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Thread: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

  1. #1
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    Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    Allow me to introduce myself as perhaps your newest "New to Ubuntu" user...who also happens to still be rather new to Linux. Within the past few months I've had exposure to MX Linux and Linux Mint, primarily. And it's the latter I keep on my primary laptop (the one I expect to remain functional despite my floundering!). But in order to give me a platform to continue to explore Linux, I recently bought a used Lenovo Thinkpad X131e (with 8 gig of RAM) and that's the one I intend to use as playground and laboratory for learning about Linux.

    The second distro that I installed on the Thinkpad is Ubuntu Budgie. The second one? Yes, the first one was Deepin. Geopolitical issues aside (and the EULA, the data collecting, etc) it was its insistence that a password I had just used to login with was invalid (repeatedly) when I wanted to install another package that made me decide to move on to something else...which became Ubuntu Budgie.

    But bear with me a bit longer, please, about that Deepin install. Per usual, I had used Etcher to flash the .iso onto the USB and after validating the flash, it was pronounced Successful. But after Deepin was installed, once I started to add additional packages, I noticed that the downloads were taking forever. My download of FreeOffice, which normally takes 2-3 minutes, took 56 minutes (to cite but one example)! Note that this was not a case of the wireless adapter not functioning at all (Google has produced many solutions for that situation). Rather, this was just painfully slow performance.

    But I put that behind me when I installed Ubuntu Budgie (again using Etcher for the flash and, again, all being Successful). Once installed, I started the same process of installing additional packages and this time they all went smoothly. Was it as fast as it could have been (potentially)? I'm not sure, since this Thinkpad is new to me.

    Nevertheless, the difference in wifi performance between the two distros on the same device is pretty startling. Could the Deepin installer actually have been corrupted despite Etcher's assurance otherwise? Could it have been complete and uncompromised but still possibly installed (via its developers) a less than optimal wifi driver?

    And now my probably predictable question is this: is the Ubuntu Budgie installation giving me the most wifi performance it can? I don't want to be ungrateful here...I mean, I have wifi that's operating. So I'm not in a bind. But has it all installed correctly for max performance? When I check via Software & Updates, this is what I see reported under the Drivers tab:

    Broadcom Limited BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter
    This device is using an alternative driver
    (X) Using Broadcom 802.11 Linux STA wireless driver source from bcmwl-kernel-source (proprietary)
    ( ) Do not use the device


    Does that appear as it should? I also note that there is some mouse-type below that information:

    1 proprietary driver in use

    A proprietary driver has private code that Ubuntu developers can't improve or review. Security and other updates are dependent on the driver vendor.

    Is that, too, the best news I could receive? To this newbie, it sounds worrisome. Can Broadcom be depended on to update the driver? I'm already aware that there are some updates that cannot be done via wifi and require a hardwire ethernet connection....so I'm prepared for that, if it's necessary.

    Dave

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    Yes, the driver is correct, apparently. You can confirm here: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2214110

  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    Moved to Networking and Wireless
    Some of those work with either the open source or the proprietary module, some don't work well at all
    Try disabling wifi power management, see if it is better
    Code:
    sudo sed -i 's/wifi.powersave = 3/wifi.powersave = 2/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
    Reboot

  4. #4
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    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    Thanks, @jeremy31, for that suggestion. I might just try that...however, what's the "un-do" command of that, just in case?

  5. #5
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    Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    Broadcom Limited BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter
    This device is using an alternative driver
    (X) Using Broadcom 802.11 Linux STA wireless driver source from bcmwl-kernel-source (proprietary)
    ( ) Do not use the device

    Does that appear as it should?
    No. Please double-check: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2214110
    "Oh, Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system" --Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D., Sc.D.

  6. #6
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    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    @CelticWarrior thanks for the prompt response. I took a look at that thread and immediately experienced the condition known as MEGO (My Eyes Glazed Over) :-]

  7. #7
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    davepool, post results from terminal for
    Code:
    lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 net; iwconfig
    The way to reverse that other command is
    Code:
    sudo sed -i 's/wifi.powersave = 2/wifi.powersave = 3/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
    Last edited by jeremy31; 1 Week Ago at 11:09 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    @Chili555 Okay, upon second (and careful) read, those steps seem pretty clear. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    Quote Originally Posted by chili555 View Post
    @Chili555 this didn't go well....or it seems so.

    First, I made sure I had the updates via sudo apt-get update

    Then I entered sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source (fearing I was burning a bridge behind me)

    Okay, the lspct -nn -d 14e4: command produced [14e4:4727] (rev 01)

    The bad news there is that this choice (at least the "rev 01" version) does not even appear on the list. That said, obviously, [14e4:4727] *does* appear....at the very bottom.

    Working from that, the Special Case 1 instructions (because I'm running 18.04) for echo resulted in "permission denied" statements (and that was after sudo -l told me I could do anything).

    Thinking at that point that I should try maybe the Special Case 3 instructions, entering uname -r produced 5.0.0-37-generic and, if I understood that (being 3.8 and later) entering brcmsmac produced "Command not found". Same results for entering bcmwl-kernel-source

    The good news here is that whatever I've been left with after all that seems to work (I have not restarted the device) and my usual go-to test of playing a YouTube video shows it will play without breakup or stutter.

    So...there were comments yesterday that what I had was not correct and I needed to go through the process you all provided. With that not working, should I just leave well enough alone? Should I go back to the Budgie Welcome tool and the Getting Started/Drivers tab and re-install whatever that brings?

  10. #10
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    Re: Question about Broadcom driver after new Ubuntu Budgie install

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy31 View Post
    Moved to Networking and Wireless
    Some of those work with either the open source or the proprietary module, some don't work well at all
    Try disabling wifi power management, see if it is better
    Code:
    sudo sed -i 's/wifi.powersave = 3/wifi.powersave = 2/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
    Reboot
    @jeremy31 So I tried that (knowing I had your "undo" string at the ready!) and I want to confirm one thing: after entering my password, that string did not produce any result in the terminal. Was that to be expected? Then...what indication(s) will there be that this change to wifi power management has taken effect?

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