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'm about to do a fresh install of my ubuntu desktop system. When I originally put the system together it took me a week or so to figure out how to get wireless working. And I can't find my notes on how I did this.

How do I back-up and then re-install the existing wireless settings, drivers, etc? I'm not sure how to locate the driver and the various config files. Mainly looking for a logical plan to go about this. I can provide additional info if this is not enough to go on.

share|improve this question
my 2c: dpkg --get-selections > installed-packages.txt gives you a way to backup the installed packages (including driver or other software you installed via APT). The .gconf and .config sub-directories inside the user's home directory seem to store most of the preferences for networking setup, so migrating these might also help restore. – koushik Sep 29 '10 at 11:46

I do not know anything specific that could be done, though Ubuntu does have a built in wireless backports package. That might enable your hardware to work itself. Unless you know you need an external download to allow it to work. To install just search 'wireless backport generic' in synaptic. There should be a meta package for wireless.

If you know what configuration files you need, back them up to a flash drive and then restore them manually. I advise you ask specific questions or do research on your exact chip. You can find out the chipset and driver by running this in a terminal:

sudo lshw -C network

share|improve this answer

Like guy above said, I'm sure there's a smarter and more precise answer here, but:

You need to figure out by some google search what packages are coming from your old system over to new one (or new install) and back then up to a USB stick.

What I can usefully contribute is this:

Test your new configuration by running a live-CD / persistent USB distro, and try to install the packages and see if this makes your wireless work.

If it doesn't, you just saved yourself a week's worth of time fixing what you would have screwed up. =)

Lesson here is: ALWAYS test it out on a LiveCD FIRST*

share|improve this answer

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.