Ubuntu 11.10 getting wireless BCM4311 working

I have an HP laptop model nx6325 with a Broadcom BCM4311 wireless card.  After installing Ubuntu 11.10, I find that my wireless doesn’t work.  The reason, Ubuntu detects the wireless but then loads the incorrect driver for this card.

I use the lspci command to display the details about my hardware. It will display all of your PCI connected hardware. I edited the output to show only the relevant information.  The important information here for  matching your hardware with mine is this indentifier [14e4:4312].

$ sudo lspci -v

30:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11a/b/g (rev 01)
        Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Broadcom 802.11a/b/g WLAN
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18
        Memory at c8000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
        Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2
        Capabilities: [58] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
        Capabilities: [d0] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
        Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
        Capabilities: [13c] Virtual Channel
        Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge
        Kernel modules: ssb

$ sudo lspci -nn
30:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11a/b/g [14e4:4312] (rev 01)

The Solution

I am  going to install the correct driver for this wireless card. Then I will remove the “incorrect” driver (bcmwl) which Ubuntu installed by default.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
$ sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
$ sudo reboot

Hopefully you found this useful.

If you have this same type of wireless chip in your laptop, these instructions might also work for you.

325 thoughts on “Ubuntu 11.10 getting wireless BCM4311 working

  1. Thanks for this short and powerful hint !

    sudo apt-get install firmware-bc43-installer include a typo
    sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer seems to be ok

    This was the only issue I found

    • Use a wired ethernet connection to the internet. These instructions are for getting wireless working. It is assumed you have a wired connection already. If you don’t have that, then ask a friend to download the packages to flash. Then install the packages from flash. If you are downloading the packages to flash, you will need two packages: “firmware-b43-installer” and “b43-fwcutter”. The packages can be downloaded from launchpad.net. Mount the flash drive, open a cmdline, and use “dpkg -i package_file …” to install the packages from the cmdline.

  2. Worked for me on my Compaq Presario C500. The wireless adapter hadn’t worked since Ubuntu 11.04 and even with hours of searching, faffing and fiddling I could never get it to work.

    Works a treat now. Thanks very much!

  3. thanks man this did the trick for my hp pavilion dv8000 laptop
    i was going nut on it for a little bit til i found your page

  4. I struggled to get the firmware installed, then stepped back with the brainwave: run the Restricted Drivers install first!

    This pulled up the appropriate Broadcom drivers without having to manually tease out firmware. All working again inside 2 minutes.

    Note to self – go for the simple, out-of-the-box solutions first, before you go for hard labour.

    Why the installer missed the wireless anyway I don’t get – it works using the Live CD!?!? RC

  5. Fantastic!

    This reduced boot time on my Dell XPS m1530 with 30 seconds!

    Now I’m connectet when I’m at the desktop, befor this I had to wait 30 seconds for connection to the wireless. I never had a problem with speed after it was connectetd.

    By dell has the Broadcom BCM4321

  6. Thank you. Your fix worked on my Dell Inspiron 1501 machine. Ubuntu has taken a step back here. The restricted drivers app used to work flawlessly but now installs the wrong driver by default. Your post saved me a lot of digging!

  7. MUCHAS MUCHAS MUCHAS MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!!! In English that’s thank you very very very much. It worked great. I tried many different things. This one is by far the simplest and best of them all.

  8. Unfortunately this solution did not work for me. (Ubuntu 11.10)
    Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Presario V6133CL
    03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)

  9. Dear Neil Smith ,
    I´d to inform that your tutorial worked very well in my laptop HP model 6230 with Wireless card series BCM4311.
    Thanks a lot for your help…
    Strong hug from Brazil.
    Best Regards, GARCIA ( garciabh@ig.com.br )

  10. Wow… can’t believe it… it works 😉
    My Broadcom is a [14e4:4311] on Asus Z53H. Before hitting on your post I tried many more methods, as complex as unsuccessful. When I saw your simple recipe I thought, can’t be THAT simple… lol.
    For others who might read this: since I messed up broadcom and wireless drivers in my previous attempts, I tried to set for a fresh start from Synaptic: looked for bcm and marked for complete removal everything that had to do with bcm. After that, I reinstalled firmware-b43-installer and rebooted. Network Manager now lists all the available connections — so, many, many thanks, Neil!

