wireless on macbook + ubuntu

This is a quick guide which shows how to get your wireless card working with ubuntu hardy heron installed on a macbook that came with leopard pre-installed in 4 easy steps. It assumes that you already have ubuntu installed.

Step 1

First you need to identify the network controller that your macbook has. So run the ubuntu ‘hardware testing’ program which is located at ‘System->Administration->Hardware Testing’. Keep pressing next until you see the ‘Detecting your network controller(s)’ screen which will display the network controller detected.  Note down the name of your network controller as you will need this to install the correct driver. My macbook had the Broadcom controller, so for the remainder of this tutorial wherever i use ‘broadcom’ you will need to replace it with your own.

Step 2

Next you need to install the following packages using the synaptic packet manager (you will need the multiverse repository enabled):

rar

unrar

ndisgtk

ndiswrapper-common

ndiswrapper-utils-1.9

Step 3

Insert the leopard install disc 1 which came with your macbook and navigate to ‘boot camp->drivers->broadcom’. Create a new directory in your home folder and copy the ‘broadcomxpinstaller.exe’ file into it. Open a terminal and cd to the directory where you copied the exe file and run the following command:

unrar x broadcomxpinstaller.exe .

This will unpack the exe file and you should see a bunch of files, the one we are interested in is the .inf file. On my machine it was bcmwl5.inf

Step 4

Open ‘System->Administration->Windows Wireless Drivers’ and click on ‘Install New Driver’, locate the .inf file from the previous step and press ok.

The wireless driver installation is now complete all you need to do is configure your wireless network settings and you are all ready to start surfing the web.

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