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Thread: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

  1. #1
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    Mar 2020
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    B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Hi! Very new to Ubuntu, trying it to fix a bsod on an old laptop. Since I didn't know what I was doing, I tried several versions of Ubuntu...14LTE, 12, and finally 10.04.4 worked for me so I'm going with it (for now).
    I have the well known issue of WiFi not working...needing B43legacy driver but the links on other posts are dead (they return a 404 message when I run the commands in the posts). I can't connect to the "b43" link (http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43) on any computer, it seems to not exist anymore? Should I be trying a different version of Ubuntu? Is there someone who has the b43 driver (and 'firmware - b43legacy installer')for 10.04.4?
    I have an old Dell Inspiron 8600 Pentium M D800 1.7GHz with 40GB and 512MB RAM Broadcom BCM4306 (rev3) [14e4:4320} ; Ethernet works for the most part, I guess (but can't connect to 'broadcom . com' because of a 'ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap' error...which is a different issue?). I may also need to setup the wireless connection from scratch...nothing was ever set up on this laptop. I tried to use similar settings from another laptop but I'm not sure it's 100% correct.
    Can anyone with experience help with this old b43 issue? I've read dozens of webpages, trying to learn about Ubuntu in general and also this b43 issue. I've tried following a few posts, the sudo-whatevers run, but my results show a lot of '404' responses...the websites seem to be dead? I'd like to 'play' with my new Ubuntu but I'd like a good internet connection so I'm not tethered by the Ethernet cable.
    Thanks!
    PaulG! -new to Ubuntu (Ubunt-noob? lol), I can follow directions but I can't read code (well...maybe a little BASIC.lol).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    According to https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/drivers/b43 your 4320 hardware takes the b43 driver, not the b43legacy. This driver has been working for ages and is included in the standard installations. What exactly does not work from a fresh install of 18.04 or 19.10, the only suppored releases at this point?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulgwog View Post
    I tried several versions of Ubuntu...14LTE, 12, and finally 10.04.4 worked for me so I'm going with it (for now).
    Ubuntu 10.04 reached end of life in April 2015. You will be very frustrated if you continue to try and use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulgwog View Post
    I have an old Dell Inspiron 8600 Pentium M D800 1.7GHz with 40GB and 512MB RAM Broadcom BCM4306 (rev3) [14e4:4320}
    512MB RAM will only be suitable for a lightweight version of Ubuntu such as Lubuntu https://lubuntu.me/

    There are other Linux distros that are also suitable for older hardware.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2020
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    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Thanks. I thought I read somewhere that my old laptop wouldn't run anything newer, so that's why I kept stepping backwards through the versions...14, then 12, then 10...and that provided a useable laptop so I figured that was the version to go with. I never tried a newer version...thought it would be too much for that old Dell.
    I installed it by making a USB drive on another computer and stuck that into the old Dell, turned it on, made it boot from the USB and whatever I put on the USB (10.04.4) installed itself and my bsod was gone. I thought the problem was a failing harddrive (from reading posts on the bsod issue)...I'm just glad the laptop works!
    I'm new to the whole Ubuntu thing, I've heard of it for years, but don't really know much about it...I learned there are several 'buntu's' but I have no idea what the differences are. Figured I'd just wing it and do what I've read that worked for others with the same laptop...hence the 10.04 and b43legacy. Thanks for providing the link...I see it listed (I kept looking up the b43xx number...I didn't see the '06' model (I think the lists I've seen stopped at 4320?).

    I'll look at the lbuntu link you posted and see what distro makes sense to me, but if you have a specific distro you recommend, I'll try that.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Welcome to the forums, paulgwog.

    For an overview of what flavours there are and what they are all about, please read the link in my sig: The Best 'buntu Flavour.

    As for using 10.04, I'm going to go one step further than those who have already chimed in and tell you that you simply should not be using it. You are resurrecting a zombie. There have been thousands of security holes found since it died, so using it is just begging for trouble.

