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Thread: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

  1. #1
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    (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    I've been searching for a solution to this for a while and (surprisingly) haven't come up with anything. If anyone has a link, that would be cool too.

    I'm currently running 14.04, though this problem has persisted for me across various releases and wireless cards, both laptop and desktop.

    The problem is that I just can't seem to get Wireless-AC speeds out of Ubuntu. For example, the card I'm using right now, the Asus PCE-AC68 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833320173), is usable with the proprietary bcmwl-kernel-source driver installed via Software & Updates > Additional Drivers, but it is EXTREMELY slow. In Windows, this card downloads from my sftp server at about 50MB/s. In Ubuntu, it's downloading at about 3MB/s.

    Some info:
    Code:
    lspci -nn | grep 0280
    04:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4360 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter [14e4:43a0] (rev 03)
    Code:
    iwconfig
    wlan0     IEEE 802.11abg  ESSID:"OMITTED"  
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:5.745 GHz  Access Point: OMITTED   
              Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Power Management:off
    I'm not very familiar with this sort of thing, but from iwconfig, it seems that it's trying to use the card as 802.11abg, rather than 802.11ac, which would be consistent with the speeds I'm seeing.

    I have tried using ndiswrapper to install the latest windows drivers from Asus. The Windows 7/8/8.1 drivers don't seem to work at all and the Windows XP driver works only partially (I can see my network available but it will not connect, just keeps asking me for the password over and over).

    Any suggestions for how to get this working at optimum efficiency would be greatly appreciated. I'm afraid to say that Ubuntu is not very usable to me unless I can increase the wireless speeds, 50MB/s vs 3MB/s is just not an option.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    wlan0
    bcmwl-kernel-source usually uses eth1, not wlan0. Which driver are you using?
    Code:
    lsmod
    "Oh, Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system" --Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.

