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Thread: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    Update 29/04/2011
    The new broadcom driver is included in the 2.6.38 kernel that comes with Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
    I suggest everyone to just upgrade to the new version.


    Update 07/01/11
    Thanks to user some-one the problem with git sources has been solved.
    At the moment the only commit version that compiles in 10.10 is this one:
    http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kerne...efe3b14;sf=tgz
    Download the .tar.gz file in your home directory and extract it.
    Now INSTEAD of "cd ~/linux-next/drivers/staging/brcm80211" you will do "cd ~/linux-next-a694cb1" and follow the rest of the guide strarting with "nano Makefile".

    START
    This guide has been tested and works on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick amd64 installed on an Acer Travelmate 8172t with Broadcom BCM43225 wireless device.

    Currently supported chips
    =========================
    Name Device ID
    BCM4313 0x4727
    BCM43224 0x4353
    BCM43225 0x4357

    This guide is based on this tutorial in the opensuse forum: Opensuse installation guide which is based on the README file inside the source code.

    Make sure the proprietary broadcom driver is not loaded by the system, open "Additional driver" application in system > administration and disable the driver if it was enabled, restart if necessary.

    Open terminal (Applications>Accessories>Terminal) and copy paste these lines one after another.

    Install build packages
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install build-essential git-core

    Download the driver and the firmware
    Code:
    git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/next/linux-next.git
    git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/dwmw2/linux-firmware.git
    Modify the file to make it work with your kernel
    Code:
    cd ~/linux-next/drivers/staging/brcm80211
    nano Makefile
    Add this code at the end
    Code:
    KDIR    := /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build
    ccflags-y += -I$(SUBDIRS)/include -I$(SUBDIRS)/sys -I$(SUBDIRS)/phy
    
    default:
    	echo $(PWD)
    	$(MAKE) -C $(KDIR) SUBDIRS=$(shell pwd) CONFIG_BRCM80211_PCI=y V=1 modules
    CTRL+X to exit and save


    Compile the driver
    Code:
    make
    If it exit with and error then check the UPDATE section at the top.


    Copy it in the proper dir
    Code:
    sudo cp brcm80211.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/

    Download and copy the device's firmware
    Code:
    sudo mkdir /lib/firmware/brcm
    cd ~/linux-firmware
    sudo cp brcm/bcm43xx* /lib/firmware/brcm
    cd /lib/firmware/brcm
    sudo ln -s bcm43xx-0-610-809-0.fw bcm43xx-0.fw
    sudo ln -s bcm43xx_hdr-0-610-809-0.fw bcm43xx_hdr-0.fw

    Load the driver module
    Code:
    sudo modprobe mac80211
    sudo insmod /lib/modules/`uname -r`/brcm80211.ko
    At this point the wireless should work correctly in network-manager


    Load dependencies
    Code:
    sudo depmod -a

    Add the module to the startup
    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/modules
    Add this lines at the end
    Code:
    brcm80211
    CTRL+X to exit and save


    Fix the problem with suspending
    Code:
    sudo nano /usr/lib/pm-utils/defaults
    add after #SUSPEND_MODULES=""
    Code:
    SUSPEND_MODULES="brcm80211"
    CTRL+X to exit and save
    Last edited by Axx83; April 29th, 2011 at 09:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    I need feedback guys...

  3. #3
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    Smile Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    My system is Ubuntu 10.10, Wireless card is BRCM4313, hardware is HP Mini 5103

    Just installed the driver according to your description and everything works just as described.

    I'm so relieved the BRCM 4313 finally works up to expectations, It was pain to work with the proprietary driver.

    You've really made my day.
    Last edited by dmizer; February 13th, 2011 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Please do not circumvent the word filter. Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Exclamation Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards - slow speed workaround

    Well after playing with it for a while, I've found a strange behavior. The speed of WiFi noticably drops, when the notebook goes on battery.

    It's a powersaving feature, that is quite annoying. The easy workaround is to set:

    Code:
    sudo iwconfig eth1 power off 
    # presuming that eth1 is your wireless network device
    which disables the power management feature of your card. Can be handy, when transfering larger files...

  5. #5
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    Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    I am pretty sure power management in this version of the driver is not working, card is always on full power and the sudden drops you register are actually bugs, in fact if I run iwconfig whwn on battery it says power management is off.

