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Ubuntu laptop creates ad hoc wifi and Android can't connect

I'm trying to setup a WiFi hotspot on my laptop I just installed Ubuntu 17.04 onto. The problem is that it outputs an ad hoc network type, which Android devices can't use. So I need to change to a regular access point. I've tried to change by:

''sudo gedit /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/wifi-hotspot"

And entering "ap" to replace ad hoc, but it didn't work.

The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 6400 with a Qualcomm atheros WiFi card.


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I think this is more related to your card - this laptop is fairly old from the research I did on it (~2006-2008?) and it probably shipped with a Dell Wireless card, which Dell does a lot of the time on consumer models. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a chipset problem.

My advice would be to replace the factory wireless card and try your luck from there (Intel is recommended). A lot of Dell's first party wireless cards are nothing but trouble outside of Windows, even if a good chipset vendor is used (My DW 1506/AR9485 seems to be the exception to the rule). Your laptop is old enough to be from the time period when Dell used Broadcom, so I would run "lspci -nn" and make sure you are right about this being an Atheros/QCA card. Judging from my research on Parts People a lot of the Dell branded cards are Broadcom.

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@nick and @pccheese , a Dell WiFi card is simply a Broadcom chip. This command installs broadcom on Ubuntu. However, normally Ubuntu during initial setup should have asked you to install this type of 'restricted' drivers, which would have fixed it too.

sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source

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I wouldn't be surprised if Dell is just like Azurewave - take the reference design, give it a Dell VID and then certify it as a Dell card.

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@nick, yes, the Dell cards are so close to reference that these make great hackintosh laptops as these older ones have the same chipsets as the Macbook Pro Airport and Airport Extreme cards. The latter ones were more hit/miss.

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I generally like Intel cards the most, but I don't mind the QCA/Atheros cards as much as the Broadcom ones. I know the QCA/Atheros ones have the best chance with Linux. Since I've heard a few horror stories about BCM cards in Linux I would much rather suggest someone who wants to use the machine for Linux just switch it out for an Intel or Dell Atheros card.

The problem is a lot of old laptops need a full height bracket (in some cases, the antennas need to be replaced). That makes the project of putting a good card in slightly more difficult then it should be. It's not a challenge for me because I can measure the antenna distance I need from the lid to the wireless card, but that may not be as easy for someone who doesn't have as much experience.

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@nick and @avanteguarde

This laptop has been overhauled. I put this in it:

I don't think it's an issue with the wireless card. The problem is that I can't make Linux output a network type other than ad hoc, so I need to change that. Many people have this issue.

Now that you know exactly what card I have, what command should I run?

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@pccheese , your first problem is using Ubuntu 17.04 ;-)

That may be way too bleeding edge for what you are trying to do.

16.04 is LTS, meaning mainstream support for the next 3.5 years, where is 17.04 is experimental and abandoned after a year or two.

Anywho, before I hear it from @nick, to each their own is my retort.

Your problem is you need to either use the Gui to create an Internet connection share, or if you really want to do it via Terminal, you need to use IP tables to forward packets from one Interface to another.

This page may help.

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