  3. #3
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    Code:
    lsmod
    Module                  Size  Used by
    joydev                 17381  0 
    snd_hda_codec_hdmi     46207  1 
    bnep                   19624  2 
    rfcomm                 69160  8 
    btusb                  32412  0 
    hid_logitech_dj        18581  0 
    bluetooth             395423  22 bnep,btusb,rfcomm
    usbhid                 52616  0 
    hid                   106148  3 usbhid,hid_logitech_dj
    binfmt_misc            17468  1 
    ip6t_REJECT            12939  1 
    xt_hl                  12521  6 
    ip6t_rt                13537  3 
    nf_conntrack_ipv6      18894  8 
    nf_defrag_ipv6         34768  1 nf_conntrack_ipv6
    ipt_REJECT             12541  1 
    xt_LOG                 17717  10 
    xt_limit               12711  13 
    xt_tcpudp              12884  26 
    xt_addrtype            12635  4 
    nf_conntrack_ipv4      15012  8 
    nf_defrag_ipv4         12758  1 nf_conntrack_ipv4
    xt_conntrack           12760  16 
    mxm_wmi                13021  0 
    ip6table_filter        12815  1 
    ip6_tables             27025  1 ip6table_filter
    nf_conntrack_netbios_ns    12665  0 
    nf_conntrack_broadcast    12589  1 nf_conntrack_netbios_ns
    nf_nat_ftp             12770  0 
    nf_nat                 21798  1 nf_nat_ftp
    nf_conntrack_ftp       18638  1 nf_nat_ftp
    nf_conntrack           96976  8 nf_nat_ftp,nf_conntrack_netbios_ns,nf_nat,xt_conntrack,nf_conntrack_broadcast,nf_conntrack_ftp,nf_conntrack_ipv4,nf_conntrack_ipv6
    x86_pkg_temp_thermal    14205  0 
    intel_powerclamp       14705  0 
    coretemp               13435  0 
    kvm_intel             143060  0 
    kvm                   451511  1 kvm_intel
    crct10dif_pclmul       14289  0 
    crc32_pclmul           13113  0 
    ghash_clmulni_intel    13259  0 
    iptable_filter         12810  1 
    aesni_intel            55624  0 
    ip_tables              27239  1 iptable_filter
    aes_x86_64             17131  1 aesni_intel
    x_tables               34059  13 ip6table_filter,xt_hl,ip_tables,xt_tcpudp,xt_limit,xt_conntrack,xt_LOG,iptable_filter,ip6t_rt,ipt_REJECT,ip6_tables,xt_addrtype,ip6t_REJECT
    lrw                    13286  1 aesni_intel
    gf128mul               14951  1 lrw
    glue_helper            13990  1 aesni_intel
    ablk_helper            13597  1 aesni_intel
    snd_hda_codec_realtek    61438  1 
    cryptd                 20359  3 ghash_clmulni_intel,aesni_intel,ablk_helper
    psmouse               102222  0 
    snd_hda_intel          52355  10 
    serio_raw              13462  0 
    snd_hda_codec         192906  3 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel
    snd_hwdep              13602  1 snd_hda_codec
    lib80211_crypt_tkip    17619  0 
    snd_pcm               102099  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel
    snd_page_alloc         18710  2 snd_pcm,snd_hda_intel
    snd_seq_midi           13324  0 
    snd_seq_midi_event     14899  1 snd_seq_midi
    snd_rawmidi            30144  1 snd_seq_midi
    wl                   4207846  0 
    lpc_ich                21080  0 
    lib80211               14381  2 wl,lib80211_crypt_tkip
    snd_seq                61560  2 snd_seq_midi_event,snd_seq_midi
    cfg80211              484040  1 wl
    snd_seq_device         14497  3 snd_seq,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_midi
    snd_timer              29482  2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
    snd                    69238  31 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hwdep,snd_timer,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_pcm,snd_seq,snd_rawmidi,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel,snd_seq_device,snd_seq_midi
    soundcore              12680  1 snd
    fglrx                8815330  183 
    amd_iommu_v2           19054  1 fglrx
    mei_me                 18627  0 
    mei                    82274  1 mei_me
    ppdev                  17671  0 
    parport_pc             32701  1 
    mac_hid                13205  0 
    intel_smartconnect     12619  0 
    wmi                    19177  1 mxm_wmi
    video                  19476  0 
    lp                     17759  0 
    parport                42348  3 lp,ppdev,parport_pc
    ahci                   25819  2 
    r8169                  67581  0 
    libahci                32168  1 ahci
    mii                    13934  1 r8169
    A quick look in /usr/src/ shows the driver as "bcmwl-6.30.223.141+bdcom"
    Last edited by Harp; April 24th, 2014 at 07:56 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    You are using the latest version of bcmwl-kernel-source and I understand it is supposed to support AC speeds. This is the first time I've ever seen the interface enumerated wlan0. You seem to have no conflicting modules loading.

    Frankly, AC is so new that I have seen but a single case confirming those speeds in Linux; unfortunately, on an Intel device. Frankly, the answer I have for you as to how to achieve AC speeds is that I don't know, and I doubt anyone here is more experienced in wireless and particularly Broadcom. I encourage comment from my colleagues if they have better ideas.

    Having said that, please be aware that the Broadcom driver is not an Ubuntu creation; it is written by Broadcom. That means that if you decide to try Mint or Suse or Fedora, you will find the same problem because we all only get the driver that Broadcom provides.

    You can certainly try to fine-tune the router's settings. You can also file a bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu

    I wish I had a better report.
    "Oh, Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system" --Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.

  5. #5
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    Well, I've pretty much exhausted my troubleshooting abilities on this.

    Here is a breakdown of exactly what I've tried, in case it will give anyone some new ideas or better luck (note: please read through before attempting, these methods were unsuccessful for me. You will also need to connect your pc to the internet via ethernet):

    1) bcmwl-kernel-source method

    Press the "Super" key and enter "Additional Drivers"

    It searches automatically and finds the broadcom driver for me. I select it, click apply, reboot.

