HowTo: Broadcom BCM43xx Wireless Card

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Postby blackcat_73 » 2007-02-22 10:27

I'm getting this weird problems concerning broadcom driver under etch.

My card is 54Mbs and under kwifimanager appears as 11Mbs, sometimes connection goes down and I'm getting a lot of messages under my console whenever I get there, starting with

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broadcom-43xx:


How can I disable broadcom and start using ndiswrapper?
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Postby hellfire[bg] » 2007-02-22 20:51

You have add bcm43xx to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist. After that install ndiswrapper in the way described in the debian wiki:
http://wiki.debian.org/NdisWrapper
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Postby jml » 2007-02-25 04:02

Thanks machiner. I have an hp nx6110 laptop with a Broadcom chipset. I'm running Etch and I followed your suggestions. In my case, simply installing bcm43xx-fwcutter was all I needed! In installed the headers when prompted and my wireless card came alive without cp to another directory. This set up works so well, I not only "see" my two wireless networks, but two others from my neighbors. One of which is not encrypted. :wink: But I'll be good. Any way, thanks again for the tip.

Joe
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Postby Necronus » 2007-05-01 05:57

Wow! Thank you so much guys! Everything was very helpful. I can finally get rid of the Win partition :D
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Postby ricanlinux » 2007-05-03 20:48

Hey I am running Debian on my PowerBook G4. Last night I was finally able to get the wireless card to see the wireless network; but it took forever to get connect, then the connection will only last for a short while. Surfing the internet took forever if at all. Can anyone give me a reason for this?
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Help Needed!!

Postby LeeBuckley » 2007-06-20 17:05

I have followed numerous forums to try to get my wireless connection to work.

This one has got me further as it include the an extra command for ndiswrapper which allowed me to get past the modprobe ndiswrapper command without a FATAL error.

I am now at this point.

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debian:/lib/windrivers# ndiswrapper -i /lib/windrivers/bcmwl5.infinstalling bcmwl5 ...
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
debian:/lib/windrivers# ndiswrapper -l
installed drivers:
bcmwl5          driver installed, hardware (14E4:4324) present (alternate driver: bcm43xx)
debian:/lib/windrivers# modprobe ndiswrapper
debian:/lib/windrivers# iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

eth1      IEEE 802.11b/g  ESSID:""  Nickname:"Broadcom 4318"
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Invalid
          RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Link Quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

sit0      no wireless extensions.

debian:/lib/windrivers#


If I try to follow any more of the wireless commands i end up losing the eth1 connection completely and it does not get listed on an iwconfig command.

I have also tried using the network manager on Debian but this causes the same issues.

Can someone guide me in from this point as I feel I am soooo close!! I am not sure on ESSID and key terminology.

Thanks
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Postby actionM » 2007-06-20 22:36

I just wanted to thank beissemj for the exelent Ndiswrapper guide. I had secretly been using ubuntu (oh the shame) on my laptop until last week when I tried this HOWTO. Thanks, I'm Debian all the way now!
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WLAN stopped

Postby rggavdbnf » 2007-06-27 02:43

I got my WLAN (bcm4306) working on my dell laptop per this instruction using the firmware method. It has now stopped working? I notice when I boot up I see the following :
incomplete code in Keymac_write at drivers/net/wireless/bcm43xx/bcm43xx_main.c:1130. How do I fix this.........debian newbee :cry:
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Re: WLAN stopped

Postby rggavdbnf » 2007-06-27 20:49

rggavdbnf wrote:I got my WLAN (bcm4306) working on my dell laptop per this instruction using the firmware method. It has now stopped working? I notice when I boot up I see the following :
incomplete code in Keymac_write at drivers/net/wireless/bcm43xx/bcm43xx_main.c:1130. How do I fix this.........debian newbee :cry:


Canel this question. I went ahead and reinstalled Debian and now my WLAN card is working. I don't know how I messed it up the first time. It was working and then stopped after I did some updates and installed Java 6?
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Postby jrm_debian » 2007-07-09 21:00

Thank you!!!!!

Just, 7/8/2007, net installed Debian Etch with the landline plugged in and the wireless card in place. The installer found the card, assigned it eth0, but could not complete the installation via eth0. I told it to use eth1 (the landline) for the installation and got the basics going.

Then, had to follow your How-to to make the pci card work. (used the fw, i.e. NOT ndiswrapper, steps.)

Woohoo it works!

Thanks!

ps - Old Compaq Presario 2100 laptop, AMD chip
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Postby ajaya » 2007-07-26 01:56

ajaya:/home/ajaya# apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
E: Couldn't find package bcm43xx-fwcutter


whats happening here?
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Postby Telemachus » 2007-07-26 02:02

ajaya wrote:ajaya:/home/ajaya# apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
E: Couldn't find package bcm43xx-fwcutter


whats happening here?

It might be your sources list. Can you please post the output of cat /etc/apt/sources.list?

Edit: Here's it's page at packages.debian.org. It should be in Etch, Lenny and Sid.
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Postby ajaya » 2007-07-26 03:03

ajaya:/home/ajaya# cat /etc/apt/sources.list
#
# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r0 _Etch_ - Official i386 NETINST Binary-1 20070407-11:29]/ etch contrib main

deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r0 _Etch_ - Official i386 NETINST Binary-1 20070407-11:29]/ etch contrib main

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ etch main
deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ etch main

deb http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib
ajaya:/home/ajaya#

[/quote]
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Postby ajaya » 2007-07-26 03:32

telemachus,
i downloaded and installed the package from the site you suggested, and restarted the machine
nothing new happened. what else am i supposed to do besides install?

