How To Troubleshoot Wi-Fi problems in Ubuntu 22.04.01 LTS ?

👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 30 Nov 2022    📁 TECH

1 Introduction 

Installing Linux on any hardware can be fun… That is until things head south. This is exactly what happened a while back when I found myself trying to install Ubuntu 22.04 LTS on a friend’s laptop. 

Said laptop was ‘Innjoo Technology Voom laptop max’. I know it's a mouthful. It was also a handful when I tried to install Ubuntu OS on the laptop. 

2 The Hardware

The laptop was running Windows 10. It was a low-end laptop powered by an Intel Celeron N3350 CPU, Mesa Intel HD graphic 500 (APL2) on  8GB memory. This is how we learned the hard way to fix driver issues that may arise while trying to install Linux. (Ubuntu in this case).

3 The Execution

The said system worked decently in Windows. Having a low-end system and the fact that the friend was learning programming languages; I suggested he install Linux on his pc. I have been using POP OS for more than six months now. So naturally, I decided to install the same on his PC too. For that, we downloaded the ISO and restored it on a flash drive. Then we live booted the pc in POP OS. We were excited for this to work so effortlessly that we decided to format its in-built Windows OS after it had been done.

I tried to update it all and to do that I tried to connect to the internet. This was when I realized I messed up. The OS did not recognize the WiFi driver. As an act of desperation, we tried to move on to other distros like Mint or Ubuntu. So, we boot the pc in Ubuntu in the hopes that this would solve the driver issue that we faced but with no luck. As we found ourselves facing the same no WiFi problem, we had the pc without any internet connection. 

4 The fix

I noticed that the Bluetooth was still up and running. So, I enabled a hotspot through Bluetooth on my phone and connected it to the PC. I went on to run the commands

Sudo apt-get update

Sudo apt-get upgrade

To no avail. 

The curious thing was: The wireless connection was shown when we typed the “$lshw -C network” command. So I opened up the “Software and Updates” application. There it was, under the “Additional Drivers” section. The wifi driver had not been installed. So, I installed the driver using the same slow Bluetooth hotspot and the wifi started working.

5 More Fixes

Connect the Ethernet Cable

Sometimes, the fix is as simple as connecting the Ethernet cable and updating the system. If this works for you, you don’t need to go any further. 

Check the “Software and Updates” Application

The “Software and Updates” app has a section - Additional Drivers. This is the place where most of the drivers can be found. To install the latest working drivers, open the app and head over to “Additional Drivers”. There, you will be able to see all the devices that have alternative drivers available. This can be done without using the terminal and eases up a lot of tasks for us. 

Use the ISO image of your version of Ubuntu for Drivers

The file that you used to install Ubuntu can also be used to install additional drivers. Here is a step-by-step of how to do this:

  1. Open the terminal and run the command: lsb_release -a
  2. Check the version of Ubuntu you’re running, I was dealing with the latest system - 22.04 LTS
  3. Download the ISO for that specific version. (You can find most of them here
  4. Copy the ISO to your Home Directory
  5. Open the terminal and type in the following commands one by one.
    sudo mkdir /media/cdrom
    cd ~
    sudo mount -o loop ubuntu-* /media/cdrom
    This mounts the ISO file as if it were a CD ROM. 
  6. Now, go to the “Software and Updates” application
  7. Navigate to “Ubuntu Software”
  8. Select the “Installable from CD-ROM/DVD” option.
  9. It’ll ask for the password, enter it and Restart the application.
  10. Now, go to “Additional Drivers” and select the driver there.
  11. Click on Apply Changes and you’re good to go.

The network Manager

The network manager is the GUI that manages the networking in your os. This works with ethernet, PPPOE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet)devices, WiFi, etc. It may not be present in your system so best check for it. Without the network manager, you will never be able to access the WiFi or ethernet. 

Check for the system cache and if the network manager is still there, use the following commands to install the network manager.

  1. Open the Terminal window (from applications of the left bottom corner of the screen or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T)
  2. Type in the command “sudo apt install network-manager
Sudo install network manager
fig. sudo apt install network-manager

If the network manager is not in the cache, try connecting the PC to the ethernet and run the command again.

If it still doesn’t work, run these commands to edit the configuration file. 

  1. Sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces.
  2. auto lo iface lo inet loopback auto wlan0 iface wlan0 inet dhcp wpa-essid myssid wpa-psk mypasscode
  3. sudo ifdown wlan0 && sudo ifup -v wlan0

Check for Hardware Problems with LocalHost

Sometimes, it’s not the software but the hardware that is the problem. To be sure that the problem is being created by software and not by Hardware, you’ll have to ping localhost. For this, open the terminal and type in the command

ping localhost

If it doesn’t work, you might need to get your hardware checked. However, if it comes back with clean results or you don’t see the wifi card present, it’s usually a software issue. 

Reinstall Ubuntu and select the “Install additional drivers” option

Most of the time, you’re better off choosing the “Install additional drivers” option while installing Ubuntu. This automatically installs all the wifi and other drivers thereby saving you a lot of headaches. 

Ubuntu’s Official Documentation

Ubuntu has its official documentation out there on the internet free to read for anyone that needs it. Since it is the official documentation, it tackles all sorts of problems and can solve your problem as well. It might be worth taking a look here for all the potential problems and fixes. Similarly, this is the wireless troubleshooter found in the documentation. Another part of the documentation that might help you if nothing else does can be found here

6 Different PC Brands Facing Similar Issues

While I am no expert in this matter, some of the people I know have faced issues with different brands of PCs. The most smooth transition from Windows to Linux was on my PC which is a Lenovo legion 5 and most Dell computers have similar track records. And because of this, Dell has officially addressed the issue on their support website. However, HP computers seem to face the same problem we faced which is a barrage of network issues. So for HP users, follow the guide mentioned above. And if possible, note down the driver modules that are used on your PC. This will greatly help in installing the driver later on Linux. Asus users seem to face the most problems of all users with driver issues related to network, audio, and so on. So, a precaution for all Asus users is advised while transitioning from Windows to Linux. 

Article by: Adamya Neupane