[Solved] Debian 10 LXDE i386, BCM4318 wifi doesn't work

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

[Solved] Debian 10 LXDE i386, BCM4318 wifi doesn't work

Postby bicyclesonthemoon » 2020-12-20 19:25

Hello.

I installed Debian 10, LXDE, i386 on computer DELL latitude d610.
WIFI is BCM4318

Previously I had on the same computer Debian 7 Wheezy installed in 2016 if I remember correctly.
I remember that at that time I had a lot of trouble to make the wifi work but I don't remember any more how I achieved this.

On beginning of installation There was message that not-free firmware missing.
After installation wifi doesn't work.

I read the instruction
https://wiki.debian.org/bcm43xx#b43-b43legacy
I installed firmware-b43-installer. (I had to temporarily enable contrib, non-free)
I see that there are files created in /lib/firmware/b43. Good.

Even after reboot, wifi still doesn't work.
I checked in BIOS setup if wifi is enabled. It is.
I checked, it appears in lspci, lsmod:
Code: Select all
b@balt2:~$ lspci | grep 43
03:03.0 Network controller: Broadcom Limited BCM4318 [AirForce 54g] 802.11a/b/g PCI Express Transceiver (rev 02)
b@balt2:~$ lsmod | grep 43
nls_cp437              16384  2
b43                   385024  0
bcma                   45056  1 b43
mac80211              569344  1 b43
cfg80211              503808  2 b43,mac80211
rng_core               16384  1 b43
zstd_compress         143360  1 btrfs
ssb                    61440  1 b43
mmc_core              122880  2 b43,ssb

In ifconfig, iwconfig:
Code: Select all
b@balt2:~$ sudo ifconfig -a
enp2s0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
        inet 192.168.1.136  netmask 255.255.255.0  broadcast 192.168.1.255
        inet6 fe80::214:22ff:fec3:7bbe  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        ether 00:14:22:c3:7b:be  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 2826  bytes 1856882 (1.7 MiB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 2102  bytes 266470 (260.2 KiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0
        device interrupt 16 

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536
        inet 127.0.0.1  netmask 255.0.0.0
        inet6 ::1  prefixlen 128  scopeid 0x10<host>
        loop  txqueuelen 1000  (Local Loopback)
        RX packets 10  bytes 558 (558.0 B)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 10  bytes 558 (558.0 B)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

wlan0: flags=4098<BROADCAST,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
        ether 00:14:a5:45:d1:01  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

b@balt2:~$ sudo iwconfig
wlan0     IEEE 802.11  ESSID:off/any 
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
         
enp2s0    no wireless extensions.

lo        no wireless extensions.


Ok, so the interface exists and is seen by system, apparently.
I try the up
Code: Select all
b@balt2:~$ sudo ifup wlan0
ifup: unknown interface wlan0
b@balt2:~$ sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
ifup doesn't work. ifconfig does. I don't know why. After this the wifi LED turns on.

I don't want to do this manually. I want this to happen automatically.

So I add "auto wlan0" to /etc/network/interfaces and .d/setup:
Code: Select all
b@balt2:~$ cat /etc/network/interfaces
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

source /etc/network/interfaces.d/*

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
allow-hotplug enp2s0
iface enp2s0 inet dhcp

#wifi on after the
auto wlan0

b@balt2:~$ cat /etc/network/interfaces.d/setup
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

auto wlan0


This doesn't help.
Still, only "ifconfig wlan0 up" can turn on.

Second problem: Even after "ifconfig wlan0 up" wifi still doesn't work.
The only visible change is that the wifi LED turns on.
But if i click the "Wicd Network Manager" I still see "No wireless network found."

I don't know what to do next.
I did read some threads that appeared after search for bcm4318 on this forum but there was not a solution for me.

I would want the wifi to work correctly.

I have a full copy of the partition of old system Debian 7 wheezy from before today's installation, on a USB harddisk.
I should be able to boot from it if needed. (but usb is slower than normal disk, the copying was happenning at about 4MB/s)
So if I need to obtain some information from the old working setup, I still should have the possibility.
Only that I do not know what to do.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Last edited by bicyclesonthemoon on 2020-12-20 19:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Debian 10 LXDE i386, BCM4318 wifi doesn't work; wlan0 ex

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-12-20 19:29

https://wiki.debian.org/WiFi/HowToUse#W ... d_WPA2-PSK

EDIT: I think wicd might ignore the interface if it's listed in /etc/network/interfaces so if you want to use that instead of ifupdown then just remove your erroneous configuration attempt from that file.
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Re: Debian 10 LXDE i386, BCM4318 wifi doesn't work; wlan0 ex

Postby bicyclesonthemoon » 2020-12-20 19:53

I did as advised and removed my /etc/network/interfaces edits.

This did not help.

But one more thing did:

in wicd, I click "preferences", "general settings", "network interfaces".
There I had:
Wireless interface:
Wired interface: enp2s0

I added "wlan0" as wireless interface and that was the one last thing needed to make it work.

i don't know why I did not check this before...
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