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How to make Intel Wireless-AC 3165 work in Ubuntu

📅 2017-Feb-04 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 📚 Archive

Problem

I installed Ubuntu 16.04 on a new notebook that had Intel Wireless-AC 3165 hardware to provide wifi and Bluetooth connectivity. This hardware was working without any problems in Windows 10, without requiring any extra software installation. However, the wireless and Bluetooth features did not work in Ubuntu.

Solution

There are many solutions offered on the web to enable wireless connectivity. Copying the ucode files provided by Intel here to /lib/firmware definitely did not work.

I was using Ubuntu 16.04, which was using the Linux 4.4.x kernel. One of the suggestions online is that newer kernels have better support for Intel wireless hardware.

Ubuntu provides newer versions of Linux kernel and X in updated HWE stacks. I installed the latest available HWE stack for Ubuntu 16.04, as described here. This installed a 4.8.x kernel and my wireless and Bluetooth worked like magic without requiring any configuration after a reboot. I have also tried to manually install a newer Linux kernel. Ubuntu developers provide installers of all newer Linux kernels. So I decided to try my luck with the latest 4.9.x series and installed it as described here. This also enabled me to use this Intel wireless adapter without any problem!