How do I enable WiFi from the Ubuntu 11.10 netroot recovery terminal?

After just 12 hours with Ubuntu, I managed to destroy my ATI fglrx drivers and now I can't repair them without Internet access.

  • Connecting to WiFi via the recovery terminal is different than connecting to Starbucks' WiFi via a normal terminal. Feb 16, 2012 at 11:29

3 Answers 3


What worked for me was sudo service network-manager start.

  • Really good! :) Feb 2, 2022 at 22:33
  • 1
    Good 👍, in my case I had to write NetworkManager instead Dec 15, 2023 at 17:30

First, run ifconfig wlan0 up. This will enable wireless. You won't get any feedback unless there's a problem. Next, run iwlist wlan0 scan to scan for nearby wireless networks. Once you have looked at the output and know which wireless network you want to connect to, run iwconfig wlan0 essid NETWORK_ID key s:WIRELESS_KEY, replacing NETWORK_ID with the name (essid) of the nework and WIRELESS_KEY with the network passcode. Hope that helps!

  • 2
    This doesn't work since ifconfig is not installed by default anymore. So on a fresh install of Ubuntu, you would be screwed.
    – ffxsam
    Nov 1, 2017 at 16:48
  • The easiest way to setup the wireless in command line in ubuntu is with the nmcli tool ( the network manager command line ). See basic operations in the documentation: core.docs.ubuntu.com/en/stacks/network/network-manager/docs/…
    – Quentin
    Sep 30, 2020 at 12:30

as of January 2023, you can enter the root shell via recovery mode and then, nmcli is the tool you want to use, make changes and do the repair - persists whatever changes you make otherwise they are of no use

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