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Thread: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Beans
    62
    Distro
    Gutsy Gibbon Testing

    Lightbulb How to: Broadcom Wireless cards without Ndiswrapper for Dapper and Edgy

    ****In my edgy knot 2 testing I found that edgy users can stop the guide after competing stage 4 or 4b as it 'just works' with out network-manager if you fill in the SSID and set the wireless device to DHCP in the "networking" option under System > Administration****


    This Should work with Apple hardware as well as PC's.

    How to get a wireless card working in Ubuntu 6.06 or 6.10) with a Broadcom chipset 43xx


    This guide assumes 2 things:
    • Wired Internet access on the machine with the wireless card on it, in my case i had a 10/100 LAN card that i was using as i couldn't get wireless to work which gave me full access to internet - although it is possible to put the files required on a CD and then add that CD as a repo in synaptic on the wireless machine, how to do this is not covered here, you could even extract the firmware on a different PC and place it in the right location on a remote PC using a CD/Pen drive taking a .deb of network manager with you.
    • A CLEAN install of dapper or edgy, most of the problems/failures in the responses to this guide have been because of unclean installs giving configuration that gets in the way of this guide and stops it from working, my dapper was installed during the Flight 5 stage and updated from there to knot 2 so its not necessary to reinstall from 6.0* or even if it has been updated from breezy but you might want to think about reinstalling if you've messed around with Ndis prior to this.


    Okay so you have a wireless card that shows up in ubuntu but doesnt connect to any wireless network?

    The reason the card shows up but doesn't work is because ubuntu is only distributed with its driver (so it can recognize it) not with its firmware (so it can USE it) for legal reasons.

    However you can take the firmware out of the windows drivers and put them into ubuntu and make the card work!

    Follow these steps to get your wireless card working under ubuntu dapper 6.06:

    To find out if your card has a broadcom chipset run the following command:
    Code:
     lspci | grep Broadcom\ Corporation
    If that returns a string of numbers followed by the words Broadcom Corporation and then some more numbers then your in luck!
    But if not, try my guide anyway, it cant do any harm and it might work for you, its largely untested for cards other than mine and the success stories posted here so give it a go and see!

    Here is my output from doing this:
    Code:
    lspci | grep Broadcom\ Corporation
    0000:02:0d.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 03)

    It seems that if you get the following string back: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02) that this guide is VERY unlikly to work for you although it does sometimes, dont ask me why, but basically every "no" vote and "this didnt work for me" post comes from a BCM4318 user....

    Prerequisite
    • Ubuntu dapper
    • A wireless card that shows up in Ubuntu
    • A driver installation CD (for Windows) OR a driver for your card from the internet
    • Access to the Ubuntu Universe Repository


    1 ) Ensure you have access to the other ubuntu repos
    follow the intructions on the second heading from this page to ensure you have the universe enabled
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/Package...iversePackages

    2 ) Copy your windows driver to your desktop

    Use this driver with preference to any other:
    http://boredklink.googlepages.com/wl_apsta.o
    if this fails, your could use any of these:
    • Copy the driver from the CD that came with the Card
    • Copy it over from your windows partition if you have access to it, it will be located here: /Windows/System32/Drivers/bcmwl5.sys
    • Obtain it from here -http://sidulus.textdrive.com/bcmwl5sys.zip
    • Get any driver for your card of any date from their website - use this if initially you are not successful first tome try some newer/older drivers


    3 ) Install bcm43xx-fwcutter
    Open a terminal (dont worry) and type the following:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter
    It will ask for your password and may ask you to press y to install, but dont worry its really easy

    GUI Alternative: go to System in the top Gnome bar then Administration then Synaptic Package Manager
    From here click Search and search for bcm43xx-fwcutter
    Right click on its entry in the package window, select Mark for Installation and then click apply

    4 ) Extract your Cards firmware from the driver
    Open a terminal (dont worry) and type the following:
    Code:
    sudo bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware ~/Desktop/wl_apsta.o
    This will create lots of new files in the /lib/firmware directory, this is the firmware part of the driver that will make your card work with ubuntu!

    4B ) Extract your Cards firmware from the driver
    Just to be safe we'll put the driver in the kernel folder too

    Code:
    sudo bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware/`uname -r` ~/Desktop/wl_apsta.o

    you may have to repeat this step each time the kernel is updated or you may not, your results may vary.

    Note The location and name of the .o file for this command may differ in your case, if you really get stuck type bcm43xx-fwcutter and then hit space, find your file using the GUI and then drag and drop it into the terminal.

    5 ) Install Network Manager
    I find that this is the best way to manage wireless connections
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome
    It may ask for your password and may ask you to press y to install, but dont worry its really easy

    You may find that Network Manager adds itself to system > preferences > sessions >startup programs
    or you may not, if you find its not inlcuded, add

    Code:
     nm-applet --sm-disable

    as found here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...0&postcount=32 , Network Manager might not work for Apple users, he says that a program called wifi-radar worked for him instead so if network manager is no good for you try this program instead
    This might apply for non apple users as well

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WifiDocs/Dri...4e5d044ef78d2f

    6 ) Bookmark this page and Reboot
    Press Ctrl + D and then click on add
    Then log out & reboot
    Return to this page after logging back in again


    7 ) Use your new Wireless connection
    From what i remember network manager should now show up by your clock and display your current connection, if your lucky it will show a series of bars, this means your now using your wireless connection so lucky you!
    If it doesnt, right click on it and tick "Enable Wireless" then left click on it
    and select the wirless network of your choice.

    Thanks, i hope this helps...