0b:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-PCI Card (rev 01)
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Re: HowTo: Broadcom BCM43xx Wireless Card

Postby rggavdbnf » 2007-08-14 20:08

beissemj wrote:*Update: (3/03/07) This card is now well supported in newer Linux kernels, however you will still experience a slower connection rate.

Do I have this card?
Broadcom wireless cards are found in a lot of Dell, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Apple (using Airport Extreme) laptops. For a complete list of supported cards see here. (I have a Dell Latitude D600 with a Dell Wireless 1350 WLAN Mini-PCI Card, so I will use that as an example throughout the remainder of this Howto.)

To see if you have one of these cards do a:
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$ lspci


If you see something like:
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02:03.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02)

then you are in business. (If lspci returns: command not found you need to
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# apt-get pciutils

Preparing the kernel
If you are using a stock kernel then chances are you already have everything you need in your kernel. If you need to compile your own kernel or are unsure how to check if the following options are enabled, see Kernel compile and install on Debian systems.

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Networking -->
     <*>   Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack
     [*]     Enable full debugging output
     <M>     IEEE 802.11 WEP encryption (802.1x)
     <M>     IEEE 802.11i CCMP support
     <M>     IEEE 802.11i TKIP encryption
     <*>     Software MAC add-on to the IEEE 802.11 networking stack
     [*]       Enable full debugging output


Using the native linux driver (recommended)
As of kernel 2.6.17 support for Broadcom BCM43xx cards is available natively in linux (You should probably use a kernel >= 2.6.20 however). The addition of this driver stems from the addition of a Softmac layer in the wireless stack. Softmac is a software MAC (machine access control) layer that works with Linux's built-in 802.11 layer. This provides a great deal of WiFi protocol management features for chips that, unlike Intel Pro Wireless chip family, don't handle in hardware. (For more information see here.) The native linux driver, bcm43xx, works well and should probably be tried before Ndiswrapper. To try it out enable the following in addition to the options above:
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Device Drivers -> Network device support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> Wireless LAN drivers (non-hamradio)
     <M>   Broadcom BCM43xx wireless support
     [*]     Broadcom BCM43xx debugging (RECOMMENDED)
     BCM43xx data transfer mode (DMA + PIO)  --->   


You will still need firmware in order to get the driver to work, so proceed to the next step.

Getting and extracting the firmware
As machiner has pointed out getting the firmware is now trivial because bcm43xx-fwcutter will get and extract it for you when you
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# apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter
the only thing you need to do is move the firmware to the proper location as it get installed in the wrong location (I believe)
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# mkdir -p /lib/hotplug/firmware; cp /lib/firmware/*.fw /lib/hotplug/firmware


Congratulations. You are now done, enjoy your wireless.

Using Ndiswrapper
If you wish to use Ndiswrapper or an alternate driver file you must first find a windows driver and you will obviously still need bcm43xx-fwcutter.

Getting the windows driver
Windows driver files are ridulously large and contain a lot of file which we don't care about. The files we are interested in are bcmwl5.inf and bcmwl5.sys. There are a couple different ways to get these files.

1. If you have the driver's installed on a windows machine do a search for bcmwl5.inf and open it up in notepad. Look for the line near the top that says something like:
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DriverVer=10/20/2004, 3.70.17.0

if the driver version is any of the following (updated Dec. 2007):

3.20.23.0
3.30.15.0
3.30.15.1
3.40.20.0
3.40.25.3
3.40.65.0
3.40.69.0
3.40.73.0
3.40.100.0
3.50.21.10
3.60.7.0
3.60.7.5
3.70.12.0
3.70.17.0
3.90.16.0
3.90.41.1
3.94.41.1
3.94.41.2
3.100.35.1
3.100.46.0
3.100.64.0
3.100.64.50
3.100.65.1
3.104.64.50
3.104.64.52
3.120.27.0
3.140.16.0
4.10.40.0
4.10.40.1

copy both bcmwl5.inf and bcmwl5.sys over to your linux box and proceed to "Installing Ndiswrapper".

2. Read the documentation! You will find a list of URL's in /usr/share/doc/bcm43xx-fwcutter-00x/README.

3. Get the driver from your laptop vendor*. (Mine happens to be here.

*If you use method three you will need to extract the files from the .exe file.

Extracting the files from a .exe
Since we have an executible file, we need to extract its contents. Their will be a lot of different files in the archive, but remember we only care about bcmwl5.inf and bcmwl5.sys, so you can delete the rest if you like.
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# apt-get install cabextract
# cabextract driver_file.exe
Extracting cabinet: driver_file.exe
  extracting bcm43xx.cat
  extracting bcm43xxa.cat
  extracting bcmwl5.inf
  extracting bcmwl5.sys
  extracting bcmwl5a.inf
  extracting bcmwld2k.exe
  .....
All done, no errors.


Extracting the driver files
Now it's time to do something with that bcmwl5.sys file. This file contains the firmware that we need, but we need to extract it. If you haven't already install bcm43xx-fwcutter.
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# apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter
Then
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# bcm43xx-fwcutter path/to/bcmwl5.sys
 (don't worry if you get an error message like)
*****: Sorry, it's not possible to extract "bcm43xx_microcode11.fw".
*****: Extracting firmware from an old driver is bad. Choose a more recent one.
*****: Luckily bcm43xx driver doesn't include microcode11 uploads at the moment.
*****: But this can be added in the future...
# cp bcm43xx* /lib/firmware/


http://d600.elwiki.com


Everytime I try to install bcm43xx-fwcutter I get this error :

E: bcm43xx-fwcutter: subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1

Any help appreciated on what the problem is??
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