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Your laptop is, indeed, very old. It's an unfortunate reality that any decent OS that you would put on it—at a minimum, one that is at least safe—is going to struggle on such old machinery. Perhaps you would be better off with another distro altogether: Puppy comes to mind. Another candidate that might work is Bunsenlabs. Or Slitaz. These are distros designed for really old HW or severely limited resources. The big plus in going for such alternate distros is that they are all current, supported and therefore safe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Thanks. OK, I'll get to reading your link right now. I guess I didn't realize how old 10.04 was...I'll install something else as soon as I can.
    Thanks again everyone!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2020
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    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Yes, it's a dinosaur, for sure! I know the laptop will be slow (at best) but that'll be fine with me. I intend on using it for my other hobby...model railroading. I'll use it for programming locomotives with Digital Command Control (DCC) using the program 'Java Model Railroad Interface' (JMRI) and I'll possibly take the laptop with me to train shows to be the 'brains' of a layout...throwing turnouts, calculating routes and signal aspects, maybe showing a video or play a DVD for the public to view. Nothing too intensive for this old gal (I hope). Some people are getting into battery powered locomotives, which require a WiFi signal for control...which I')m hoping this laptop can handle. I won't be on the internet too much, which is why I don't really care about the WiFi issue (it's a 'would be nice to have'...not a 'I gotta have it!' type of thing).

    I've done my reading (thanks for the link, and for writing them) and am currently downloading the 18.04.4 ISO to a USB drive. (30mins left on the download). Do you think that's a good version? I'll try 19 and 20 if 18 doesn't work...again, I'm figuring an older version will be better on an old system?

    OK...12 mins left on the download...time for a cup of coffee to help me through this install (it's 9:30p here).

    Thanks again for all the help.
    p.s. I'd like to read up on the Ubuntu language a bit. Can you recommend a beginner document where I can learn about 'sudo' and 'apt' and stuff like that? I don't want to program...just trying to better understand what all the commands I've been typing (or...copy/pasting) into the terminal.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    1,592

    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    New to Ubuntu:
    - read the Ubuntu Manual, it's very informative: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Click on the "download Button" to download the latest PDF version.
    - The online help https://help.ubuntu.com/
    - Command line help: http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/linuxfiles.html
    and the manual pages for help on commands e.g.: man ls
    or the similar info pages: info ls
    Relax and fun:
    http://planet.ubuntu.com/ and Full Circle Magazine http://fullcirclemagazine.org/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    10

    Re: B43legacy problem, are drivers not available in 2020?

    Thank you for those links...I'll check them out soon.
    So, I installed lubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) by downloading it on another computer, then used Rufus 3.9 to install it onto a 4GB USB drive, then put the USB drive in the old laptop and booted from there (using F12 during bootup). During the install, I had to use 'forcepae' before and after the '---' to get it to work. A bit farther into the install, an error popped up..."b43-open/code5.fw" not found, then the instructions to get it from wireless.kernel.org. I'll try to deal with that later. Continuing with the install, I chose 'normal installation' and checked the boxes for 'download updates while installing' and 'install third-party software'; I hoped these might download and install the b43 drivers (but it didn't seem to?). I selected 'Erase disk and install Lubuntu', so I started off with a 'blank slate'.
    A window popped up about a 'System program problem detected'...and I clicked on 'Report'. Then a window popped up showing 'Package operation Failed'...I clicked OK. The install finished and I restarted and for the most part, it works. There is a 3-10 second delay from me clicking on something and seeing anything happen, but I guess that's normal for an old laptop (but I think 10.04 seemed to respond quicker?).
    I have some Ethernet connectivity, but some sites come back as 'server not found'. No idea what that's all about. A small window did pop up, said something along the lines of: Network service discovery disabled Your current network has a .local domain...not recommended and incompatible with Avahi network service discovery. The service has been disabled.
    I configured a new WiFi connection, put in the SSID and password, but still no WiFi (which didn't surprise me).

    I'm guessing I'm going to have to try and download and install the b43 driver? It's a propriety driver, right? Do I have to get it from the Broadcom website? I'll read up on it some more, but I'm done for the night...I'll tackle it tomorrow. I just wanted to document my progress (for others who may read this in the future (Hi future people!), and let you know progress is being made.
    Thanks for all the info and help!

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