Ubuntu Wireless Networking.

Hello. I recently installed Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) on my new Toshiba laptop. The problem, I cant get the built in wireless 802.11B/G card working. I've looked all over the Windows Vista Home Premium partition for NDISWrapper-suitable wireless drivers, but found none. Its like the wireless just doesn't exist, but it does.

Please note, I already checked the wireless switch. It IS on.


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Before you set up the wireless card....

Obviously before you set up the wireless card on your computer you will need to become familiar with the basics of wireless and set up your wireless Router/Access Point. A good place to start is with the router documentation which often has a introduction to Wi-Fi. You will also probably have to look at the documentation to set up the Router. You may want to have a look at the Wi-Fi entry on Wikipedia or the technology overview of the Linux Wlan HOWTO however these are both a bit technical, it would be good if someone could find a simple newbie document and add it here. When you have got everything working you may want to have a look at NetworkManager and/or WirelessAssistant if you are planning on taking a laptop out and about and making ad hoc connections to wireless access points.

First thing you'll need to do is get the wireless-tools package (see SynapticHowto). Since this document is about how to get (wireless) networking working, we need an explaination here on how to install packages without a network connection!

sudo apt-get install wireless-tools

You will then have to find what chipset your card is (this is the chips the manufacturer uses, the make/model is of limited use as some manufactures use the same chipset and they also change the chipset without changing the model number). To do this in a shell type:


One of the lines will tell you, It will be listed as a Network Controller, if it says something like unknown device, then google for it.

Some Wi-Fi Cards work out of the box, specifically the ones with the Orinoko, Prism2 or Atheros chipsets (some Prism cards may not work out of the box).


For cards based on Ralink's RT2500 chipset, see WifiDocs/Driver/RalinkRT2500.

For cards based on Rakink's RT61 chipset see [Rt61WirelessCardsHowTo], these show up as 'Network controller: Ralink Unknown device 0301' if you do lspci.

If you have a Centrino based laptop, it likely has an Intel ipw2200 based card. It works out of the box but uses an ancient driver. See Luca_Linux's post for a really good guide on getting the ipw2200 card setup (you may want to stop before he takes you into the WPA portion of the setup). Some users have experienced problems with their wireless connections after upgrading to Hoary from Warty with the Intel ipw2200 (prior to upgrade in Warty everything worked fine). The following message on the mailing list is relevant: http://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-users/2005-April/029837.html One user reported having to remove the module and re-insert the driver once or twice before it can associate with the access point (on kernel linux-image-2.6.10-5-686).

For cards that do not work out of the box you can try WifiDocs/Driver/Ndiswrapper.

To begin with you'll need to set your Wireless Router up as an 'open' network. This means you'll need to turn off all security such as WAP, WEP and Mac Address restrictions. You'll be able to turn these back on later, we just want to make sure that they aren't causing any problems in the beginning.

You'll also need to give your network an ESSID. Most wireless routers have one set by default. Often it is "default", "linksys" "netgear" or some other generic name.
More info here:

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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Well have you tried looking on the Internet for

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Ubuntu Wireless Networkin ...

a Suitable Driver for your Hardware and Linux?

Surely that would be the most obvious place to look. The Vista Partition is only going to have Vista Drivers and as Toshiba doesn't have any Nix Drivers on their Web Site you need to go looking for a suitable driver probably from the Hardware maker so you need to know who made your particular WiFi Card.


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I had a similar problem the first time

by ToadWiz In reply to Ubuntu Wireless Networkin ...

I bought an HP DV9627CL laptop with Broadcom wireless card and it didn't start up immediately upon OS installation.

Click on Applications -> Accessories --> Terminal. In the terminal window type:

sudo apt-get update (enter your password)

Then clicking on System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers will bring up a list of available proprietary drivers. Enable those you expect to use, or all of them if you aren?t sure. Odds are good that the driver you want will be available from the Proprietary repositories.

Information on Ubuntu's repository philosophy is available at:


Good luck,

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