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Troubleshooting Common Wifi Issues on Ubuntu-Based Linux Distros

Troubleshooting Wifi Issues on Ubuntu-Based Linux Distros

Are you having trouble connecting to Wifi on your Ubuntu-based Linux distro? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Many people encounter this issue, but there are ways to solve this problem. In this article, we will provide you with solutions to troubleshoot common Wifi issues on Ubuntu-based Linux distros.

Prechecks to diagnose Internet Connectivity Issue

Before diving into the solutions, it’s essential to check if your device has a wired connection or if there is an issue with internet access. If there’s no internet connection, check your wired connection.

If that’s not the issue, check if your Linux-compatible network adapters are working correctly. If you’re using a laptop, look for the Wifi toggle switch and make sure it’s turned on.

Solution 1: Hardware Issues Vs. Software Issues

One of the first steps in troubleshooting Linux Wifi issues is to determine if you are dealing with a hardware issue or a software issue. If the issue is hardware-related, there’s not much you can do.

However, if it’s a software issue, you have several options to consider. To determine if the issue is hardware-based, try pinging localhost in the terminal by typing “ping localhost” and hitting enter.

If the ping is successful, then the issue is most likely software-related. Solution 2: Re-Install the Drivers from the Original ISO

If you’re sure it’s a software issue, consider reinstalling the drivers from the original ISO.

Check if the Linux distro version you’re using is compatible with your device. For example, for Ubuntu LTS, you can install additional drivers by going to the “Additional Drivers” tab in the Software & Updates app.

For users with Broadcom wireless adapters, this option is especially useful. Solution 3:

Installing the Drivers Manually

Sometimes, your Wifi driver may not be installed or may be outdated.

If you know your Ethernet is working fine, consider installing the drivers manually. This is usually done by downloading a Debian package installer from the manufacturer’s website and running it.

This option is best if you know the Ubuntu version you’re using and what wireless driver you need. If you’re using a USB device to connect to your Wifi, make sure the device is plugged in securely and recognized by the system.

Solution 4: Can Your Distro Detect Your Wireless Device? It’s essential to check if your distro can find your wireless device.

Try running the following commands in the terminal: “lsusb,” “lspci” or “lshw.” These commands will help you determine if your device is properly set up. If your device is detected, but you still can’t connect to Wifi, make sure you have the proper drivers installed.

Solution 5: Load Wifi Module on Boot Automatically

If your Wifi device is recognized, but you still can’t connect, try loading the Wifi module on boot automatically. To do this, use the nano text editor to open the /etc/modules file and add your WLAN driver.

This ensures that the driver will be loaded on boot automatically. Solution 6: Change DNS to Google or OpenDNS

Sometimes, issues can be related to DNS.

Try changing your DNS to Google or OpenDNS. You can do this by using the nmcli device command to set the DNS server to point to Google or OpenDNS.


These solutions should help troubleshoot some of the common Wifi issues encountered on Ubuntu-based Linux distros. By following these steps, you can fix software-related issues, determine hardware issues, reinstall drivers from the original ISO, install drivers manually, detect wireless devices, load Wifi modules on boot automatically, and change DNS to Google or OpenDNS.

Re-Installing Drivers from the Original ISO

One of the common ways of re-installing drivers on Ubuntu-based Linux distros for Wifi-related issues is downloading the ISO image from the operating system’s page. In this article, we will break down the steps to download, mount and install drivers from the ISO.

Downloading ISO Image from the Operating System Page

Before downloading the ISO image file, make sure to access the operating system’s page, often available through the vendor’s website. Once you are on the page, select the appropriate Linux distribution type and choose the latest version.

After selecting the version, navigate to the “Download” section of the page to download the .iso image file.

Mounting the Image Manually

To mount the image file manually, open the Linux command terminal and execute the following command:


sudo mount -o loop /path/to/image.iso /media/cdrom


This command will mount the .iso file to the “/media/cdrom” directory. If there are any issues with the “cdrom” directory, you can use another mount point.

Checking the CDrom Option in Ubuntu Software Tab

After mounting the .iso file, a pop-up window generally appears asking if you want to open the CDrom option in the Ubuntu Software tab. In case the window doesn’t appear, navigate to the Ubuntu Software tab manually.

Click on the “CDrom” option, typically found on the left side of the app, to access the contents of the disk.

Selecting and Applying Propriety Drivers

Look for the “Additional Drivers” tab in the Ubuntu Software tab and click on it. This option should be on the bottom toolbar.

In the “Additional Drivers” tab, Ubuntu will show you a list of propriety drivers and select the one that matches your Wifi card. Once you have selected the appropriate driver, click on the “Apply Changes” button at the bottom right corner of the app.

