/kernel/header_postinst.d.
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/header_postinst.d/dkms 3.5.0-17-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-17-generic
* Running DKMS auto installation service for kernel 3.5.0-17-generic
* bcmwl ( bcmwl ( Installing module.

I’m not sure whether the guys responsible for packages would get to see this. Still, having used Gentoo for years, I’ve got used to its verbosity and which may seem unnecessary coloring and formatting of output. You guys should add formatting and colors to your apt-get routine, it’s so much easier, especially for novice users, to understand what may have gone wrong. And add the headers dependency, you could remove them afterwards–and surely you’d have to rebuild the module upon kernel change.

I hope this helps, and I’m cautious of generalizing the above path to resolve the mass issue. Just give it a try, if it works, awesome, if it doesn’t there are so many more solutions offered which are notably more analytical and proficient.

I’ve also stumbled upon these answers (with a check

lspci -nn | grep Network

for “ 14er:4727”–which holds in my case):
Wireless does not work anymore after software update with Ubuntu 12.10 on a Dell Latitude E6230
and Ubuntu 12.10, Wireless not working who refers to the former.

And I’ve also missed the fact that Ubuntu offers a link in the packages to the currently installed and running kernel and headers version in order to avoid defining the kernel version.

I have a Dell inspiron 6000 BCM4318 wireless LAN Controller
I managed to solve this using synaptic package manager

Here I :
First I uninstalled bcmwl-kernel-source
Then installed firmware-b43-installer and b43-fwcutter which rebuilt the wifi drivers

I then had to restart


The issue with your wifi is that you are using the one forced by Ubuntu, but that does not work. Run the following commands to get the Wifi properly working:

Press Ctrl+Alt+T

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

After you reboot. Your Wi-Fi should work as intended.

Eliah Kagan

I found the light wouldn’t come on when I switched it to the op position. A utility you can try is rfkill to get it to come on. You have to do this every time you reboot.

sudo rfkill unblock all

Jim Richards

Good news. Based on the info you’ve provided in the comments, you have a network card supported by the proprietary Broadcom driver.

First, make sure you’ve ran sudo apt-get update from the terminal. Then go to “Additional Drivers.” You can find it by opening the dash (click the upper-right corner) and typing drivers.

Is the Broadcom non-free driver turned on there? If not, try to enable it and restart your system. If that doesn’t work, try to reinstall the drivers (just to get online once) manually. Here are instructions for manual installation:

You may need to rmmod old or bad drivers. Good luck, but know that it can be done! :)


Installing Broadcom Wireless Drivers
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