I have recently installed ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but as in previous versions; I need a driver for wireless. When booting from USB, I could download and install the Broadcom Wireless STA driver: now I can't (note: this was from my house and I am moving and the internet in my hotel has additional logon information - might be the problem?). The ethernet cable on my laptop never worked, so that's not an option. When I open additional drivers, it will say can't detect drivers; need internet access.


  • Need wireless driver
  • Wifi is available; logon information IN BROWSER required.
  • No ethernet
  • 1
    Duplicate? askubuntu.com/questions/974/…
    – Jakob
    Jun 4, 2012 at 17:06
  • 1
    Not really.. This particular question should sound as how the hell can I install stuff if I have only a browser. Jun 4, 2012 at 17:09
  • I have long moved on from ubuntu, but to those it may concern, I solved this by getting internet on the Try Ubuntu option straight from the CD (because drivers work there). Then I installed and checked 3rd party firmware box, which gave me an install with internet. Thanks anyway.
    – Ruben
    Jan 9, 2014 at 2:00

4 Answers 4


Late to the party, but could be of use to someone. If you still have the Live USB from which you installed the OS, insert the flash drive (if it doesn't automount, open the Disks utility and mount it from there). Once it's mounted, open the terminal and go:

sudo dpkg -i /media/username/volname/pool/main/d/dkms/dkms_*.deb
sudo dpkg -i /media/username/volname/pool/restricted/b/bcmwl/bcmwl-kernel-source_*.deb

replace username and volname with your username and the USB volume label, respectively. after the install completes, reboot.

This folder structure is based on 15.04, should be similar in older versions.

If the terminal comes out with an error, open the file explorer and go to your Live USB. Then go the the same directory as above:




And click on the file in each directory. It will bring up Software Center. Install or reinstall both files.

  • 3
    Seriously helpful.
    – bhotel
    Jun 3, 2015 at 19:21
  • You just made my day. I wonder if the issue arose in the first place because I hadn't selected the option to "Install Restricted Extras" or something like that when I installed from the CD.
    – msoftrain
    Oct 29, 2015 at 16:28
  • 1
    It worked, i'm using Ubuntu 16.04
    – andy
    Sep 9, 2016 at 6:56
  • 2
    It says that gcc is not installed. Any way of installing gcc using the similar method?
    – exAres
    Apr 21, 2019 at 20:20
  • 1
    This worked for my macbook air after I had installed ubuntu 19.04 desktop. WiFi configuration was then available from the GUI. Thank you!
    – Gardener
    Jul 5, 2019 at 19:22

You can manually download any ubuntu package from http://packages.ubuntu.com, copy them to the linux drive, then use dpkg to install them. Packages.ubuntu.com also lists dependencies, so you should be able to find and download any that are missing.

The "restricted hardware drivers tool" uses the following package for broadcom wireless:


(alter the URL to use lucid if needed for a 10.04 installation)

That package doesn't have much for dependencies, and it should be installable by doing:

sudo dpkg --install /path/to/bcmwl-kernel-source

dpkg won't try grabbing any dependencies for you, so you will need to make sure they are installed using this same method first.

  • This worked to install the driver - and it is the right one. Apparently it still doesn't show any networks in the NetworkManager applet. Any ideas? Oct 21, 2010 at 20:50

for broadcom wifi issues, follow the instructions here. this site provides step by step instructions for identifying the card and a list of supported cards and what drivers to use for each model.

make sure that you use this command to identify your card model, as the output of dmesg will sometimes contain the wrong information

lspci -vnn | grep 14e4

you'll probably end up using b43-fwcutter (should already be installed), so once you've downloaded the drivers linked to from that site, you can put them on a thumb drive, take the drive to your friends house and follow the instructions in the first link to install them.

to summarize:

on pc w/ net access:

wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-

mv broadcom-wl- /media/MyThumbDrive

then from the pc w/o net access:

tar xjf broadcom-wl-

cd broadcom-wl-

b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware/ wl_apsta_mimo.o

All Precise Pangolin (Ubuntu 12.04) packages can be downloaded from Launchpad.

You need to know the name of the package, though. But hopefully that should be the one:

  • 1
    Dependencies will need downloaded too (if any).
    – Thomas Ward
    Jun 4, 2012 at 17:05
  • Correct, linux-headers. Jun 4, 2012 at 17:06
  • which i think is a meta package that links to three other packages... might want to dissect the debian/control file and see what it needs, and add those dependencies to your answer of "things to download"
    – Thomas Ward
    Jun 4, 2012 at 17:08
  • Right. echo "linux-headers-"uname -r"-generic" should tell correct version of linux-headers package, that one might need to download. Jun 4, 2012 at 17:16
  • Thanks, I will surely try this out. And yes, while I was searching for an answer I stumbled accross bcmwl-kernal-source a lot.
    – Ruben
    Jun 4, 2012 at 17:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .