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Today I did a regular update for my Ubuntu 14.04 installation on my Dell XPS 13 and the update included a new kernel (I guess it was 3.19.0-65). I noticed that the wireless stopped working after the update and thought that it would be a good idea to switch to an older kernel but it seems that somehow I have messed things up.

The status is: I still have kernels on my machine (3.19.0-65, 3.19.0-64 and 3.19.0-51) and it boots to unity. Screen and touchpad are working, all looks nice, but: It does say that it does not have any network devices at all, so I am totally offline with the laptop.

iwconfig simply gives

lo       no wireless extensions

and nothing else. I found the page My wireless/WiFi connection does not work. What information is needed to diagnose the issue? to diagnose, downloaded the script and tried to transfer it to my laptop with a memory sitck. But my laptop will not even find a usb memory stick anymore! With no network and not usb I am kind of stuck here…

So I am looking for:

  • How do I get my machine up and running again?
  • If the system is broken beyond repair, how could I still get a backup and a reinstall?
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  • What happens if you boot with an older kernel? – Pilot6 Jul 15 '16 at 15:47
  • It looks the same with all kernels. – Dirk Jul 15 '16 at 16:25
  • Something is broken. The dongle or USB. – Pilot6 Jul 15 '16 at 16:41
  • The usb memory stick works at the other machine. – Dirk Jul 15 '16 at 16:58
  • And what? How is it related to your problem? Does anything work with USB on THIS machine? Does the dongle work on any other machine? – Pilot6 Jul 15 '16 at 17:00
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Had a similar issue after a kernel upgrade: no network, no usb (except the old kernel worked as before).

In this case the linux-image-extra package for that kernel was not installed, so drivers were missing.

To check it's installed:

$ uname -r
4.4.0-45-generic
$ dpkg -l | grep '^ii' | grep `uname -r`
ii  linux-headers-4.4.0-45-generic             4.4.0-45.66~14.04.1                                                  i386         
ii  linux-image-4.4.0-45-generic               4.4.0-45.66~14.04.1                                                  i386        
ii  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-45-generic         4.4.0-45.66~14.04.1                                                  i386        

If the linux-image-extra package is missing in the list above install it with:

$ sudo apt-get install linux-image-extra-`uname -r`
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  • For my kernel I needed the linux-modules-extra instead: "sudo apt-get install linux-modules-extra-uname -r" – nmgeek Aug 2 '20 at 19:55
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I have exactly the same issue. I run 14.04 on a 2016 XPS 13 Developer-Edition, and after this morning's update the network menu does not contain any wireless device. Wired connection is working fine.

As a workaround, after displaying the GRUB menu and booting into the previous kernel (3.19.0-64), the wireless works as before for me.

Possibly related questions here and here. The same issue has been reported on the Dell forum here. If someone has a forum account, please point them to the various reports on askubuntu. I tried to sign up, but failed. This should also be reported at launchpad.

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  • Thanks for pointing me to the bug. Unfortunately this does not solve my problem. When I tried to revert to the old kernel, I must have messed up something else. I try to boot from a stick and see what can be done... – Dirk Jul 15 '16 at 18:59
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it's me as well experiencing the same issue. Seems like an issue with the 3.19.0-65 kernel. After some mucking around I simply switched back to 3.19.0-64 by

  • pressing ESC on boot to see GRUB's menu
  • enter "Ubuntu options"
  • select Kernel 3.19.0-64-generic

tadaaa

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  • Oh, just saw that bas-swinckels did the same. Anyhow, I'll keep the answer here – gutschilla Jul 18 '16 at 8:47
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This seems to be an issue related to drivers not working starting with Ubuntu's 3.19.0-65 kernel. This is caused by a change made by Canonical whereby kernel and kernel driver signing is now being enforced when secure boot is enabled. During the update process, when a pop-up box asked me to review the secure boot settings, I left them as they were (enabled, I assume).

See:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/dkms/+bug/1574727

and

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1566221

As recommended in

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/os-applications/f/4613/t/19985774

disabling secure boot from the BIOS corrected the problem for me.

You could also use sudo mokutil --disable-validation from the terminal.

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