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I've installed Ubuntu 12.04 on a Lenovo Ideapad N581 and can't get the wifi to work reliably. I know it's a problem with the Broadcom drivers, but I still can't really work it out, I've tried a few things mentioned on other forums but none of them have worked yet (quite new to Linux).

Strangely enough, if I remove the battery for a few minutes, wifi works fine until the computer is shut down.

Here are the results of sudo iwconfig:

eth1      IEEE 802.11abg  ESSID:"Pingu"  
      Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: F8:1A:67:CB:10:8E   
      Bit Rate=72 Mb/s   Tx-Power=200 dBm   
      Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
      Encryption key:off
      Power Management:on
      Link Quality=70/70  Signal level=-36 dBm  
      Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
      Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

eth2      no wireless extensions.

lo        no wireless extensions.

sudo lsmod:

Module                  Size  Used by
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     32476  1 
snd_hda_codec_conexant    62363  1 
joydev                 17694  0 
rfcomm                 47562  12 
parport_pc             32867  0 
bnep                   18240  2 
ppdev                  17114  0 
coretemp               13642  0 
ghash_clmulni_intel    13221  0 
cryptd                 20531  1 ghash_clmulni_intel
rts5139               350620  0 
lib80211_crypt_tkip    17391  0 
uvcvideo               78117  0 
videobuf2_core         33025  1 uvcvideo
btusb                  22432  0 
wl                   3074942  0 
microcode              23030  0 
bluetooth             211860  24 rfcomm,bnep,btusb
videodev              125126  2 uvcvideo,videobuf2_core
videobuf2_vmalloc      12861  1 uvcvideo
videobuf2_memops       13405  1 videobuf2_vmalloc
snd_hda_intel          34063  3 
snd_hda_codec         135141  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_conexant,snd_hda_intel
alx                    73500  0 
snd_hwdep              17765  1 snd_hda_codec
mdio                   13808  1 alx
snd_pcm                97523  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
snd_seq_midi           13325  0 
snd_rawmidi            30750  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq_midi_event     14900  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq                61931  2 snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_timer              29990  2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
snd_seq_device         14498  3 snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
snd                    83674  16 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_conexant,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
psmouse               102541  0 
serio_raw              13216  0 
cfg80211              208382  1 wl
lpc_ich                17145  0 
lib80211               14382  2 lib80211_crypt_tkip,wl
i915                  535221  3 
mei                    41410  0 
soundcore              15092  1 snd
snd_page_alloc         18573  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
drm_kms_helper         49259  1 i915
drm                   290595  4 i915,drm_kms_helper
i2c_algo_bit           13565  1 i915
ideapad_laptop         18235  0 
sparse_keymap          13891  1 ideapad_laptop
video                  19653  1 i915
mac_hid                13254  0 
lp                     17800  0 
parport                46563  3 parport_pc,ppdev,lp
ahci                   25869  2 
libahci                27338  1 ahci

and lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net

01:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8161 Gigabit Ethernet [1969:1091] (rev 10)
    Subsystem: Lenovo Device [17aa:3979]
    Kernel driver in use: alx
--
02:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4727] (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Broadcom Corporation Device [14e4:0587]
    Kernel driver in use: wl

Update

I removed and purged the wl drivers with sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source, shut the laptop down and removed the battery. On boot, no wireless drivers are loaded. The brcmsmac driver can be loaded with sudo modprobe brcmsmac. The country code is loaded with sudo iw reg set DE.

lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net returns:

    02:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter [14e4:4727] (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Broadcom Corporation Device [14e4:0587]
    Kernel driver in use: bcma-pci-bridge

Right now, no networks are detected, but after these operations I was able to connect to a network (with a weak signal). After a few minutes, the connection dropped and could not connect again.

13.04

I booted from a live USB with 13.04. Networks are detected (but weak), lspci returns:

02:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4727] (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Broadcom Corporation Device [14e4:0587]
    Kernel driver in use: bcma-pci-bridge

scan returns:

wlan0     Scan completed :
          Cell 01 - Address: F8:1A:67:CB:10:8E
                    Channel:1
                    Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
                    Quality=45/70  Signal level=-65 dBm  
                    Encryption key:off
                    ESSID:"Pingu"
                Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                          9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                Mode:Master
                Extra:tsf=0000000000f50a54
                Extra: Last beacon: 88ms ago
                IE: Unknown: 000550696E6775
                IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                IE: Unknown: 030101
                IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                IE: Unknown: 2D1AEF1103FFFF0000000000000000000000000000000406E6E70D00
                IE: Unknown: 331AEF1103FFFF0000000000000000000000000000000406E6E70D00
                IE: Unknown: 3D16010D0000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                IE: Unknown: 3416010D0000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101870003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                IE: Unknown: DD0900037F01010000FF7F
                IE: Unknown: DD9E0050F204104A00011010440001011057000101103B0001031047001000000000000010000000F81A67CB108E1021000754502D4C494E4B10230009544C2D57523834314E10240003382E3010420003312E301054000800060050F204000110110019576972656C65737320526F7574657220544C2D57523834314E100800020086103C000101104900140024E26002000101600000020001600100020001