    Issues
    :
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Ensure the router you are connecting to supports 802.11 B connections
    as this is what the card is now set up to use, check if your router has a "mixed"
    setting rather than a G only setting which it should as G is backwards compatible with B
    ----------------------------------------------------
    For anyone that is having problems, try this:
    Code:
    modprobe bcm43xx
    and reboot
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Information about networkmanager

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NetworkManager
    ----------------------------------------------------
    people seem to be having trouble getting this specific card: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02) working using this guide, take a look at this post for help:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...4&postcount=43
    or
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...&postcount=218 if your looking to Ndis instead
    ----------------------------------------------------
    If you find your driver comes in a windows EXE format, typically this will just extract the drivers and can be run using Wine and then collected from your wine directory in the same places you can find them in windows
    you could try renaming them to filename.zip and seeing if they open that way too.
    Last edited by nickm; October 24th, 2006 at 10:23 AM. Reason: updated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Beans
    4

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    A little adjustment...

    The command "bcm43xx-fwcutter /home/$USER/Desktop/bcmwl5.sys" creates the firmware files in the directory you are current in...it cannot be assumed that is the "Desktop".

    I couldn't figure out why it wasn't creating the files, then I stumbled across them in my "~" directory (where I ran the command). Not a huge thing, but I wouldn't consider myself too much of a linux newbie and it got me.

    Other than that...great work...I have wireless without the pain of the ndiswrapper manual install!!! Thanks a ton!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Beans
    62
    Distro
    Gutsy Gibbon Testing

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    Hey, thanks, im glad i helped someone
    out of interest what card is it?

    I did put a little note about that in step 3 when i made it, i'v made it a little more prominent for other people
    Last edited by nickm; May 31st, 2006 at 06:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    64

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    Quote Originally Posted by markmcspadden
    A little adjustment...

    The command "bcm43xx-fwcutter /home/$USER/Desktop/bcmwl5.sys" creates the firmware files in the directory you are current in...it cannot be assumed that is the "Desktop".

    I couldn't figure out why it wasn't creating the files, then I stumbled across them in my "~" directory (where I ran the command). Not a huge thing, but I wouldn't consider myself too much of a linux newbie and it got me.

    Other than that...great work...I have wireless without the pain of the ndiswrapper manual install!!! Thanks a ton!
    I think you misread the command. If you type in the command you have in your post, it will spit out the firmware in the folder you're in. If you do the command he has,

    sudo bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware ~/Desktop/bcmwl5.sys

    you can see the "-w /lib/firmware", which tells the program to put them in /lib/firmware. So, if you do use the -w, you can assume it goes to /lib/firmware (or where ever you tell it). If not, you can assume it they files will drop in your current directory. Did you type it with the -w option and forget to post to the forum with it and it still put the firmware files in your current directory? Maybe you misspelled in the /lib/firmware directory and the program just spit them out to the current directory.

    Anyways, it was a good article.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Beans
    18
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    I'd love to see a version of this guide for those like who are unable to get an ethernet internet connection that is required for a number of steps. Perhaps links to all the programs needed so they can be downloaded through windows or another computer as well as directions as to how to install the programs without the simple apt-get approach.

    I know I'd appreciate it very much and I'm sure others may also.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Orlando
    Beans
    356
    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    I followed this to get my broadcom 4318 card to work in dapper (and it worked purrrfectly). Now that I've upgraded to edgy, I'm noticing some odd behaviors: sometimes, it works, well... But then out of the blue, it stops...
    And reboot as I may, it still doesn't work... Then after a while, everything works fine again... Is someone else noticing this?

    P.S: I did try (many times to no avail
    Code:
    sudo rmmod bcm43xx
    sudo modprobe bcm43xx
    The oldest n00b in the 1337 world...
    I'm all for thinner screens... but how will the tiny people from CRTs fit in them?
    My current desktop for 2009

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Beans
    234
    Distro
    Kubuntu Karmic Koala (testing)

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    So I take, that ubuntu's default driver work for you. That's strange, since the bcm4318 is not supported (at least not rev2). You get the exact typeof your chip by typing "lspci" in a console. At least on my HP nx6110 it would only work with ndiswrapper.

    You might also want to take a look at this thread and maybe try the script, though in my case I needed to install both ndiwrapper-utils1.1 and ndiwrapper-utils1.8. The script also produces a nice log-file.

    The steps performed by the script are explained here, if you prefer to do everything manually (it won't hurt for troubleshooting).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Beans
    11

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    I'm having an interesting problem. I've got everything installed right (using ndiswrapper, the firmware thing didn't work). It's detecting my card, the 4311, and it's even getting an IP address from the router, but it's not getting on the internet. I have done this on multiple different AP's too, but still no internet. I do have to type my ESSID in, it's not scanning in network config, or network manager, but it is in wifi-radar.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Iceland
    Beans
    50
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiede View Post
    I followed this to get my broadcom 4318 card to work in dapper (and it worked purrrfectly). Now that I've upgraded to edgy, I'm noticing some odd behaviors: sometimes, it works, well... But then out of the blue, it stops...
    And reboot as I may, it still doesn't work... Then after a while, everything works fine again... Is someone else noticing this?

    P.S: I did try (many times to no avail
    Code:
    sudo rmmod bcm43xx
    sudo modprobe bcm43xx
    I think we have the same issue with our Broadcom cards.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Orlando
    Beans
    356
    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: How to: Broadcom Wireless cards

    Is yours still doing it? Mine is showing improvement: it always connects though every once in a while it drops and I have to fire up wifi-radar to reconnect...
    Last edited by Tiede; November 11th, 2006 at 05:32 AM.
    The oldest n00b in the 1337 world...
    I'm all for thinner screens... but how will the tiny people from CRTs fit in them?
    My current desktop for 2009

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