    This method works. But as stated in my original post, my wireless speeds are severely limited, nowhere near my card's wireless-ac capabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by chili555 View Post
    bcmwl-kernel-source usually uses eth1, not wlan0.
    I remember thinking this was a bit strange as on a different laptop I have it used eth1, but I have purged and reinstalled bcmwl-kernel-source a number of times now and it always uses wlan0 for me.

    I do not know how to investigate this further.

    2) Ndiswrapper method

    Downloaded latest Windows driver from Asus (http://www.asus.com/Networking/PCEAC...Desk_Download/)

    Code:
    cd <download directory>
    unzip <driver>.zip
    cd <unzipped directory>
    unshield <filename>.cab
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-source ndiswrapper-dkms ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 ndisgtk
    sudo ndisgtk
    Click "Install New Driver"

    Navigate through <unzipped directory> until you find the suitable .inf file (in my case, I had the best luck with the Windows XP version).

    After the driver is installed:

    Code:
    sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
    Add "blacklist wl" to the end of the file.

    Code:
    sudo reboot
    This method would list my wireless network as available but would not connect, asking me repeatedly for the password. I had a look around in the config file (/etc/ndiswrapper/bcmwl5/14E4:43A0.5.conf) to see if I could see any obvious problems. Since I'm not an expert on this, maybe someone else could have a look:

    Code:
    sys_files|bcmwl564.sys 
    NdisVersion|0x50001
    Environment|1
    class_guid|4d36e972-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318
    driver_version|ASUS,02/05/2014, 6.30.223.228
    BusType|5
    SlotNumber|01
    NetCfgInstanceId|{28022A01-1234-5678-ABCDE-123813291A00}
    
    11HNetworks|1
    11NPreamble|-1
    antdiv|-1
    ApCompatMode|0
    assoc_recreate|1
    AssocRoamPref|0
    BadFramePreempt|0
    band|0
    BandPref|0
    BandwidthCap|1
    Beamforming|0
    BtAmp|1
    BTCoexist|3
    ccx_rm|1
    ccx_rm_limit|300
    Chanspec|11
    DriverDesc|NDIS Network Adapter
    EFCEnable|0
    EnableAutoConnect|0
    EnableSoftAP|0
    frag|2346
    FrameBursting|1
    HelpText|The ASUS 802.11 Network Adapter provides wireless local area networking.
    IBSSAllowed|1
    IBSSGProtection|2
    IBSSLink|0
    IBSSMode|5
    Interference_Mode|-1
    Intolerant|0
    ledbh0|-1
    ledbh1|-1
    ledbh2|-1
    ledbh3|-1
    ledblinkfast|-1
    ledblinkmed|-1
    ledblinkslow|-1
    leddc|0
    LockWlSettings|0
    LOM|0
    Managed|1
    MixedCell|0
    MPC|0
    NetworkAddress|
    NetworkType|-1
    OBSSCoex|-1
    PLCPHeader|0
    PowerSaveMode|0
    PwrOut|100
    RadioState|0
    Rate|0
    RateA|0
    RoamDelta|3
    RoamTrigger|3
    rts|2347
    scan_channel_time|-1
    scan_home_time|-1
    scan_passes|-1
    scan_unassoc_time|-1
    Service|BCM43XX
    ShortGI|-1
    SSID|
    ssid_auto_promote|0
    VHT_Feature|3
    vlan_mode|-1
    WakeUpCapabilities|0x0000ffff
    WEP|
    WME|-1
    WowlKeyRot|1
    WZCCoexist|0
    Since this method did not work for me, I removed the ndiswrapper driver by removing its components from:

    /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper.conf
    /etc/ndiswrapper

    and commenting out the "blacklist wl" line from /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf to return to the bcmwl-kernel-source driver after reboot.

