I was purging bcmwl-kernel-source, but during the process Iinterrupted it by mistake. Now when I am trying to install it again using sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source I get the following error

0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 393 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0 B of additional disk space will be used.
Setting up bcmwl-kernel-source ( ...
Removing old bcmwl- DKMS files...
Loading new bcmwl- DKMS files...
Error! DKMS tree already contains: bcmwl-
You cannot add the same module/version combo more than once.
dpkg: error processing package bcmwl-kernel-source (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 3
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
  • have you tried the usual sudo apt-get -f install (-f is shorthand for --fix-broken); then maybe the sudo dpkg-reconfigure bcmwl-kernel-source – guiverc Feb 11 '18 at 6:21
  • Ya.. tried all that – shreyansh Feb 11 '18 at 6:37
  • Answer by @Atef works for 20.04. (Someone please update OP title to indicate that) – DavidJ Jan 11 at 1:49

If anyone is still facing this issue using Ubuntu 20.04, try the following:

apt purge bcmwl-kernel-source
apt-get install broadcom-sta-source
apt-get install broadcom-sta-dkms
apt-get install broadcom-sta-common

Thanks to Rafael Santos (rafae-s) from the link below


  • This worked, thank you so much! – Daniel V Jan 8 at 19:36
  • I was facing the same issue – Harshit Gupta Jan 9 at 11:19
  • Thanks a lot man – Harshit Gupta Jan 9 at 11:20
  • Thank you for shared and thank you so much to Rafael Santos (rafae-s) – Loc_rabbirt Jan 9 at 16:47
  • (not from me but totally appropriate): Man, you deserve a huge cookie. – Bru Jan 16 at 14:28

This worked for me rm -rf /usr/src/bcmwl- and then rm -rf /var/lib/dkms/* followed by apt-get purge dkms. After that I just did apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source and it installed.

  • You need dkms to automatically recompile bcwl source code with every kernel update. Now you will have to manually compile it for all new kernels. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Feb 11 '18 at 16:15
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix how do i fix it now so that dkms automatically recompiles bmwl source code? – shreyansh Feb 13 '18 at 5:31

For anyone facing this issue on 20.04

This issue is caused when attempting to manually install "bcmwl-kernel-source" or using "Additional Drivers".

Just run this command sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source

  • 1
    So why remove them if they are needed? Maybe your device is different. – Pilot6 Nov 22 '20 at 19:36

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