February 1, 2016

How to connect WiFi in Ubuntu 14.4?

How to connect wifi in ubuntu 14.4?

You probably already know to click the network icon (one of the icons in the...

You probably already know to click the network icon (one of the icons in the upper right of the display) to get a list of available ethernet and wireless networks available. (It could be lower right depending on the flavor of Ubuntu.) Choosing your wireless network from the list will bring up a screen asking for a password. A connection should soon result if you are withing range of the wireless router.

The first reason for no connection is that you are using a "live iso", having booted from a CD or usb stick. I frequently am unable to get wireless working on a live distribution. And, then find that installing to harddisk provides working wifi.

Another cause for lack of wireless is that drivers are not installed. However, as far as I know, Ubuntu ships with the so called non-free drivers used by some wifi adapters. This is not a likely cause unless you have a non-supported wifi adapter. The simple solution is to buy or borrow a usb wifi adapter to try. This could be easier than searching for and installing drivers, beyond the scope of this post. Plugging in the adapter should load the drivers, and clicking on the upper right wifi icon should show a list of available wireless routers. Keep in mind that if both the internal and usb wifi are both active, the list will have two sections: one for each adapter, identified by name.

Most routers will allow automatic connection via DHCP. Chances are that if your Windows computer connected to the wireless router in question, Automatic DHCP connection is available. Having said that, due to my ISP, automatic DHCP does not work for me; and, it was evident in a Windows wifi connection setup. If you know this to be the case, right click on the upper right wifi icon and select Edit Connections. You will need to enter anyting from the custom Windows setup such as router password, IP address netmask, gateway, ISP Name Servers, etc.

Finally, some years ago I updated an Ubuntu installation which lost my wifi. Even, a re-installation of Ubuntu did not restore wifi. The solution was to try a different release number.

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