A new window should show up asking for your password to proceed. Enter your password and authenticate the changes.

The Ubuntu Software app will proceed with installing the selected drivers, and a restart might be required.

Installing the Drivers Manually

If the re-installation of drivers from the original ISO doesn’t solve the issue or if your Wifi card is not supported by the additional drivers, you can always install the drivers manually. In this section, we will cover how to install drivers manually.

Checking for Broadcom Wireless Adapters

To determine if your device has a Broadcom wireless adapter, run the following command:


sudo lshw -C network | grep -i broadcom


If this command outputs information related to Broadcom, you have a Broadcom wireless adapter.

Installing firmware-b43-installer

If you are using an internal wireless card, you can install the firmware-b43-installer by executing the following command:


sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer


This command will install the necessary drivers for your Broadcom wireless adapter. After installing the drivers, reboot your system and check if the Wifi connectivity issue is resolved.

Installing Wireless Drivers from DEB File

If you’re using a USB wireless device, first plug in the device and check if it’s recognized by the system through the “lsusb” command. Next, download the appropriate wireless driver DEB file from the manufacturer’s website.

After the download, navigate to the folder where the DEB file is located and execute the following command:


sudo dpkg -i wireless-driver-name-here.deb


This command will install the driver for the USB wireless device. After the installation is completed, reboot your system and check if the device is recognized and the Wifi connectivity issue is resolved.


In conclusion, we have covered how to re-install Wifi drivers from the original ISO and install drivers manually on Ubuntu-based Linux distros. By following the steps provided in this article, you should be able to troubleshoot common Wifi connectivity issues on your Linux distro.

Changing DNS to Google or OpenDNS

Sometimes, the issue with Wifi connectivity might be related to DNS. In such cases, simply changing your DNS settings to Google DNS or OpenDNS can help fix the issue.

In this section, we will guide you through the steps involved in changing your DNS settings. Checking System’s DNS Address

To check the DNS address configured on your system, open the terminal and enter the following command:


nmcli device show | grep IP4.DNS


Replace `` with the name of your device, which might be “wlan0” for wireless devices and “eth0” for wired devices.

This command will display the current DNS address associated with your device. Pinging Router’s LAN and Google/OpenDNS DNS Servers

To check if your router’s LAN and Google/OpenDNS DNS servers are responsive, you can use the ping command on the terminal.

First, ping your router’s LAN address to see if it responds, and then ping Google DNS or OpenDNS to see if they respond. To ping your router’s LAN address, execute the following command:




Replace `` with your router’s local IP address.

The ping command should show you if your router is responding correctly. To ping Google DNS or OpenDNS, execute the following command:




This command will ping Google DNS servers.

Replace with the IP address of OpenDNS servers if that is the DNS server you want to check. If these servers are responsive, it means you can reach them successfully.

Changing Router’s DNS Settings or Machine’s DNS Settings

Once you have determined what DNS settings are configured, you can change your router’s DNS settings or machine’s DNS settings. To change the router’s DNS settings, you need to access your router’s admin page and look for the “DNS settings” option.

Once you have located the DNS settings, replace the default settings with the Google DNS or OpenDNS servers’ addresses. Alternatively, you can change the DNS settings of your machine by using the Network Manager app.

Once the app has been opened, select the appropriate network connection and select the “IPv4” tab. Under “DNS,” enter the Google DNS or OpenDNS IP address.

Final Thoughts

Troubleshooting Wifi issues on Linux distros can be challenging, but there are many resources available online to help you deal with these issues. Online documentation can guide you through the steps required to troubleshoot specific issues and get your Wifi connectivity back up and running.

In conclusion, the steps outlined in this article should help you identify and troubleshoot common Wifi connectivity issues. By following the solutions provided in this article, you can easily troubleshoot and fix Wifi connectivity issues on Ubuntu-based Linux distros.

In conclusion, this article aimed to help readers troubleshoot Wifi issues on Ubuntu-based Linux distros. The solutions addressed in the article span from diagnosing internet connectivity issues to re-installing drivers from the original ISO and manually installing drivers.

Additionally, changing DNS settings to Google or OpenDNS was explored as a potential fix for connectivity problems. The importance of checking hardware and software issues, utilizing proper installation methods, and considering DNS configuration were emphasized throughout.

By following these steps, readers can effectively resolve common Wifi issues on their Linux distros and enjoy uninterrupted connectivity. Remember, troubleshooting Wifi can be complex, but with the right knowledge and resources, you can overcome these challenges and maintain a seamless online experience.

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