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

Broadcom BCM4311 Wireless not recognized in USB Live install of 13.10 on Dell 6400 Laptop

Hardware: Dell Laptop 6400 1.66 GHz and 2GB RAM

USB Live created with a 4 GB persistent file.

Upon startup I get a functional Ethernet WIRED connection and Bluetooth but no indications of a wireless service.

There is no hardware switch for the wireless as on some laptops. The soft switch (Fn+F2) toggles the Bluetooth on and off but the wireless indicator never lights up.

When probing around, this is what I find:

**rfkill list** //is it being killed?  No, wireless not even listed  
0: hci0: Bluetooth  
        Soft blocked: no   
        Hard blocked: no  

**iwconfig** // look specifically at the parameters of the wireless network  
    lo        no wireless extensions.  
    eth0      no wireless extensions.  

**ifconfig** // look at interface configurations  
>eth0   Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:19:b9:4c:cf:b3    
>          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:   
>          inet6 addr: fe80::219:b9ff:fe4c:cfb3/64 Scope:Link  
>          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1  
>          RX packets:3826 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0   
>          TX packets:2033 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0  
>          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000  
>          RX bytes:3944231 (3.9 MB)  TX bytes:197816 (197.8 KB)  
>          Interrupt:17  

>lo       Link encap:Local Loopback  
>          inet addr:  Mask:  
>          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host  
>          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1  
>          RX packets:264 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0  
>          TX packets:264 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0  
>          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0  
>          RX bytes:26685 (26.6 KB)  TX bytes:26685 (26.6 KB)  

**lspci -k | grep -A2 Network** //Hardware and Driver  
>0b:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)  
>   Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card  
>   Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge  

>**cat /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf | grep -B1 bcm** //check what's blacklisted  
>    # replaced by b43 and ssb.  
>    blacklist bcm43xx  

Do you have any ideas on how to get this working?

I have searched the previous questions and have tried several of the answers offered -- but no joy. It looks like these cards have been a problem for almost every release of Ubuntu and it seems that with every release there is a different twist that must be used to get it to work.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

With a working ethernet connection, please do:

sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source

I know you said you removed it, but let's be doubly certain. Then do:

sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree
sudo modprobe -r b43 && sudo modprobe b43

You should be all set.

share|improve this answer
It's working! Thank you for your help. Here is what I did: sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree returned an error: Unable to locate package linux-firmware-nonfree. After checking, I discovered that linux-firmware-nonfree is not part of the saucy repository. I edited /etc/apt/sources.list to include: deb raring multiverse Then did sudo apt-get update then did sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree power down reboot Success – Mark Cain Jul 3 '13 at 12:10

protected by Community Nov 15 '13 at 18:30

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

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