However, I can't connect to the network, with or without WPA2. I then install linux-firmware-nonfree, remove the drivers brcmsmac and bcma, reload brcmsmac. The wireless device is now wlan1 instead of wlan0, it successfully scans but cannot connect (or when it does, it immediately drops). Wifi signals are still very weak. iwconfig during the 5 seconds or so that it successfully connects returns:

wlan2     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"Pingu"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: F8:1A:67:CB:10:8E   
          Bit Rate=1 Mb/s   Tx-Power=19 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=42/70  Signal level=-68 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:4  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

This goes for both WPA2 and unsecured networks.

12.04 Live

When booting on 12.04 from a Live USB, wifi works when the proprietary SLA wl driver is loaded. lspci returns: 02:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN

Controller [14e4:4727] (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Broadcom Corporation Device [14e4:0587]
    Kernel driver in use: wl
    Kernel modules: wl, bcma

Should I reinstall 12.04?

backports 3.11

After installing the backports 3.11 according to Cannot connect to WiFi with Ubuntu 13.04, the signal is still extremely low, I cannot connect to any network since I can't reliably detect any. iwconfig:

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off

lspci -nnk:

Kernel driver in use: bcma-pci-bridge
Kernel modules: bcma

sudo modprobe wl:

FATAL: Module wl not found.
FATAL: Error running install command for wl

After installing bcmwl-kernel-source_5.100.82, I can detect networks but cannot join: iwconfig:

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off

lspci-nnk

Kernel driver in use: bcma-pci-bridge
Kernel modules: bcma

sudo modprobe wl:

FATAL: Module wl not found.
FATAL: Error running install command for wl
share|improve this question
    
Have you sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer? –  edwin Aug 26 '13 at 23:00
    
I just did, from the starting point (so with wl driver in use), and it returns firmware-b43-installer is already the newest version. –  user187562 Aug 28 '13 at 16:28

1 Answer 1

I believe the proprietary STA driver wl is incorrect for your device 14e4:4727. Please open a terminal and do:

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

Reboot. Post back and tell us if the wireless works better.

If signal strength is still low, try an earlier bcmwl-kernel-source as mentioned here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1110139/comments/42

wget http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/restricted/b/bcmwl/bcmwl-kernel-source_5.100.82.112+bdcom-0ubuntu3_amd64.deb

Or if yours is a 32-bit system:

wget http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/restricted/b/bcmwl/bcmwl-kernel-source_5.100.82.112+bdcom-0ubuntu3_i386.deb

Confirm 32- or 64-bit:

arch

Then do:

sudo dpkg -i bcmwl*.deb

Reboot and give us your report.

share|improve this answer
    
I did sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source, now I don't have any wireless networking at all. –  user187562 Aug 27 '13 at 15:59
    
Is the correct driver loading? lsmod | grep brcmsmac. If not, load it and tell us if it starts working: sudo modprobe brcmsmac –  chili555 Aug 27 '13 at 16:09
    
It did not load automatically, but after loading it I have this: brcmsmac 541775 0 mac80211 555272 1 brcmsmac brcmutil 14756 1 brcmsmac cfg80211 208382 2 brcmsmac,mac80211 cordic 12575 1 brcmsmac bcma 35762 1 brcmsmac (sorry about the formatting). –  user187562 Aug 27 '13 at 16:25
    
When I load the brcmsmac driver, wireless seems to work a little, but I can only see networks in wifi channels 1-7 (and none in 8-13), and reception is much weaker than what it should be. –  user187562 Aug 27 '13 at 16:43
1  
@user187562 and Chili555, Please don't do extended discussions in the comments section. Comments are just that, commenting on the post and not for troubleshooting. Instead of having to go back and forth in comments, consider editing your answer as it needs be. You can also avail the Ask Ubuntu Chat service available along with the site. –  jokerdino Aug 30 '13 at 13:59

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