When I clicked on additional drivers on Ubuntu 12.04, I could not see any drivers.. How can I check what drivers are installed for WiFi on Ubuntu environment.

  • 1
    Please add the output of lspci | grep -i network to your question. – edwin Aug 16 '13 at 16:16
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    It's not really possible (or useful) to enumerate all available device drivers in Linux (even when restricted to a particular device class). However, you can enumerate all available drivers that are capable of handling a particular device and, more importantly, the one currently claiming the device, i. e. the driver used to “drive” it. – David Foerster Oct 2 '16 at 14:26

The following commands are run in a terminal. Open one by Ctrl+Alt+T.

To check what drivers your wireless adapter is currently using, you may run the following command:

sudo lshw -C network
  • lshw lists information on your hardware
  • -C network filters the output to only show the network class.

In the output, look for the entry with description: Wireless interface.

Here's the output from my Ubuntu:

alaa@aa-lu:~$ sudo lshw -C network
[sudo] password for alaa: 
       description: Wireless interface
       product: RTL8723AE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter
       vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:08:00.0
       logical name: wlan0
       version: 00
       serial: 24:ec:99:21:c9:29
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=rtl8723ae driverversion=3.8.0-27-generic firmware=N/A ip= latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
       resources: irq:17 ioport:3000(size=256) memory:c3000000-c3003fff

In the configuration line (line before last), you'll see the driver currently being used by my card. I've highlighted it in the output.

Alternatively, you can use the command:

lspci -nnk | grep -A2 0280
  • lspci lists information on your PCI connected cards
  • -nnk instructs lspci to output more information about these cards (including the driver being used)
  • | pipes the output to the next command
  • grep 0280 filters the output to show lines containing 0280, which is the PCI class code for wireless PCI controllers in Ubuntu.
  • -A2 shows two more lines of information.

Here's the output from my Ubuntu:

08:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8723AE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter [10ec:8723]
    Subsystem: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device [10ec:0724]
    Kernel driver in use: rtl8723ae

Once you determine the driver you're using, you can use the following command to show more information about it:

modinfo <driver-name>

To check what wireless drivers you currently have installed, but not necessarily being used by anything, you can do the following command:

find /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/net/wireless -name '*.ko'

The above command will list all drivers you have installed. This will probably be an exhaustive list, because these are preinstalled drivers on your Ubuntu to make it possible for people to use their wireless drivers as soon as they install Ubuntu.

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    Result for:lshw -c Network *-network UNCLAIMED description: Network controller product: BCM43228 802.11a/b/g/n vendor: Broadcom Corporation physical id: 0 bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0 version: 00 width: 64 bits clock: 33MHz capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list configuration: latency=0 resources: memory:f7e00000-f7e03fff *-network description: Ethernet interface product: NetXtreme BCM5761 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe vendor: Broadcom Corporation – Inderjeet Aug 16 '13 at 16:51
  • But wireless is not working how to sort out the issue, Is there I am to install any extra driver. – Inderjeet Aug 16 '13 at 16:53
  • I have found two drivers 1) Kernel driver in use: sdhci-pci 2)Kernel driver in use: tg3 but still wifi is not working – Inderjeet Aug 16 '13 at 17:29
  • Your question was "How can I check the information of currently installed WiFi drivers?" I didn't know (nor did you mention) that your wireless card is not working. First, check this answer: askubuntu.com/a/60395/52726. If you still can't get your wireless card to work, post another question. – Alaa Ali Aug 16 '13 at 19:42

The following method includes the installation of additional software, which name is hardinfo.

You can search and install hardinfo, from USC


from terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) apply the following command

sudo apt-get install -y hardinfo 

Locate hardinfo from Dash (by writing: hardinfo), open it and goto PCI Devices if your Wireless adapter is an integrated PCI device.

enter image description here

Next to Kernel modules is the current loaded driver of the specified Wireless adapter. In example picture is ath9k

If your Wireless adapter is a USB device, then goto the corresponding entry on the left list under Devices.

  • Reading package list...Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done E: unable to locate package hardinfo – Inderjeet Aug 16 '13 at 17:06
  • You'll need to enable the universe repository. Type software-properties-gtk &. Once the windows opens, put a check mark on the line ending in "(universe)". Once you do that, run sudo apt-get update in the terminal, then try installing hardinfo again. – Alaa Ali Aug 16 '13 at 17:19
  • Still getting the same information : ** Unable to locate package hardinfo ** – Inderjeet Aug 16 '13 at 18:22
  • Just to let you know internet is not working on my pc as i do have only wifi and its not accessible to me – Inderjeet Aug 16 '13 at 18:23
  • Your question (as the title set it) has been answered. IMHO has been answered completely. Now if you have another problem you can open a new one, or you can search for help in other Ubuntu Help Desks (ubuntuforums.org - answers.launchpad.net ..etc). Please choose the appropriate answer(the one that you think solves your problem, and click it as the correct one). – NickTux Aug 16 '13 at 19:02

You can also try:

ethtool -i wlan0 | grep driver

this gives the current loaded driver for your wlan card with output like this:

uchiha@Hokage:~$ ethtool -i wlan0 | grep driver  
driver: brcmsmac 

which is my driver for wi-fi card. If you don't have ethtool you can install it by:

sudo apt-get install ethtool

  • @P.-H., This was my first answer... i don't know how to get the formatting.. i read the "markdown section" to get the formatting right but was unable to understand it... can u please explain it to me by an example? – sanjay ramrakhyani Apr 7 '15 at 14:51
  • Hi, you can check this Markdown Editing Help article, and you can practice by asking a new question (just don't submit it, you will see the preview) – P.-H. Lin Apr 8 '15 at 7:40

You can use this command:

sudo lspci -nn -v -s your socket        



to check if the module r8169 is existed by: If it is not then add it by:

sudo modprobe r8169

This solved the problem for me.

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