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How to Get Wireless Network On Ubuntu Server June 1, 2009

Posted by ModelR in Everything LINUX.
Tags: , , ,

What you will need:
-A working Windows XP driver for the wireless card that you are going to use (the only files you will use are the .sys and .inf file for the driver) *note: if you only have an .exe for the driver, extract the .sys and .inf file from the .exe using winzip
*note: I am using the sudo text editor to edit the files stated in this tutorial. If it is not installed on your system you can install it with this command: sudo apt-get install nano

Download ndiswrapper from here: ndiswrapper on Sourceforge.net

Note: New ndiswrapper for kernel 2.6.30 -> http://osdir.com/ml/linux-kernel/2009-06/msg07326.html

extract the ndiswrapper file in your home directory
$ sudo tar -xzvf ndiswrapper-1.54.tar.gz

change to the extracted folder
$ cd ndiswrapper-1.54

install the file
$ sudo make
$ sudo make install

if ubuntu was able to detect the wireless card but could not use it, disable the native Ubuntu driver by editing the blacklisted drivers file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

$ sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

add this to the end of the file:

#broadcom wireless driver that does not work
blacklist bcm43xx

copy the .sys and .inf files that came with the Windows driver into a folder in your home directory. Switch to that folder and enter this command

$ sudo ndiswrapper -i driver_name.inf

*replace driver_name with the proper name of the file

check to see that the driver is installed
$ sudo ndiswrapper -l

you should get a response similar to:
sis163u : driver installed
device (07D1:3C05) present (alternate driver: asix)

Set the ndiswrapper to load the new driver automatically type this command:

$ sudo ndiswrapper -m

Then edit the file /etc/modules

$ sudo nano /etc/modules

and adding this to the end of it


*make sure to press enter after typing that line

Restart your system and the driver should be fully functional

For further ndiswrapper reference, check the Ultimate ndiswrapper guide
To get WPA working
Also see this guide here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=202834

Make sure wireless-tools is installed, if not:
$ sudo apt-get install wireless-tools

Verify your network devices is working and wireless networks are detected
$ iwconfig

$ sudo iwlist scan

Make sure wpa-supplicant is installed, if not:
$ sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant

Convert your WPA ASCII password to hex:
$ wpa_passphrase

When it says #reading passphrase from stdin, enter your WPA ASCII password
Copy down the value after “psk=” that is the hex version of your WPA ASCII password

Using dhcp and WPA here is what is added to the /etc/network/interfaces file

#The wireless interface
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-ssid <SSID of your router>
wpa-ap-scan 1
wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
wpa-psk <PSK that you wrote down>

*note wlan0 is the name of the wireless interface in this example

Restart the network
$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

revoke read-permission from others on the file /etc/network/interfaces

$ sudo chmod 0=-r /etc/network/interfaces



1. Dell D600 Wireless On Ubuntu 9.04 « ModelR - June 24, 2009

[…] Or check my post on How To Get Wireless Working On Ubuntu Server […]

2. Dallas Edwards - August 11, 2009

I’ve been working on this for hours, and hours, and hours.

This guide was the only thing that worked.

I love you.

3. linux command explained - Veda - October 21, 2009

[…] wireless network on Ubuntu Server :adminstrator, command, group, linux, passward, ubuntu, […]

4. Nertil - December 10, 2010

it workd.

5. Le WIFI en WPA sur Ubuntu Server « Hécatonchire - April 3, 2011

[…] /etc/init.d/networking restart source Publié par hecat0nchire Classé dans Linux Laisser un commentaire » J'aimeSoyez […]

6. Get Wireless Network in Ubuntu Server | TurboLinux Blog - July 31, 2011

[…] Here is a good tutorial show you how to Get Wireless Network in Ubuntu Server: Download ndiswrapper from here: ndiswrapper on Sourceforge.net […]

7. Esmail - September 11, 2011

Thanks for the help. Btw, I tried this without the “wpa_passphrase” step and it worked fine with the normal password string

8. jaanux - December 10, 2011

Thanks a lot!

9. Scott Gunsaullus (@Scotty_Gun) - April 16, 2012

This worked for me. My only stumble was that my key was already hashed. So, I was making a hash of a hash. That didn’t work out. Finally got it working. Thanks for the help.

10. Chris - September 4, 2012


Thanks for the guide! I’ve got a problem with no route on the WLAN interface. I’m getting IP from DHCP but can’t ping anything even on the internal network.

I also tried to put static IP etc. on WLAN to no avail. WLAN is working since I’ve tested with a laptop and it routes nicely.

Any suggestions where I should start to dig?


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