  11. Thank you for this great help. It works on Dell Latitude D420 – BCM4311
    (Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01))

  12. Thank you very much!!!
    without you, I won’t be able to go to bed…
    In the ubuntu community didn’t tell me to remove bcmwl-kernel-source.

    Worked on lenovo 3000 v100 – BCM4311

  13. I’ve been struggling for this wireless-not-working problem for days!
    Until I found your page

    It works fine now

    Mine is a Compaq Presario C300

    Thank you very much!

  14. I am using Dell INSPIRON \ 1501 LAPTOP.

    I was very sad nothing happened in my two trial.

    But after few days i again tried the above mentioned pattern:

    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
    $ sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
    $ sudo reboot

    And it worked without any problem.

    As I am new to Ubuntu and it was easy step to follow.

    Thanks a lot..

    I am now thrilled to have wifi working on my Ubuntu 11.10

  15. I have an Inspiron 1545 (BCM4312). My wifi was laggy so i tried to this method. I hope this will help. I had to use the next:

    sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer

  16. Awesome!! There are so many posts in the web reg this. But never knew it was so straightforward and simple to get it done. Thanks a ton.

  17. Thank you Neil, worked perfectly on my Dell Inspiron 9200 with a 4306 chipset! So gratifying to finally see that “WIFI” light!

    • HAH, same for me Greg, my daughter is getting the C500, vista runs like molasses on it, and without wireless it was worthless. Big win here, thanks Neil, saves me some $$$ on presents this year.

  18. I have been trying for months to get this to work. I never knew my wired ethernet worked on my laptop (Windows always showed it as not working) but with Ubuntu it was recognized immediately. I plugged in and followed your steps, and within 5 minutes I was connected. Thank you SO MUCH!!!

  19. This resolved my problem too. I replaced Windows Vista with UBUNTU 11.10 and my wireless stopped working (light doesn’t even turn blue when switch is flipped). I have to research how to bring up a terminal (CTRL-ALT-T) and then followed the instructions above and now my wireless is working. UBUNTU rocks!!! Windows Vista sucks 🙂

  20. Many thanks – you have made my day!! this has been plaguing me for a few weeks now. I was using an external wireless modem but then that stopped working also. I’m running Ubuntu v11.10 on a Dell Latitude D430.

    Have a great day 🙂 !!

  21. Dude – U DA MAN! Instructions worked magnifico on Lubuntu 11.10 installed on older HP Pavilion zv6000 Notebook Series with BCM4318 integrated WLAN.

  22. This also worked on a Acer Extensa 5210. I’d worked out the first part myself but it didn’t work until after removing the old driver. Thanks very much.

  23. Thanks Much!!! Clear simple information about setting up the wireless on an old presario for new updated ubuntu versions that worked!

  24. Thank you Neil, this is also solving my wireless connection problem on the Acer Aspire 9410z laptop with Lubuntu 11.10.

  25. Pingback: Como instalar Wireless no Ubuntu 11.10 : I Help – Seu Guia em Tecnologia da Informação

  26. You’re a goddamn GENIUS !

    I haven’t been able to see the wireless NIC in my Dell Latitude D420 laptop since version 10.something after which they broke the driver. Many Thanks.

  27. Not working at all, my HP zv600 will not work with 11.10, have tried this suggestion and many others. Oh well, the BCM43 chipset works great with SUSE, Redhat and slackwear……….No extra configuration needed.

  28. TKANKS a lot!!! I red some instruction from ubuntu wiki, but didn’t work, because they wrote that wrong driver… why???? 😀

  29. THANK YOU! I’ve been messing around for at least half an hour trying to find a solution… everyone was saying to use some pre-written scripts that would’ve installed the driver but none of those worked… I knew there had to be some simple way to do it in terminal. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU


  31. It worked for me on a Compaq C500 with Linuxmint 12 kde

    $ kdesudo apt-get update
    $ kdesudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
    $ kdesudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
    $ kdesudo reboot

  32. Thank you verry much, iv been working all day on this, why canonical dosent
    pull ther head out and give new installers this info right on there distro is beond me.

