Monday, 1 August 2016

How to enable Access Point Mode if its not supported by your device driver

This tutorial is trying to help those who want to create Access Point wifi hotspot in Ubuntu Laptop but stuck at “Wifi Hotspot: Access Point Mode Is Not Supported By This Device” error message.

1. Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run the command below to know your wireless chip information:
lspci | grep -i Network

In my case, it outputs:
02:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)

The chip id is BCM4313, manufactured by Broadcom.

2. Find out current driver running on your wifi adapter by running below command:
ethtool -i wlan0 | grep driver
where wlan0 is the name of your wifi device. Find the name using iwconfig

The command outputs something like this:
driver: wl0

For Broadcom, there are three drivers that support AP mode, but only brcmsmac (check link page for supported chips) support wifi chip BCM4313.
Thus we need to switch wireless driver from wl0 to brcmsmac to get AP mode support.

Driver           Manufacturer    Support AP Mode
b43               Broadcom           yes
b43legacy    Broadcom            yes
brcmfmac    Broadcom            no
brcmsmac    Broadcom            yes

3. Install brcmsmac driver.
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

4. After installation, try to enable it from the Additional Drivers utility. Search "Additional Drivers" in Unity Dash and open it.
Click on "Do not use the device" option and hit Apply Changes. You need to restart Ubuntu after this change. - Mandatory

5. Finally run below command and look under Supported interface modes
iw list
If you see AP then you can now successfully use your device to create Hotspot

Hit the like button on the right if you find this tutorial useful.

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