Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Postby e-venik » 2020-04-18 18:31

Hi! I am trying to install Debian 10 on my MacBook Air 6,1. It has Broadcom BCM4360 [14e4:43a0] as a wireless adapter. If there any way to get it working during the installation? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Postby kedaha » 2020-04-18 21:23

Hi,
From the old wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Apple/MacBookAir/6-1 it looks like you will need to download broadcom-sta-dkms and load the driver wl and take a look at the Debian manual about Loading Missing Firmware in Buster.
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Re: Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Postby stevepusser » 2020-04-18 23:08

It's more difficult than that, since you also need compilers and the kernel headers installed to build the actual driver, since the dkms package only contains the source.

One workaround that's worked in the past is to use module-assistant and broadcom-sta-source to build the actual driver deb on another machine that's running the same exact kernel--then the debs can be installed on the Mac along with broadcom-sta-common to get the wi-fi up and running.

If you don't have access to a Debian instance on another machine or in a virtual machine, perhaps someone running vanilla Debian would be kind enough to build the deb for you.

As sysadmin:

Code: Select all
apt install broadcom-sta-source module-assistant

m-a prepare

m-a build broadcom-sta


The deb will then be found in /usr/src.

It might be better to use a Debian derivative that already has the "wl" driver in the ISO, if you're just starting to use Linux.
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Re: Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Postby e-venik » 2020-04-19 11:47

kedaha, thanks! stevepusser, very appreciated!

Is the proprietary broadcom-sta driver the only way for now? Is there an alternative free software driver (w/ non-free firmware) for this adapter?
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Re: Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Postby kedaha » 2020-04-19 12:46

e-venik wrote:Is the proprietary broadcom-sta driver the only way for now? Is there an alternative free software driver (w/ non-free firmware) for this adapter?

Yes; there is no native linux driver for this adapter.
I suppose you are able to do the installation using a wired connection?
The alternative would be to look for an usb micro wireless adapter which worked with a native linux driver but often, although there is a penguin to show they work with linux, turn out to require proprietary firmware too, so you'd need to research which to get. They are the least obtrusive and are inexpensive.
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Re: Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Postby e-venik » 2020-04-19 14:57

kedaha wrote:I suppose you are able to do the installation using a wired connection?

I have the USB Ethernet adapter, but the only wired connection I can use here is PPPoE. Fortunately the Installation manual says that it's probably be working with ppp-udeb.

Thanks a lot again!
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Re: Installing on MacBook Air 6,1 via Wi-Fi

Postby kedaha » 2020-04-19 20:29

e-venik wrote:I have the USB Ethernet adapter, but the only wired connection I can use here is PPPoE. Fortunately the Installation manual says that it's probably be working with ppp-udeb.

pph-udeb is available during installation if you select for example Expert Graphical Install.
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