  33. You’re the best. I tried several other more convoluted fixes and this one worked first time. Of course I did comment out the blacklist bcm43xx in an earlier attempt in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf. This may have set the stage for your fix to work. Not sure.

  34. Did not work for me unfortunately, I have a Dell XPS M1530 with BCM4311. After trying windows wrappers, removing the blacklisting (anything you can find if you google this), I found out accidentally that all my problems go away if I do the command “sudo modprobe b43”. This either makes the wireless connection come alive or prompts you to activate the STA third party driver if not done so earlier. Then just adding “b43” to the /etc/modules file forces it to auto connect each time you boot up. I hope this works for someone if they have the same problem I did.

  35. Por fin funcionó… DELL INSPIRON E1505 con Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)… en UBUNTU 11.10 Muchas Gracias!!!

  36. THANK YOU! 😀

    This process worked flawlessly – Thank you for the step by step directions. Just as a nice addition this process also works for 12.04 Beta 1 – I performed the exact steps and had no issues in 11.10 and now 12,04 Beta 1

  37. D620 – 64 Bit edition Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04 Beta 1 – Moving forward to Ubuntu on all machines 😀 Goodbye Microsnot

    T-50 Days to 12.04 LTS release

  38. you rock man! i searched and tried a lot of different things and this was the one that worked.

    f.y.i everyone i recommend using synaptic to make sure that you don’t have anything installed that conflicts with the drivers you are wanting to install. you don’t want ndiswrapper, ndisgtk, ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 installed, and of course like the instructions say you are removing the bcmwl-kernel-source before the installing of the listed firmware. i am speaking from experience i had the ndiswrapper installed and it was conflicting with the correct drivers.

    anyhow awesome job and thank you very much!

    Live Long And Prosper!

  39. Works for me too (HP Pavilion dv9000), but only after also making the changes suggested by Jouni.
    Like many others, I have spent HOURS trying to solve this.


  40. DUDE!!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!
    I am running a Linux Mint LXDE 12 32bit Live CD and just got my wireless working thanks to this post. I am working on a Dell Inspiron 1521 with a BCM4311 chipset.

    One more tip, I am trying out a lot of different Linux versions via LiveCD, trying to find one I like that also supports my wireless. I want to mention to anyone that is using a LiveCD. Obviously you can’t restart, but just use the following command after you perform the steps listed above:

    sudo modprobe b43

    I have no clue what it does (I am a complete Linux n00b), but it made my wireless card start picking up my surrounding networks.

  41. Pingback: Broadcom wifi (BCM4318) on Ubuntu 11.10 – Moishe Beshkin

  42. OMG thank you!! i’ve installed 6 flavours of linux now trying to get my inspiron 1501 with broadcom 4311 to connect to wireless. I mean what’s the point in having a laptop if i can’t use wireless? Backtrack worked right from installation but I wanted a none specialized OS to dualboot. You are the first person who was able to fix this issue for me! I think I’ll stick to Ubuntu after this.

  43. Well done Mr. Smith, and thanks! (Dell Precision M6300 here)

    In other postings, this tool helps figure out WTF:
    lshw -C network

  44. Thank you! works fine on Ubuntu 11.10 There is so much rubbish on the internet about this problem. This is nice and simple.
    It’s things like this that stop great software like Ubuntu giving Windows a run for it’s money (or lack of it 🙂 Non -techies just want something that works and issues like this put them off.
    PS – This is still a problem on Ubuntu 12.04 Beta if anyone is about to try it!

  45. Thank you so much! It wasn’t working when I was running off the ISO, but I took the leap of faith and installed, and there were no problems then.

  46. I don’t know if my previous comment posted (made me log in to gravatar). Thanks so much!

    It didn’t work for me when running the ISO off of a flash drive, but I took the leap of faith and installed and had no problem (good riddance, XP).

  47. Thank you sooooooo much!!! It worked on my Dell Latitude D430!!
    After browsing tons of useless forums and sites I finally found this blog. Nice and easy to use solution.
    I am really glad that there are sites like yours that help people! Have a nice time!

