The WIFI obscurity

Discussion in 'Newbie Questions' started by peter hurley, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. peter hurley

    peter hurley Thread Starter
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    I am entirely unfamiliar with Unix and Linux Distros. Nevertheless, I have decided to have a look.
    Learned how to download distro iso files and write to USB using Rufus. No problem, then, to boot the flavour.
    My problem has been WIFI connection!
    It has nearly done for me. I am close to calling it a day but the promise of getting into the world of Linux is just about holding me!
    I have tried 8 seperate distros and they all exhibit the same apparent obscurity in regard of WIFI connection.
    I was hoping to find, as in Windows, an icon that would reveal the available connections in reach...from which I could select mine, enter password and HEY PRESTO. No chance. I am pitched into confusion! Time and again in Network Connection I am met with a single Wired setup!! No clue at all about activating a wifi route!!
    There will be a PROXY function which appears to offer various parameters to be entered, such as "URL to Config Script" "HTTP Proxy" etc etc. Even if this is what I should be dealing with, and that is not certain, it appears to bear no relation to my Router details.
    I discovered on one fruitless distro wifi access attempt that a LAN connection was initially essential. Only found this info by accident. I made the LAN connection and sure enough I was online. I had no idea what to do after that and could find no helping clue!!
    In my "same place" efforts with, in this case, Elementary...I have read that I should install:

    $ sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

    ....and "that will sort it out" .

    What? How? What should I expect to find after that ? Do I reboot and look for a connections Icon that this addition will have installed?
    I installed as advised and assumed a reboot was necessary and.....nothing !!...at least that I could see.
    Could someone who can put themselves in the shoes of a absolute beginner explain to me how I can get from an Advanced Network setup showing Wired and a few unknown bits and bobs to a stage where I can do this and that and connect wirelessly to my router? Or even point me at a comprehesive and clear explanation.
    I am not as stupid as I sound but I am really at a loss here to understand why Linux makes it so difficult to set up WIFI.
    BTW there was a 32bit Linux Mint that I installed on an old notebook and that had an Icon giving Available Connections ok. Up and running there no bother!
    My problem relates to 64bit distros.
    I will be very grateful for any clear help
     
  2. peter hurley

    peter hurley Thread Starter
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    Somehow or another I had not considered checking Youtube!! Given that it is usually my first port-of-call...weird! Anyway, I will not trouble anyone further with the above. It will do me good to ferret out the answer:) Firstly, I will determine the wireless driver needed for Elementary/Laptop and see if I can install that. Thanks for reading
     
  3. Oliver Williamson

    Oliver Williamson
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    The driver you require is proprietary, and they can't technically ship it by default, legally speaking, thus the user must opt in for it. Whose job is it to ensure random chipsets work out of the box with the Linux kernel? The kernel doesn't support every single chipset ever created. You can't expect hardware developers to go out of their way to randomly support your obscure WiFi driver. The hardware developer would have to develop the driver and submit the source to the kernel under the right license for it to work out of the box.

    That's why Windows has the major share in device support: it's the main consumer OS of choice.
     
  4. Pennchan

    Pennchan
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    Hi, Peter. I hope you have already solved the problem and got wifi connection, but, just in case, let me share what I did when I had the same problem as you. There are mainly two issues concerning wifi connection. One is DNS server settings, and the other is related to the linux headers. If you haven't got the wifi signal indicator lit up after installing the bcmwl-kernel-source, probably, you have the latter problem. I ran the following commands and got the wifi driver working. It might be worth trying.

    $ sudo apt-get update

    $ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

    $ reboot

    I hope it will help you solve the problem.
    Good luck!

    Reference: https://www.tecmint.com/install-kernel-headers-in-ubuntu-and-debian/
     
  5. huenupan

    huenupan
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    hi, i have the similar problem, after an kernel update to 5.4.0.48 the wifi controller do not turn on the radio signal. To can use Elementary OS, i start in GRUB in kernel 5.3.0.51 mode as a temporary solution
     
  6. adwilson99

    adwilson99
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    Hi Huenpan, you most likely need to recompile the driver against the new kernal, and also make sure you've updated the kernal headers to 5.4.0.48 as well since the two need to be on the same verison.
     
  7. huenupan

    huenupan
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    I resolve with this link

    https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/realtek.html
     
    adwilson99 likes this.
  8. sabergo

    sabergo
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    This worked for me as well on an HP Envy X360 13 R4700U. Thanks! Now I just have to be able to boot without using recovery mode. Upgrading the kernel didn't work, but that is for a different post.
     

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