It's just unbelievable how many questions are constantly posted about "Wi-Fi not working" issues, due to modules missing after an installation/kernel upgrade or due to faulty configurations in general.

I didn't find any canonical post in the main site, beside of an excellent one made specifically for Broadcom chips. So I tought about making a community-wiki post about that.

The aim of the post should be to be the definitive procedure for debugging and solving the "Wi-Fi not working" issues.

I'd like to know first if there's a reason why this shouldn't be a thing (e.g. "You missed this post that covers pretty much everything", "Not worth the effort because the possible configurations are too many" or else).

If this should be a thing, I'd even like to know if in case I could use this post, or a custom community-wiki answer to this post as a workspace for me or even better for everyone to build the post before posting it on the main site.

In case, I'd like to use this post even to summarize which issues should be taken care of and how their respective solutions should be provided in detail. I'll start by adding what comes to my mind first just to give an example:

  1. The issue: Wi-fi not working after clean install/upgrade:
    • Should provide: Instructions on how to determine the chip manufacturer and model, how to download the latest drivers and how to install them

Finally, in case this should be a thing, I'd strongly need inputs expecially on which situations should be taken care of and their respective solutions, to make the post as more consistent as possible.

  • 1
    We do have this: askubuntu.com/questions/425155/… we also have askubuntu.com/questions/14008/… Each chip is different so I don't think having one "how to fix my wireless" question is feasible.
    – Seth
    Mar 25, 2015 at 21:12
  • @Seth Thanks, exactly what I wanted to know before starting a worthless job. I agree, the problem is LOTS of post asks for help on how to make the chip work after an installation/upgrade, which is of course 99% of the time because of missing kernel modules. I can't give a number though, i just recall LOTS of questions about how to fix Wi-Fi after a clean reinstallation/upgrade
    – kos
    Mar 25, 2015 at 21:17
  • Yes, I see the same trend. I think most of it is either because of lack of searching or because they did search but their system is messed up in such a way that a separate answer is needed (I'm not really familiar enough with wireless issues to say for sure the latter is happening, but it seems to be happening).
    – Seth
    Mar 25, 2015 at 21:19
  • @Seth I noticed exactly the opposite, but I might be wrong since I now automatically skip questions about Wi-Fi. Another option (possibly more feasible) would be to have more posts about specific manufacturers. Mediatek and Ralink seems pretty popular on most mainstream laptops (and questions).
    – kos
    Mar 25, 2015 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


As alluded to in the comments "Wifi not working" is too broad, we'd never be able to answer it without a 10 page document. Ideally a best-practices answer for major chipsets (like the broadcom one) will scale better for everyone.

If there's a common solution that you see for mediatek or ralink I would start by going through those tags and start consolidation the information.

  • Probably I've been too confident in thinking that the number of solutions could have been reduced to a handful, now that I'm actually browsing a number of posts on the issue. Then maybe the purpose of such post should be changed to just address the issues deriving from missing modules after an installation/reinstallation/kernel upgrade, which I have seen a lot, and for which an almost unique solution should be feasible per each manufacturer, so that at least this kind of questions could be easily filtered before getting into the specific issues.
    – kos
    Mar 26, 2015 at 18:28

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