  48. Worked on my Dell Inspiron 6400

    Tried lots of other methods and this was the only one that worked.

    Thank you sooooo much!!!

  49. Thanks a lot!! it works great on my Inspiron 1525. I have verified this solution on Mint and Ubuntu it works!! in both.

  50. AWESOME! My mother has a Pavilion dv9000 from HP and has recently decided to switch it over to Ubuntu 11.10. I was unable to get the system to update properly because the wireless card was a proprietary card from Broadcom. Using your fix, I was able to completely get her transferred over to Linux and will be returning her laptop to her tomorrow! You are a life saver. THANKS!!!

  51. Worked also on my old HP-Compaq nx6110 (with BCM4318) from year 2006.
    Thanx a lot!
    This was my first linux installation 🙂

  52. Worked on my Gateway mx7118 from 2006ish (BCM4318 wireless). I had tried so many different procedures (I’m guessing most were just outdated) and this one worked so SIMPLY! Thank you!!!

  53. It worked..thanks. Would the same commands work with HP dv6000 laptop? I do not have the laptop with me right now, but once i get my hands on it, i would like to go ahead and make the switch from xp to ubuntu. Thanks again. Cheers!!!!

  54. Hi,

    I have Ubuntu 11.10 and I am using a Lenovo Thinkpad. When I type sudo lspci -v in my terminal, I get the following output:

    03:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8191SEvB Wireless LAN Controller (rev 10)
    Subsystem: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device e020
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
    I/O ports at 2000 [size=256]
    Memory at f0600000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
    Capabilities: [70] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
    Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel
    Capabilities: [160] Device Serial Number 88-55-22-fe-ff-4c-e0-00
    Kernel driver in use: rtl8192se
    Kernel modules: rtl8192se

    Based on this result, how can I modify the commands that you gave? Shall I use the same commands?

  55. For those who want further information, and for those who use wireless firmware other than Broadcom, refer to http://wiki.debian.org/Firmware. It includes information about both the b43 and b43legacy wireless firmware drivers, but it also includes information for other wireless firmware as well, and it is a definitive source of valuable information, not only for Debian-based systems, but for Ubuntu and its derivatives, which are, of course, Debian-derived, so the information applies, and works perfectly.

  56. Perfect fix, been running mint 11 on several computers / laptops and for whatever reason couldn’t get the wireless to install on this particular one. Tried the default drivers, tried to ndiswrap a few drivers. your instructions were exact and to the point. Thank you!!!

  57. After a reboot had a problem with wifi being disabled
    so I did

    sudo rmmod -f dell-laptop
    sudo rfkill unblock all


    disabled wireless hardware switch in the bios setup

    then complained about missing firmware

    so removed and reinstalled firmware-b43-installer

    Not sure if all the above was necessary, but it is working now.

    • Similar situation on Dell Latitude D630. After reboot the adapter was installed but disabled. I just anabled the wireless and uninstalled and reinstalled b43 firmware drivers from the Ubuntu software centre.

  58. worked for ubuntu 12.04 on a Dell Inspiron 1501.
    sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
    sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer
    sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
    sudo reboot.


  59. Thanks a tonne! The solution worked great on Acer Aspire 2920Z running Linux Mint 12 -which developed a “wifi disappeared” problem! You saved the cost of buying a new laptop. Thank you!

  60. Thanks a lot!

    Have a HP Presario V3000 (wireless controller is Broadcom BCM4311) inherited from my son. Windows got busted and did not want to pay for the recovery or buy Windows license.

    The Ubuntu 12.04 2 installation included the STA driver which does not recognise the firmware. Got it working following your simple 3-step instructions.

    Great stuff.

  61. Thank you so much 🙂
    I have been trying to find a fix for the wireless on my acer 5520 since Nov 2011, and in one succesfull Google I feel like I have got my laptop back, your a star.
    Regards Paddy

  62. It is working on my Acer Aspire 9300. My hardware identifier was 14e4:4311 but your instructions worked flawlessly. In fact, I had tried Linux Mint about 8 months ago but gave up because I could not get the wireless to work. I decided to re-install Linux Mint again tonight and give the wireless thing another shot. I am glad I did.

    I can’t thank you enough. I am most grateful.

