Broadcom BCM4311 Wireless not recognized in USB Live install of 13.10 on Dell 6400 Laptop

Hardware: Dell Laptop 6400 1.66 GHz and 2GB RAM

USB Live created with a 4 GB persistent file.

Upon startup I get a functional Ethernet WIRED connection and Bluetooth but no indications of a wireless service.

There is no hardware switch for the wireless as on some laptops. The soft switch (Fn+F2) toggles the Bluetooth on and off but the wireless indicator never lights up.

When probing around, this is what I find:

**rfkill list** //is it being killed?  No, wireless not even listed  
0: hci0: Bluetooth  
        Soft blocked: no   
        Hard blocked: no  

**iwconfig** // look specifically at the parameters of the wireless network  
    lo        no wireless extensions.  
    eth0      no wireless extensions.  

**ifconfig** // look at interface configurations  
>eth0   Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:19:b9:4c:cf:b3    
>          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:   
>          inet6 addr: fe80::219:b9ff:fe4c:cfb3/64 Scope:Link  
>          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1  
>          RX packets:3826 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0   
>          TX packets:2033 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0  
>          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000  
>          RX bytes:3944231 (3.9 MB)  TX bytes:197816 (197.8 KB)  
>          Interrupt:17  

>lo       Link encap:Local Loopback  
>          inet addr:  Mask:  
>          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host  
>          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1  
>          RX packets:264 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0  
>          TX packets:264 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0  
>          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0  
>          RX bytes:26685 (26.6 KB)  TX bytes:26685 (26.6 KB)  

**lspci -k | grep -A2 Network** //Hardware and Driver  
>0b:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)  
>   Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card  
>   Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge  

>**cat /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf | grep -B1 bcm** //check what's blacklisted  
>    # replaced by b43 and ssb.  
>    blacklist bcm43xx  

Do you have any ideas on how to get this working?

I have searched the previous questions and have tried several of the answers offered -- but no joy. It looks like these cards have been a problem for almost every release of Ubuntu and it seems that with every release there is a different twist that must be used to get it to work.


With a working ethernet connection, please do:

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

I know you said you removed it, but let's be doubly certain. Then do:

sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree
sudo modprobe -r b43 && sudo modprobe b43

You should be all set.

  • It's working! Thank you for your help. Here is what I did: sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree returned an error: Unable to locate package linux-firmware-nonfree. After checking, I discovered that linux-firmware-nonfree is not part of the saucy repository. I edited /etc/apt/sources.list to include: deb http://us.archive.ununtu.com/ubuntu/ raring multiverse Then did sudo apt-get update then did sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree power down reboot Success – Mark Cain Jul 3 '13 at 12:10

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