There are various reasons why you may not be able to connect to your wireless network.  It can range from the wireless network adapter being turned off at the hardware level to a different wireless network adapter driver being needed.  The following steps will walk you through the proces of getting your wireless network to work with Xtra-PC.

  1. Boot to the Xtra-PC USB
  2. Once Xtra-PC is loaded and you are logged in, left click on the network connection icon (it looks like two computer monitors) in the bottom right corner (next to the clock).  If it lists your wireless network, left click on it to connect.  If it doesn't list your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
  3. Right click on this icon and see if “Enable Wi-Fi” is checked.  If not, click on it to enable Wi-Fi.  Wait about 30 seconds and then check again to see if it lists your wireless network.  If it lists your wireless network, left click on it to connect.  If it doesn't list your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
  4. Check to see if the wireless LED on your computer itself shows if wireless is on or off (i.e. usually the LED is orange if off; green or blue if on)?
  5. If it shows as turned off on the hardware, try turning it on at the hardware level.  The switch for this varies with your computer vendor.  If it lists your wireless network, left click on it to connect.  If it doesn't list your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
  6. Check if Wi-Fi is disabled at the software level by doing the following:
    • Open a terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T)
    • Run the command: rfkill list all
    • Do any of your wireless network adapters say “yes” to soft or hard blocked?
      • If any say "yes", this means your wireless adapter is disabled. To enable your wireless adapter, run: sudo rfkill unblock wifi

        NOTE:  A hard block generally can't be overridden by software (i.e with rfkill) and means your wireless adapter is disabled at the hardware level.  So, if running sudo rfkill unblock wifi doesn't enable your wireless adapter, it's likely there is a hardware switch that needs to be turned on.

      • If all say "no" and you still can't connect to your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
  7. Lastly, it could be that a different wireless adapter driver is needed. Many wireless adapters are detected and load drivers automatically, but some wireless adapters may not work with the default drivers that are installed and need different drivers to be installed.
    • Determine which wireless adapter you have by doing the following:
      • Open a terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T)
      • Run the command: lspci –nn –d 14e4:
        • NOTE: the ”:” at the end of the lspci line above is required and not a typo
        • You will get something back that looks like:

          Network Controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802:11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)

        • The command lspci –nn –d 14e4: is for Broadcom wireless cards specifically. If that command does not return anything (just returns to the command prompt without any printed output), then you have another wireless card like an Intel. In that case, you can get the chipset by running: lspci –nn.
    • Odds are, if your wireless is not working due to an incorrect driver, you have a Broadcom wireless adapter. The following steps show how to switch to another Broadcom wireless driver. If you have a wireless adapter that is not a Broadcom and/or can't connect to the internet via a wired network connection, please contact support with the outputs from the commands rfkill list all and lspci –nn
      • The easiest and quickest way to install and switch drivers is to temporarily hook your computer to a wired network connection (i.e. hook to your router or internal switch).  This way you can connect to the internet to have the correct drivers downloaded, etc.
      • Once you are connected to the internet via your wired network connection, run the following steps to install a different driver for your Broadcom wireless adapter:
        • Open a terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T)
        • Remove the current Broadcom wireless driver by running: sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source
        • Install the new driver by running: sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
        • Once complete, reboot by running: reboot
    • After rebooting, left click on the network connection icon in the bottom right corner (next to the clock).  If it lists your wireless network, left click on it to connect. 
  8. If you are still unable to connect to your wireless network, please contact support with the outputs from the commands rfkill list alland lspci –nn