Author Topic: Solution to WiFi problem in new Ubuntu 10.04 installation  (Read 28807 times)

Offline KoalaBob

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Solution to WiFi problem in new Ubuntu 10.04 installation
« on: May 18, 2010, 01:26:05 PM »
I did a new installation of Ubuntu 9.10 and subsequently 10.04 (using Wubi) on a laptop and could not see any of my local WiFi networks. Here is what solved my problem:

Joe12 recommended that I update to Ubuntu 10.04, which I did. However, this did not solve the problem. The issue turned out to be a driver problem unique to my Broadcom pci as explained below.

Ubuntu 10.04 Installation on ACER Aspire 5000

ACER Aspire 5000 relevant System Specs:
AMD Trurion 64 ML – 32 bit processor
512 MB DDR
802.11b/g wireless LAN (Broadcom BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g wireless LAN controller (rev 02)
I had 9.05GB of free space on the C drive.

Installed Ubuntu 10.04 with Wubi (Wubi downloaded the AMD 64 bit version of the iso and I had Wubi do an automatic install. Wubi is about 1.4MB and it downloads the correct version of the Ubuntu iso and installs it as a file in the Windows file management system to give a dual boot system. The neat thing is that when you boot as Ubuntu, it runs completely independent of Windows, but you still have access to your Windows drive and data files.

Installation was clean and everything worked with the exception of the wireless network manager. I could not see local wireless networks or connect to a wireless network (although the hardwired Ethernet did work.

Loss of disk space problem
I uninstalled and reinstalled several times without getting a wireless connection. Each time I uninstalled, I lost about 700MB of disk space. I determined this problem to be due to the creation of restore points by Windows. I did a disk cleanup including deleting all but the most recent install point and this recovered all of my memory.

Wireless network manager problem
The network manager was there but it could not see or access any wireless networks. I suspected that the cause was a driver issue. I found a useful website that led me to the solution (htts:// The problem as described in this website is that in addition to the driver for the BMC4318 pci that is supplied in the Wubi download, an additional Broadcom proprietary firmware is needed, which can be obtained using an app called b43-fwcutter. With the ACER connected  to the Internet via hardwire Ethernet, and following the instructions on the website – in terminal mode, enter sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter. This will download and install the necessary firmware. Then restart, and voila' – I had wireless access.

WiFi networks visible but default not connecting automatically at boot
To resolve this problem, right click on the Network Manager icon and then:
1. in the Network Connections window choose the Wireless tab
2. click on Auto Default to highlight it (i.e., select it)
3. click on Edit button
4. check to see if “Connect Automatically” is checked – if not, check it and click “Apply”
5. close the window and reboot
This solved the problem for me.

Next step was to set up email access.
The addition of email accounts (hotmail and gmail, but not Yahoo) is done through Edit>Preferences. Click the Add button to add new accounts. The only tricky parts are that in the receiving email and sending email tabs where it asks for username, you need to put your email address (not your name). Also in the receiving email tab, the security type needs to be SSL and in the send email tab, it needs to be TLS.

When you configure multiple email accounts, Evolution retrieves the mail from each account into the same Inbox. I wanted to have my mail separated by account. The only way I found to do this was through Edit>Message Filters. You can create a folder for each of your email accounts and then a filter for each of your accounts with which you can direct email for each account (recipient) to the appropriate folder.

Ubuntu Forums (Ubuntu Linux Support)

Solution to WiFi problem in new Ubuntu 10.04 installation
« on: May 18, 2010, 01:26:05 PM »