WiFi cards will not be detected


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1. Initial Considerations.

Before you check for the cause of a non-functioning wireless card (WiFi) please check that:

  • The wireless LAN (WiFi) function is properly activated via the hardware switch/slider (often on one side of the laptop) or via a function key on the computer keyboard,
  • There is a wireless card (WiFi) installed (often we get laptop donations without a wireless card), see below Check which WiFi chip is installed and check the manufacturer name. In case there is no WiFi card installed you can add one or use a connection via LAN (cable).

Sometimes older or very new WiFi Cards are not recognized automatically. The following check list provides a set of steps that you can try to fix this situation.

2. Check list.

  • Check if specific drivers are needed
  • Preferences → Software & Updates → Additional Drivers → wait a while
    → either "no additional drivers available" is hown → no further action should be needed, or
    → a list of availble drivers is shown → click the driver you want to use → Apply Changes

  • Check which WiFi chip is installed and check the manufacturer name
  • Open a terminal and execute:
    lspci | grep -i net (enter)
    to show chip set and manufacturer:
    lspci -nnk | grep -i net -A2 (enter)
    or in case of using an USB Wifi stick:
    lsusb (enter)
    Note: Some build-in WiFi cards are recognized as an external USB, so if in doubt try also these commands.

    To check if your WiFi card is supported:

  • Check if the Broadcom WiFi chip is not detected
  • If your WiFi card is based on the Broadcom chip set you are able to install:
    sudo apt-get update (enter)
    sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer (enter)

    After rebooting the system it should work. If not activate the driver by hand:
    sudo modprobe -r b43 bcma (enter)

  • Try installing Linux Backport Modules
  • Linux Backport Modules can be installed to get support for many older Wifi cards. The Backport Modules are already part of Labdoo Image for Cloning and installscript-software.sh.

    A detailed list of the supported WiFi cards can be found here:

    To install execute in a terminal:
    for Lubuntu 12.04: sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-cw-3.6-$(uname -r) (Enter)
    for Lubuntu 10.04: sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-wireless-$(uname -r) (Enter)
    and for all Lubuntu versions: sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree (Enter)

    If it does not work you can try:

  • Try installing NdisWrapper
  • Details at: http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/WLAN/NdisWrapper

    Please check, if

    • the 32 Bit or 64 Bit driver of the WiFi card matches with your Lubuntu version (32 or 64 Bit)
    • the .inf file of the driver is enclosed, e.g. Intel encloses .inf only in the .zip version, not enclosed in the .exe!

    Follow the instruction in the upper Wiki (please add here an English Wiki link).

    If this does not work try:

  • Try installing the native WiFi driver of the manufacturer.
  • Please search in web for more information.

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Installation of VirtualBox