How do I get my Ethernet connection to work?



I am using a former XP laptop which had Ethernet networking. No hardware has changed or been removed. Do I need drivers? How do I find them and how do I know what kind of Ethernet card the laptop is using to get the correct drivers? Or, is there a simpler way to turn it on? The "Ethernet Networks" is grayed out. I tried to add it but the "Ethernet Networks" is still grayed out.


Install hardinfo.

sudo apt install hardinfo

It is a bit like the old MS Windows system manager. It will show all hardware and the drivers that are in use, if any.


Thanks Steve, I need to be reminded how/where to type that command in. Something like the old DOS command line, I know Linux has such a thing but with the new GUI I don't see how to access it.


Applications/system tools/mate terminal

Also, I think you may be able to just right click inside any Caja file manager window and select "open in terminal" to bring a terminal up.

It doesn't matter what Caja location you open a terminal in. The installation command will still work as it should

You can either type the command in the terminal and then press ENTER. Or, copy and paste the command from my post, above, into the terminal. To paste into a terminal, you can either right click and select "paste". Or, click in the terminal and then press the CTRL/SHIFT/v keys. Then press ENTER.


I don't have:
Applications/system tools/mate terminal
Applications/system settings/?

I don't know how to get to a file manager either. No idea what "Caja" is/means?

I have dealt with RasberryPi & Linux years ago when it was really obvious where the command line was but with the Ubuntu GUI I'm rather lost.


do you have a "home" folder in your menu? If you do, click on it and let me know if it looks something like this:



see video below:

Obviously, it did not go through with the installation for me because it is already installed on my machine.


does your menu have a search box? If it does, then just type "terminal" into it and it should bring it up


Almost typed apt-get there!

If this helps, on my fresh 18.04 install the MATE Terminal is at Menu > System Tools > MATE Terminal.


hardinfo is possibly one of the best free apps out there, and that's saying a lot (gimp, inkscape, blender, audacity, etc.)


OK, the file drawer was a file manager & from there the right click got me to the command line & I was able to install "hardinfo." Now what?

I ran the hardinfo program from the command line & it saved the info it found into an html file. The hardware for the Ethernet controller is:

Network controller Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)
Ethernet controller Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)

How do I get it to work? Do you need more info from the report? It's in an HTML file.


The program will be listed listed in your menu somewhere as "system profiler and benchmark". Probably under "tools".

Open it and your network card will be listed. You need to find out the exact make and model. Then post that information up on here.


Found as:
|Ethernet controller|Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)|


okay, hang on while I do a bit of research for a few minutes


Thanks Steve, would an Intel wifi card be easier? I should eventually be able to get one of those from another laptop. I had to replace a defective Intel wifi card in another laptop recently so I think my Son may have another card or two from dead laptops he works on.


Okay, so it appears there are problems with this network card and Linux. It's probably solvable, but I am going to need to spend some time looking for a solution. Right now, though, I need to get to bed. So, will have a look for you tomorrow


is the card one that you have plugged in the side of the laptop?


I suspect, yes, an intel one would likely work straight out of the box


Posting 1: No, I have to take the laptop apart, usually just the bottom cover, to get to the memory & cards.

Posting 2: OK, then let's leave it here for now. It may take me some time to get an Intel card since I have to go ~ 40 miles to my son's house & I've just emailed him to find out if he has another Intel card.

In the mean time I'll review the link you sent & let you know what I think about it if I want to give it a try.


Hi Eli, I just noticed your post. I actually removed the link because I do not feel sufficiently confident to be giving solid advice yet. The link may actually be okay. but, I need to read it a bit more and do some more research before I feel comfortable giving definitive advice