Saturday, June 15, 2013

Getting my wireless working on Peppermint 4

My wifi card is not supported by default, as the source code has not been released by Broadcom. I can still install drivers for it, I just can't use wifi. Until recently this meant plugging into a router or using a 3G dongle, but now that I have an Android phone I can enable USB Tethering and use the wifi connection on my phone.

Now, while I was testing Peppermint 4 I battled to get wireless enabled. PCnetSpec helped me to get it going and from there it worked.

Open a Terminal, type in: sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer
It installed first try.

Now with the reinstall, his advice no longer worked. I was all over the place enabling other repositories, installing Broadcom packages in Software Manager. I Googled, nothing helped.

Suddenly I managed to get the advice PCNetSpec (from gave me to work, I rebooted. Then nothing. Wifi was still eluding me somehow. In Software Manager I saw that I had the wrong driver installed, so I uninstalled the Broadcom package that I had loaded, then I noticed that wifi was turned off somehow. I rebooted into the BIOS and found that wifi was in fact enabled. I pressed Fn and F5 (which toggles my wifi in Windows) nothing. I tried Ctrl and F5 and F5 on its own, no dice.

I right clicked on networking and found that wifi had somehow been turned on - jay! I went back to Software Manager and was able to set Peppermint to use a different driver for my wifi card.

The point of the story? I haven't arrived yet, even now, years after I started using Linux on a regular basis I still manage to break things or battle to install certain things. If I can do it (a long term Windows user whose first experience with Linux was Mandrake 7 where you still needed to mount your drives manually) then I encourage you to try Linux as well. I am still here and am able to work productively on Linux [most of the time]. Don't give up, or get discouraged when things go wrong, oh and backup your data before you do anything major; you will thank me for that if you accidentally break something.