Linux Mint – Solving problems with networking

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What if you’re not able to connect to the Internet at all? Thankfully, networking issues are rare in Linux nowadays, but in case you do experience an issue connecting, there are some things you can do in order to pinpoint the problem.

First, check to see if you have an IP address. To do so, execute the ifconfig command, and look for either eth0 (which represents your Ethernet card) or wlan0 (which represents your wireless card). The naming convention can be different, so don’t worry if you see neither declaration. The following screenshot shows the output from the ifconfig command:

If you see an IP address listed, you should be connected. However, if you don’t, you may want to check your /var/log/dmesg log for messages specific to eth0 or wlan0 depending on what you’re connecting with. If you see log entries mentioning timeouts when trying to acquire an IP address from your DHCP server, your issue may simply be that your clock is wrong. If you click on the clock in the bottom-right corner of the screen, does it show the correct time? If the time is correct, does it show the proper date? It may sound trivial, but if your date/time is wrong, your computer cannot sync with a DHCP server.

If you need to correct the date/time, execute the following command:


Let’s walk through the command, since you’ll need to replace the letters after the word “date” with the proper values. The first variable, MM, is the month. So, if it’s currently August, you’d replace MM with 08. The variable, DD, represents the day of the month, so if it is currently 16, you’d replace DD with 16. Next, we have HH that stands for hour. Then, we have MM again, but this time, it represents the minute portion. Then, we have YYYY, so you would put the year here. Finally, there’s a period followed by SS that you’ll replace with the seconds. For example, to set the time to something specific, you might type the following command line:

sudo date 081611302014.32

After correcting the date and/or time, try connecting again. You just might be able to connect. Unfortunately, if you’re unable to connect, you may have an issue with your router (such as running out of IP addresses), or perhaps, your network card is not supported. If this is the case, you may want to try connecting elsewhere to see if the issue is related to your location, or in the case of a lack of hardware support, you can research bug reports and community articles to search for possible known issues and work-arounds specific to your computer.

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