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Wi-fi in this laptop was working perfectly with 11.10 version of Ubuntu.

Now, with 12.04.2 or 13.04 it only works with some networks. It works with WEP but I haven't been able to make it work with WPA.

Been looking for a solution but most of them tell you to add some lines to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcm43.conf, and I guess in my case doesn't help because my ubuntu already comes with that file, with the following content:

# Warning: This file is autogenerated by bcmwl. All changes to this file will be lost
blacklist b43
blacklist b43legacy
blacklist ssb
blacklist bcm43xx
blacklist brcm80211
blacklist brcmfmac
blacklist brcmsmac
blacklist bcma

So, anybody knows how to solve this problem? Thanks

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Is your device 14e4:4727? lspci -nn. Is your driver wl? lsmod. I believe wl is incorrect for your device. Please confirm before we propose a solution. – chili555 Jun 29 '13 at 12:58
thanks for your comment, yes it is 14e4:4727. lsmod | grep wl returns: lib80211 14352 2 wl,lib80211_crypt_tkip \n cfg80211 510937 1 wl – knocte Jun 30 '13 at 11:59
my guess is that you're going to propose that I do: sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source && sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer? – knocte Jun 30 '13 at 12:48
Excellent guess, except I doubt you need the firmware part. Please proceed and please let me and the searchers hear your report. – chili555 Jun 30 '13 at 13:13
thanks, I'll test it now (but unfortunately I've found this page which has the row "no (WIP)" in the row that maps to my PCI-ID: ) – knocte Jun 30 '13 at 14:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Thanks to @chili555's first pointer, I could dig enough and fix my problem. So I'll summarize it here (and post a final question).

There are three kind of Broadcomm wifi drivers that apply to this situation (taken from here):

Driver                         Description                                                           
broadcom-wl              Proprietary Broadcom STA driver                          
b43                             Reversed engineered (open source) kernel driver
brcmsmac/brcmfmacOpen source Broadcomm kernel driver                 

So, apparently, Ubuntu came pre-installed with broadcom-wl enabled. As this Kernel spec page says, the b43 is not an option (it says "No (WIP)") for my hardware ID 14e4:4727, and the alternatives are wl and brcm80211 (the latter got renamed to brcmsmac). So then simply removing the package of the proprietary driver will make the brcmsmac start working (without installing any additional package because, as it is open source, this driver is embedded in the kernel):

sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source

After rebooting and deleting my previous network-profiles saved in NetworkManager, this started working.

So, now the question is, how to fix this upstream so Ubuntu 13.10 comes without the proprietary driver package installed in case it finds this hardware?

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