  63. ok, i have tried this very thing a multitude of times on a Dell Latitude D-620 and all the other fixes that worked on scores of other forums to the same end. Nothing!
    it was when i physically switched off the manual wifi button after performing the steps listed above and then running

    sudo apt-get update

    a second time that i turned the manual switch back on and my pretty little wifi light just lit up!
    Weeks of work and this did the trick but only in this order!

  64. un millon de gracias!!! despues de una semana lo consegui gracias a vos…y mucho mas sencillo de los que probe… no hay gracias que alcance…
    usa traductor para poder leer lo que te dije.

  65. Greetings… (Sorry, couldn’t find your name…)
    Just wanted to send you a thank you for doing a great job in compiling the information to make the driver work, with the least amount of question marks possible. It worked for me.. I have a Dell Inspiron 1721 Laptop with the Broadcomm [14e4:4311] Dell (B43) wireless hardware. Worked perfect, so far.. Thanks for your hard work and hope to see you around again sometime..

  66. Pingback: Ubuntu 12.04 and BCM4312 LP-PHY Not Connecting to Wireless | 1 Earth. 6.5 Billion Adventures

  67. Thank you for this page, for your help. This solution is very simple, and very efective too. My laptop is a DELL Latitude D531.

    Thanks again.

  68. Hi!
    Thank you very much of me, too! I had the same problem with my Linux Mint Debian Edition (Debian Testing, Version 2012-04). And guess what, it works now, thanks to you!

    Best wishes of Bavaria, Southern Germany!

  69. Thanks mate!

    Hours of frustration and research didn’t do what your post did..

    Worked like a charm on my Compaq Presario C500.

    Thanks again 🙂

  70. Wow! That was easy. Thanks. Why did they break it? First there was NDIS wrappers, then it used to work with extra drivers, now it doesn’t. What is the point? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  71. Hello … this post is awesome !!

    I just spend a couple of hours trying to fix the wireless of my Acer Extensa and following the instructions your post fixed it.

    Many, many thanks from me !!

  72. Completely new to linux, have no idea what those terminal instructions actually did, with 1 exception. They most DEFINATELY WORKED ! ! ! ! thanks

  73. it’s working. thanks alot!

    Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11a/b/g (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1490 Dual Band WLAN Mini-Card

  74. I have an old Dell Inspiron 6400 with Broadcom BCM411 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01) and this fixed the problem instantly, thanks!!

  75. Hi all, I have applied the instructions for Dell Latitude D520 (T5500) and it worked very well. Many thanks and God bless you for sharing of the instructions.

  76. Dell Inspiron E1405 and Ubuntu 12.04.02. Fixed! I almost gave up on Ubuntu until I ran across this. You have freed my machine from Windows Vista! Thanks for posting.

  77. you were my last result and you did not disappoint me , I am so please that guys like you give bit of their time to help us new beginners .Also that mean I could impress the wife and claim that it was all me the genius !!! Thank you very much

  78. THX! You made my day. I got frustrated trying my Acer Extensa 5220 wlan (with this tricky Broadcom chipset) to work. Several distributions of Ubuntu(Xubuntu,…), then another try with Slitaz, no chance again.

    Now I installed Peppermint because the hardware detection was said to be better than anywhere else…

    With this big help in little commands above everything works smooth and great –>stable.

    (Sorry for mistakes, I’m from Germany and my English needs more practice.)

  79. Pingback: Goodbye Laptop | Amedeo Bonanno

  80. What do I do, if I am working off a live USB image? Reboot won’t work, as it will once again start the boot sequence without the wireless driver update using the commands sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer etc..
    I am using the latest version of LinuxMint (version 15, KDE)

  81. Brand: Apple

    Processor: Intel Core i5 4 1.3 GHz / 2.6 GHz / Dual-Core / L3 cache – 3 MB/ Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, Integrated memory controller

    RAM: LPDDR3 SDRAM 4 GB / Supported 8 GB

    Display: 11.6 in / LED backlight / 1366 x 768 ( HD ) / Widescreen / Glossy

    Storage: 128 GB, Flash storage SSD /

    Connectivity: Wireless / Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac

    Operating System: Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

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