Ubuntu 16.04 LTS – debugging Wifi connections


Ubuntu 16.04 LTS could not connect to my Wifi network on either of 2 separate Dell laptops (the newer laptops have terrible keyboard layouts by the way. The one I’m using has shoe-horned a number pad to the right of the main keyboard. So there are 2 enter buttons. The Enter button on the right of the normal keyboard is tiny! There are also 2 sets of mouse buttons – one for the IBM style middle of the keyboard nipple and one for the trackpad. Crazy frankenstein monster.)


My Mac was fine connecting to the network.

Another wasted evening weekend due to Linux’s crappy Wifi networking.


ifconfig does not show gateway info.

Instead you need to do:

ip route | grep default


Here’s an example of the sort of advice people are getting to try and fix it:

Please do:
sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source
Wifi should work again.
echo "options rt2800pci nohwcrypt=y" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/rt2800pci.conf
sudo modprobe -rfv rt2800pci
sudo modprobe -v rt2800pci
Set your network manager settings to match the screenshots and the disconnects should stop and probably have a faster connection.

What a shit-show!


Dell’s advice?


Use `nm-tool` – a tool now deprecated and no longer supplied with Ubuntu.



`nmcli c` (more on this later)

lshw -c network

are the replacements.

Also useful:




is awesome. E.g.

nmcli device wifi list

will show you the Bars, Signal strength and Security.

And put an asterisk next to the connection you’re connected to.


nmcli networking connectivity

is not much use. It shows: `full` even if you can’t connect to the internet.


`nmcli monitor`

shows connection progress.

However it reports `connected` even if you can’t connect to the internet.





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