Software to connect wirelessly using Ubuntu
Seems like you are trying out Ubuntu for the first time. I’ll try to answer all your questions in the simplest form possible so you can understand how to navigate your way around a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu for the first time. For instructional purposes, I’m going to assume you are using the latest Ubuntu version which is 11.04. This means you might be using the Unity interface. Since this is Unity’s first time to be implemented, I suggest you use the gnome desktop environment which is easier for first time Linux users. Logout of your current Unity desktop, and choose Gnome as the default desktop environment.
I am sorry that your wireless connection does not work out of the box, although there might be a chance that you can make it work by doing some simple checks, and a little bit of Terminal work.
Click on “Applications>Accessories>Terminal. A Terminal window should pop out looking very much like an MS-DOS command prompt on windows. Enter “lspci” without the quotes. Look for a Network wireless Ethernet device listed among all the results.
That will be your clue on how to begin. Take note of the whole description including model number details. Use those details when searching for it on Google. For Example, search for Broadcom 4311 on Ubuntu will reveal search results for how-to tutorials. A friendly forum where users can help you solve your connectivity problems is Ubuntu Forums http://ubuntuforums.org/forum.php
As for familiarizing yourself with Network connection tools, here is what you can do:
Click on “System > Preferences > Network Connections to display the Network Connections dialog box. You should see 5 tabs listing Wired, Wireless, Mobile Broadband, VPN, and DSL. Click on each tab separately and play around with the settings to familiarize yourself.
Alternately you should see a network icon that looks like an up and down arrow located right next to the volume icon in your upper right hand corner. If you see the network icon, click on it, there should be a drop down menu listing all the available connections (wired, wireless, VPN).
Now if you want to check for internet connectivity do the following:
Connect an Ethernet cable from an internet source which could be a DSL modem, a wireless router LAN port, and a network hub or switch. Open Terminal. Enter the following command “ipconfig” without the quotes. It should show your computer’s IP address/addresses similar to the one below:
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0F:EA:B2:53:85
inet addr:192.168.2.5 Bcast:192.168.2.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::20f:eaff:feb2:5385/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:471 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:695 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:160637 (156.8 KiB) TX bytes:86193 (84.1 KiB)
The example above shows the presence of an Ethernet device (wired LAN) which is connected, has an IP lease, and is receiving/sending data.
Ultimately, you can also use Ubuntu’s Network Tools via “System > Administration>where you can find diagnostic tools like Ping, Netstat, Traceroute, Portscan, Lookup, Finger, and Who is.
As a parting shot, it would not hurt to try out other Linux Distributions (via Live CDs that you can test before installing) that might be able to solve your connectivity problems. Some of them take different approaches to hardware detection, so trying out other might work for you. Take a look at Knoppix
, PC LinuxOS
. One of these just might work out of the box for your PC.