How To Install Wireless Drivers On Ubuntu

Linux is a powerful operating system for a computer that works on minimal hardware specifications. I recently installed Ubuntu 18.04 on my old laptop and found most things working except the WiFi. After many searches, I finally found a solution to install wireless drivers on Ubuntu and connect to the internet.

The problem was solved with a few commands, and the WiFi drivers were installed without much hassle on my computer. The Wireless Network Adapter installed on my laptop is from Broadcom Corporation, and by default, Ubuntu installed no driver at the time of installation.

Linux Ubuntu

Last year, I had a similar problem with my newly purchased Acer Nitro 5 Laptop based on Ryzen and having Atheros WiFi hardware installed. Although the problem was fixed after trying several methods, it also helped many other users. Let us not waste time and get our WiFi drivers fixed on our Ubuntu machine.

How To Install Wireless Drivers On Ubuntu

Many manufacturers ship their products with the Windows operating system by default and are optimized for the particular model with all the device’s hardware drivers installed. Linux is an independent and open-source operating system that doesn’t have a dedicated team to work on specific machine hardware.

How To Fix WiFi in Ubuntu

This article will teach us to install Wireless drivers on Ubuntu 12.04 and above.

Method to fix no WiFi network option in Ubuntu:

First of all, type the following command to check the Wireless adapter installed on your computer:

 sudo lshw -C network 

The following message must be displayed in the command toolbox:

description: Wireless interface
product: BCM4360 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter
vendor: Broadcom Corporation
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
logical name: wlan0

If the product description shows you the exact manufacturer name of the Wireless adapter, you may proceed with the following, or else you must stop and look for other solutions.

There are many options for the manufacturers, but, in this article, we will cover the two most basic and relevant ones: Broadcom and Realtek.

Realtek Wireless Adapter
For Realtek Wireless Adapters, the process is simple but a little bit lengthy, so please follow it carefully.

Step 1: Connect your laptop or computer to a wired network.

Step 2: Next, open the terminal from the application menu.

Step 3: Now, you can connect by Bluetooth tethering or LAN, according to your choice.

Step 4: Run the following command to install the required tools:

 sudo apt install git build-essential dkms 

Here, type the password of your computer and hit Enter. Remember, the password will not be shown to you. So type carefully.

Step 5: Now download the rtlwifi_new codes via the command:

 git clone -b extended 

Install Wireless Drivers On Ubuntu

Step 6: Next, add the build sources with DKMS support:

 sudo dkms add ./rtlwifi_new 

Step 7: The final step is to install the Wireless Drivers:

 sudo dkms install rtlwifi-new/0.6 

If everything is correctly typed, the WiFi should start working instantly, and you can connect to a network. But, for some reason, if it did not work, try the following commands to load the newly installed module. Here, we are talking about RTL87523DE.

 sudo modprobe -r rtl8723de && sudo modprobe rtl8723de 

Restart your computer, and your WiFi should work without any other configuration. If it still doesn’t work, type in the following to change the variation and check which works (replace 3 to 1, 2, or 4 if the signal is weak).

 echo “options rtl8723de ant_sel=3” | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/rtl8723de.conf 

Broadcom Wireless Adapter
For Broadcom, the process is straightforward; just type in the following command to install different drivers for Broadcom:
 sudo apt install firmware-b43-installer 

When the installation is completed, reboot your computer once. Once you reach the desktop, you will notice that the WiFi connection window is active, and you can connect to an available Wireless network.


The above methods are an effortless way to install wireless drivers on Ubuntu-based computers, and you may also try to connect to a Wireless network without a password. There might be other problems depending on the change of hardware or the driver’s installation. If the above methods don’t work, you may contact your vendor and ask for support because there might also be hardware issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Why doesn’t Ubuntu automatically install wireless drivers?

A1: Ubuntu strives to include open-source drivers by default. However, for proprietary drivers, users may need to install them manually due to licensing restrictions.

Q2: Can I install wireless drivers without an internet connection?

A2: In some cases, it’s possible to download drivers on another machine and transfer them to the Ubuntu system using external media.

Q3: How do I uninstall a wireless driver?

A3: To uninstall a manually installed driver, navigate to its source directory and use sudo make uninstall. For drivers installed via Additional Drivers, use the same tool to disable or remove them.

14 thoughts on “How To Install Wireless Drivers On Ubuntu”

  1. I’ve tried yours and just about every other solution I could find. Everything but the “firmware” installs. I extracted the lib and usr files.
    Moved them manually to their respective directories. “Sync”‘ed and “modprobe”‘d B43. Restarted, logged out, logged back in. No luck.

    Short of buying an external wifi connection, I’m at a loss.

    I’m running a Macbook Pro, 16, Catalina 10.15.6. Ubuntu works fine. As does ReFind which moves me back and forth between the MacOS and Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu’s useful, but, limited without an internet connection. And, where I’m living, wired isn’t an option, for the moment.

    Any other suggestions?


    Really appreciate the article, but, still dead in the water.

  2. Hi Amrit
    Sorry for provincial english .After typing sudo lshw c -network i get a full screen of useless indications but nothing about my wifi driver.
    When I type lspci I get another screen full of goodies but no ethernet controller or network controller .So this drivers are missing .
    Don t know what to do.I have a wired connection and its working but I want a wifi network too.I
    I ve installed a linux lite using “something else ” option and its working good .Its shown ubuntu lts 20.04 etc in system info.I m very pleased its looking nice .I need a information about how to get a wifi connection .
    Windows shows Broadcom 802.11n wireless SDIO adapter
    What to do to get wifi in my linux?

      • Hi Amrit
        You mean model of computer?Its a heroic acer one 10 pre installed win 10 home 32 and that its the whole sad story.I ve tried to install on it a win 10 /64bits and I realized that not possible.
        So I ve installed linux lite and this thing working and i can run some apps .
        After updating there in system info its shown ubuntu 20.4 etc.Maybe this is my distro
        I ve realized i cannot install win 10 /64 bits even using virtual box.I have a digital activation key which is useless.I cannot run win 10 .Its frustrating…
        So Im trying to use 64bits capabilities of linux .But just wired.
        What is quite bad its the fact i cannot find network controller or ethernet controller indication when im typing lspci.And my ethernet is working.
        On my win in device manager -network adapter its shown broadcom 802.11n wireless SDIO adapter.
        Thank you for patience

        • Since you installed Linux Lite 4.4 and if you are able to get to the desktop and open the terminal window, type the following and see if it helps.
          sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall
          sudo reboot


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