BCM4328 Wireless Card and WEP in Ubuntu 7.10

When I installed Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" on my Dell Latitude D830, the wireless did not work out of the box. Using ndiswrapper, I was able to get it working (Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" on a Dell Lattitude D830) and icon in my notification area at the top-right corner of my screen (nm-applet 0.6.5) would show a list of available WiFi connections and their signal strength.

Note: My BCM4328 wireless card is identified through the 'lspci' command as:

Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4328 802.11a/b/g/n (rev 03)
BCM4328 Wireless Networks in Ubuntu

I could then select my network (which is an open network) and connect without any problems. However, when I tried to connect to a WEP key protected network later at a hotel, it would not connect. Upon further reading, this seems to be a common problem. Although it's talked into the ground throughout the web, I just need to connect to WEP networks once in a while--at coffee shops and hotels and the like.

When I go to a cafe or hotel and need to get my Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and BCM4328 Wireless card working on WEP networks, these are the steps I take. (If you don't already have ndiswrapper setup for your BCM4328 WiFi card, read Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" on a Dell Lattitude D830).

Note: You could spend some time and set up a better solution, however, it's very rare that I need to connect to a WEP network and I like using the nm-applet with roaming mode. This was the first thing I figured out that worked for me and I don't intend to spend any more time on the topic. Just thought I would share with other users. Feel free to post a comment if I'm doing something ridiculous.

  1. Left-click the Wireless icon in the notification area (nm-applet) and select 'Manual Configuration...' from the menu to open the 'Network Settings' dialog.
  2. Select 'Wireless connection' and click the 'Properties' button. Network Settings in Ubuntu 7.10
  3. Under the properties for wlan0, un-check the 'Enable roaming mode' box. I put the information I'll be using only so that the 'OK' button is enabled. However, the connection still will not be working at this point, but, the roaming mode will be turned off. Turn off Roaming Mode
  4. Back in the 'Network Properties' dialog, I un-check 'Wireless connection' and click 'Close'
  5. Finally, I open a terminal and issue these commands:
    sudo ifdown wlan0
    sudo ifconfig wlan0 essid TheNetworkSSID key abcabc1234
    sudo ifup wlan0
    Where "TheNetworkSSID" is the network you want to connect to and "abcabc1234" is the WEP key. Typing 'ifconfig' again with no options will confirm that the network connection to "TheNetworkSSID" was established (or show nothing for the essid if it did not take)
Did you enjoy BCM4328 Wireless Card and WEP in Ubuntu 7.10? If you would like to help support my work, A donation of a buck or two would be very much appreciated.
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