    Can you check just running
    Code:
    sudo iwconfig
    when on battery with no other tweaks and post the results?

  6. #6
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    Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    I got it working, and it has some nice advantages. It's a good bit faster when it works, and treats the network a lot better.

    However, it seems to stop working after a minute when I'm connected to an N network. On G it is stable (more or less), but on N I need to reconnect often.

    No guarantees that it isn't the network, my school has a screwed up network, but it never seemed to have stability issues with the proprietary driver.

    How can I update it to follow new progress? Is there any?

    p.s. I have the BCM43224 chip.
    Desktop | Intel E8400 3.0GHz Core2 Duo | 4GB RAM | 2TB | Intel X-25 40gb SSD | Ubuntu 10.10
    Personal server | AMD 2.0GHz Dual Core | 1GB RAM | 160GB | Ubuntu Server 10.04
    HP Mini 311 | Atom 1.66ghz | 160gb | 1GB RAM | Ubuntu Netbook 10.10

  7. #7
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    Post Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Axx83 View Post
    Can you check just running
    Code:
    sudo iwconfig
    when on battery with no other tweaks and post the results?
    When on battery:
    Code:
    ~$ sudo iwconfig
    
    eth1      IEEE 802.11  ESSID:"7Patro.42"  
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: 00:1X:CX:6X:1X:DX   
              Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power:24 dBm   
              Retry min limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Encryption key:off
              Power Managementmode:All packets received
              Link Quality=5/5  Signal level=-38 dBm  Noise level=-91 dBm
              Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid csudo iwconfigrypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
              Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0
    
    ~$ sudo iwconfig eth1 power off
    
    ~$ sudo iwconfig
    
    eth1      IEEE 802.11  ESSID:"7Patro.42"  
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: 00:1F:C6:62:1B:D7   
              Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power:24 dBm   
              Retry min limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Encryption key:off
              Power Management:off
              Link Quality=5/5  Signal level=-38 dBm  Noise level=-83 dBm
              Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
              Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0
    On AC Power, the power management is always off.

    I've observed problems with 802.11b - just mere ping took several seconds and the troughtput was tragic, but it can be the AP at where I've checked it. With power management off, the throughtput is great, when it's set to the "All packets received", the ping drops to 200..300ms from the usual 2..5 ms...

    My card is BRCM4313, my machine is HP Mini 5103. I'm so annoyed by the instability, that i've already considered swapping the card for some other, but the card is of custom size .

  8. #8
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    Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    @someonestolemyname:
    On my notebook the proprietary driver did not work AT ALL, connections were all dropped even before getting actually connected, with this driver not all is perfect but it's a development driver, still not stable so it's ok to have some issues. As far as updates go I don't know where to check...

    @sigiczek:
    Weird, on my computer if I run iwconfig and try to set power management it says it's not allowed...

  9. #9
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    I have the broadcom bcm4313 chipset.

    I had problems with the proprietary wl driver. It would take a long time and not realize that the network it was trying to connect to does not exist etc.

    brcm80211 compilation according to the instructions had glitches.
    I had to do the following to "ccflags-y" in the Makefile:
    Code:
    ccflags-y :=                    \
        -DBCMDBG                \
        -DWLC_HIGH                \
        -DSTA                    \
        -DWME                    \
        -DWL11N                    \
        -DDBAND                    \
        -DBCMDMA32                \
        -DBCMNVRAMR                \
        -Idrivers/staging/brcm80211/sys        \
        -Idrivers/staging/brcm80211/phy        \
        -Idrivers/staging/brcm80211/util    \
        -Idrivers/staging/brcm80211/include    \
        -I/opt/kernel/linux-next/drivers/staging/brcm80211/include    \
        -I/opt/kernel/linux-next/drivers/staging/brcm80211/sys    \
        -I/opt/kernel/linux-next/drivers/staging/brcm80211/phy
    Compilation worked after that.

    I did not put in the module name in the /etc/modules file - it works fine.

    On the System->Administration -> Additional Drivers tab, I uninstalled all other drivers. Surprisingly it recognises brcm80211!

    Wireless network is very fast now.

  10. #10

    Re: New brcm80211 driver guide for Broadcom wireless cards

    Tried it - it worked much faster than the Broadcom STA wl driver, but it was pretty unstable - only worked for a few minutes at a time. Going to try ndiswrapper for now.

    By the way /usr/lib/pm-utils/defaults undid my edits by itself.

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