Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Dell Mini 9 Netbook with Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Remix. I can get on my home Wifi fine, but when I try to connect to a tethered connection (on my Palm Pre phone), it won't connect, even though it sees the connection. Even if I turn off encryption, it still won't connect. I can connect to the tethered connection fine from my Win7 laptop (even with encryption).

share|improve this question
what does dmesg display after a failed connect attemp. – aatdark Nov 1 '10 at 3:11
Are you setting your wireless card to ad-hoc mode? – maco Nov 1 '10 at 17:05
How do I check that? – SpashHit Nov 1 '10 at 18:51
@maco, Now I'm wondering why I need to do that anyway... I don't think the tethering works in ad-hoc mode – SpashHit Nov 1 '10 at 21:37

Using a tethered network is when you connect your computer via usb or bluetooth to a device such as a phone and use a modem to connect to the network directly.

What I think you are doing is not tethering but instead making an ad-hoc hot-spot with your phone which allows your computer to use the phone's network as if it were a real wifi connection.

You should check to see if the wifi hot-spot you're creating is on a certain band, using a certain kind of wifi such as 802.11g/n/a which (unlikely though it might be) may ot be supported or buggy in your wifi driver. I've known wifi hot-spots to not work because the network was 802.11a (old) and the newer driver hasn't been tested with those old networks.

share|improve this answer
The kind of tethering I'm doing is using my phone to broadcast a Wifi signal and act as a hot-spot to share its (cell network) internet connection with a computer via wifi. I'm not using usb or bluetooth – SpashHit Nov 3 '10 at 11:35

Does the win7 box connect without encryption? - separate thought there, but my approach would be to connect the win7 box with encryption and user aircrack to recover the key, not the word that generates the key. I have previously had a problem connecting to cheaper access points with encryption because something goofed in the conversion from text to key...this approach solved it for me.

share|improve this answer
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I finally got it working! I just had to go into Additional Drivers and activate the Broadcom STA wireless driver. I am actually posting this response through the tether! :)

Edit: Forgot to mention... I'm also on Ubuntu 10.10 now

share|improve this answer

Is Ubuntu connecting to the Pre as a storage device, modem, or combination; or simply as a Wireless Access Point? What version of the driver are you running and what driver revisions have been installed on your machine previously? If you have it set up to connect as a mass storage device you will not have modem functionality.

A more confusing scenario will be if Ubuntu is recognizing and accepting the Pre as it is, but the driver is not actually establishing the modem connection. For a discussion, driver links, a guide, and multiple solutions (such as removing the backports), see this link. It should assist in diagnosing the mobile hotspot software as well as any driver issues you may be having.

share|improve this answer
I don't understand your question exactly. I have my Pre running MyTether, which broadcasts a Wifi signal. So my Pre is acting like a wireless router. I am not connecting my Ubuntu machine to the Pre via any cable. From Ubuntu, I see the Pre's wireless connection, but the Ubuntu machine always fails to connect to it. – SpashHit Nov 10 '10 at 22:41
Okay, it sounded like it was trying to connect as solely a WAP, but I thought that if it was recognizing the device in some other way there might be hope in changing your drivers. – mfg Nov 11 '10 at 13:35

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.