    So here I am at square one. I know that wireless-ac is new (and this card especially) but I can't be the only one having problems with this. It seems I've always had slow wifi speeds with ubuntu+broadcom. The README.txt file with the Broadcom driver here (http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php) lists my device as supported, yet it is very slow.

    If anyone has any other ideas, I'm game to test them out. Otherwise, get on the ball, Broadcom!

  6. #6
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    in my case, I had the best luck with the Windows XP version
    That's what ndiswrapper requires, although it sometimes will accept Win2K. From man ndiswrapper-1.9:
    DESCRIPTION
    ndiswrapper is two parts: user space tool that is used to install Win‐
    dows XP drivers and kernel module to load the Windows XP drivers. Both
    are called ndiswrapper.
    sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-source ndiswrapper-dkms ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 ndisgtk
    If you install -source, you don't need -common nor -utils and vice-versa. If you do install -source, it simply installs the source code in /usr/src. You then need to build a .deb from the source code and install the deb. All is explained in the accompanying README.
    Code:
    less /usr/share/doc/ndiswrapper-source/README.Debian
    Unless the source code is built, it is ineffective. It is a pile of parts in cardboard boxes; it isn't yet a driver.

    I am sorry that my answer can't be better.
    "Oh, Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system" --Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.

  7. #7
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    Quote Originally Posted by chili555 View Post
    If you install -source, you don't need -common nor -utils and vice-versa. If you do install -source, it simply installs the source code in /usr/src. You then need to build a .deb from the source code and install the deb.
    Ah, I see. I actually installed it through the Software Center and just typed out the packages here, assuming it would be the same.

  8. #8
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    I figured I might as well chime in on this thread as I'm experiencing the exact same issue with the Asus PCE-AC68 on Arch with kernel 3.14.2 and the proprietary broadcom-wl driver version 6.30.223.141 (the same as the OP). I'm getting a maximum link speed of about 81Mbps as reported by gnome network manager. I actually see a connection of 540Mpbs immediately after connecting to the wireless network, but this quickly decreases to 81Mpbs and stays at this value. Under Windows with the computer in this particular location I am able to get gigabit speeds.

    Update: My 81Mbps speed seems to be an overestimate as repeated speed tests show that I'm getting no more than 30Mbps.

    Update 2: I came across this thread http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2220007 for a macbook air (which has the same BCM4360 wireless chipset) which puts the issue to rest. The current broadcom driver isn't capable of full AC speeds, and is in fact limited to G only. So the maximum speed is 54Mbps. Very disappointed by this, but at least we now know why it's so slow.
    Last edited by asutton13; May 8th, 2014 at 06:49 AM.

  9. #9
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    Unhappy Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    I recently purchased an Asus PCE-AC68 wifi card after checking that the Broadcom supplied Linux STA Driver supported this card. The web site for the Broadcom Linux STA Driver (http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php) states that the BCM4360 chip set is supported by this driver version (6.30.223.141). What they don't tell you is that the driver only allows the wifi interface to connect at 802.11G speeds, and not very reliably at that.

    Looks like I now own a very expensive 802.11G WIFI Card. If the details about supported chipsets and capabilities was honestly reported on the Broadcom web site, I would not have wasted my money purchasing the PCE-AC68 WIFI card, as nobody wants to own an unsupported and unworkable device. (As an aside - I've tried using an ndiswrapper installed WinXP Driver, but have not had any success so far- only one inf/sys file combinations worked at all under ndiswrapper, and it only provided 802.11n on 2.5 GHz - no 5 GHz.

    So, I wonder how long we'll have to wait before we get come sort of driver that addresses the 802.11AC capabilities of the current crop of WIFI Chip Sets? Are any of the current crop of AC WIFI chips supported under Ubuntu yet ?

    Signed,

    Roy

  10. #10
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    Re: (Asus PCE-AC68) How to achieve Wireless-AC speeds

    Are any of the current crop of AC WIFI chips supported under Ubuntu yet ?
    In another thread on this forum, a user reports AC speeds with his Intel 7260.
    "Oh, Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system" --Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.

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