The wireless card as identified by lspci:

Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4318] (rev 02)

I'm new to Ubuntu and I've found this guide which addresses my issue exactly. I've got internet connectivity and I just want to enable the wireless card on this old Dell laptop. However, I'm running Ubuntu Server 10.10 and I would rather not install a Desktop. Thus, I'm stuck at the following step:

Step 2.

Under the desktop menu System > Administration > Hardware/Additional Drivers, the b43 drivers can be activated for use.

Is it possible to accomplish this in the CLI?


4 Answers 4


Got it to work with some help from a user in #ubuntu. Apparently there's a bug in the b43-fwcutter package that prevents the drivers from actually being loaded. Following these instructions worked for me.


As long as you have a clue about package's name you can use apt-cache to search among packages.So search for b43:

sudo apt-cache search b43

Output is:

b43-fwcutter - Utility for extracting Broadcom 43xx firmware

For me on ubuntu 10.04.So I can install it with apt-get:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter

Hope it works.

  • I've done this - first step in the guide I posted above but I'm getting this with iwlist scan: wlan0 Failed to read scan data : Network is down. lsmod also seems to come up clean: pastebin.com/LkjSsm8t. I should mention that the laptop has no external wifi switches - just a Fn key combo that I've toggled every time I test something.
    – Radu
    Mar 27, 2011 at 19:59
  • Oh, Sorry for my mistake.Did you see this help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/…?
    – Pedram
    Mar 27, 2011 at 20:09
  • I did but I'm following the "Internet Access" portion of the guide since I've got it hooked up via ethernet.
    – Radu
    Mar 27, 2011 at 20:19

If is no present, you need also wpasupplicant in order to have wpa and wpa2 support (see apt-cache show wpasupplicant) and set /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Can you show me lshw -C network?

If is ok:

1) sudo ifdown eth0

2) sudo ifup eth1 (or similar)

3) sudo ifconfig eth1 IP_static_your_machine netmask

4) sudo route add default gw adress_of_your_gateway_(like eth0

  • Something feels off here: pastebin.com/h2vdrKMq
    – Radu
    Mar 27, 2011 at 20:37
  • Also, here is my /etc/network/interfaces: pastebin.com/r7AHYDJY.
    – Radu
    Mar 27, 2011 at 20:41
  • So, seems ok for me... Have you try to perform the top operation indicated?
    – peppe84
    Mar 28, 2011 at 10:06

Just download the driver from this link.

And follow the instructions here.

It works on the Ubuntu kernel version 2.6.X

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