Wifi drivers MacbookAir

I have a Macbook Air, late 2015. Unfortunately, the ethernet capacity got knocked out by a thunderstorm a while back. Is it possible to load wifi drivers on a USB and download them that way?

I had a network connection on my flashed SD card, but with the install on the external HD, I’ve lost it. During the install I clicked on “download all drivers and updates,” and I was connected to the internet during install, so I’m not sure why it didn’t get loaded. Thanks for the help.

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Hey @MStapleton!
If you don’t have WiFi at the moment, you might have encountered an issue another member did. This means that the update changed your Broadcom firmware, and the new one is having issues with your system. We resolved this a while back, but you might want to perform a re-installation and choose not to update anything during the process.

Make sure all your files are backed up first.

Then, once you re-install (I’m assuming you are installing Ubuntu, correct?) and reboot the actual system, do not update. Instead, follow the procedure from the step I am linking below:

Once this is over, you will have an updated system, and your WiFi will be working.

Also, if you ever need an actual Ethernet port, you can connect an external one to your USB-C port:

You can buy those anywhere for about $20. I’m attaching a link - as an indication - below:


Enjoy your journey, and please let me know if you encounter any issues! :blush:


Thank you so much! I am so happy with Budgie! So excited to actually have gotten it installed. Thank you for your help!

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It’s my pleasure! Were you able to get your WiFi working?

Not yet. I can’t figure out how to get my external drive formatted so that it’s functional. I had it one time. Now I don’t remember what specifically I did. It’s just a grey screen and won’t boot. I can use the Trial just fine, and I can get online in the Trial, but I can’t get my external to work right. Is there a good tutorial for this specific scenario – Macbook Air/SSD external HD? I’ve been using this one Installing Ubuntu on an external SSD drive on a Macbook – Floris van Breugel

I repartitioned the HD and reinstalled Budgie. I was going to do it again, but the install said that Budgie is already installed. I just can’t get it to boot. I did run through the instructions to load the firmware files, so I know I can do that. I just need to abort and start all over again from the beginning. It seems like I’m missing something in the way I’m setting my HD partitions up.

If you have all your files backed up, you can do a clean install of Ubuntu Budgie on the drive you had it before (clean install) and then continue from the link I gave you above. The process from there on will be straightforward. :blush:

I did a full clean install and everything is working fine. Finally got it all up and running. Thank you for your help.

Great post @ vasileios! I am in the process of converting my mid 2011 MacBook Air. I am waiting for a replacement battery to arrive. It was a little workhorse and is a great size at 11". I was going to install Mint, but, many folks are installing Budgie - so maybe I will explore that option as described here.

Hey @MStapleton! I see you installed Budgie! How did that go on your MBAir besides the Wifi driver issue? Did you like the user interface? I am thinking about replacing my parent’s MacOS and was looking for a good alternative. I am hoping to show them my 2011 MacBook Air and once it is up and running and let them feel how it runs. Do you think Budgie is a close “Workalike” to OSX / MacOS once you got it up as a daily driver?

Thank you, @Caleb_Christian! Budgie is a beautiful, simple, and quite an elegant desktop environment. Personally, I like a bit of complexity and the ability to configure the heck out of a system. Thus, my personal preferences fluctuate between Gnome and KDE. :wink:

I am so happy with Budgie. For my first dive into this, it’s perfect because it’s intuitively similar to the way a Mac is set up. Everything works perfectly. My printer was already there and working. When I went back and did the clean install I found a few steps along the path that I had gotten wrong. I had to set up an Ubuntu Boot Loader partition on my Mac before going into the flashed trial of Budgie for the install. I set it up on an external HD so my Mac is still operational. I’m in school and I need a few programs that aren’t available in Linux, so I basically have two computers at the moment. They both feel really powerful, though, because I cleaned up my Mac in this process. I’ll learn Linux and keep developing skills, and Budgie seems like a great place to start. I followed the tutorial for creating the efi loader to use the external drive. That was the hard part, but the step-by-step instructions are pretty clear, and it worked. My wifi was working when I did it right. :wink: So, now … onto more fun.

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That sounds great, I have been having an issue with my external SSD not wanting to get recognized in the UEFI bootloader sequence - so maybe this will be good place to get that figured out before I replace the MacOS completely. I presume you have a persistent install of Budgie?

Yes, it’s a full install on my external SSD. I posted these instructions higher up in this thread. This is what I had to go all the way back to the very beginning with. I erased my external SSD before starting probably 20 times trying to partition it correctly for the boot loader! Haha. Didn’t want to have to do this again. It all worked from beginning to end for my system. I don’t know what I’m doing, though! Just getting started. Installing Ubuntu on an external SSD drive on a Macbook – Floris van Breugel

I am reading now, I have done this multiple times too, If you have had luck with this technique maybe I can distill it as well. Thanks!!!