Configuring the b43 driver for Broadcom based wireless controllers in Fedora 10

Author(s)

Bill Giannikos

Introduction

This guide will help you configure the b43 and b43legacy driver for Broadcom based wireless controllers on Fedora 10.

Notes

The b43 and b43legacy drivers are still in a very early stage. It is possible that despite correctly configuring this driver that wireless will still not work for you. In this case you may like to consider using NDISwrapper. Check our guides for more details on NDISwrapper.

Prerequisites

You should run a full update for your installation of Fedora to ensure you have all the latest packages installed.

Configuring the b43 driver

Fedora 10 includes the b43 and b43legacy driver in the kernel. All you need to do is install the firmware required.

Determining firmware and driver to use

First we will need to work out which Broadcom controller we are using and which firmware to get.

Open up a terminal window and type in “lspci”. Look for a line which has 'Network controller' in it. You will likely have two of these lines, one is your wireless controller while the other is your wired controller. Make a note on which Broadcom controller you are using.

You will need to use the b43legacy driver and version 3 firmware for the 4301 and 4303 cards and for 4306 and 4309 cards with a MAC core revision of 4 or lower. All other cards use the version 4 firmware and therefore the b43 driver. If you can not determine which type of Broadcom card you have you can safely install both.

Using the b43legacy driver

If you need to use the b43legacy driver follow these steps to install the required firmware.

1. Download this file

2. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

3. Switch to the root user by entering the command “su -” (without the quotes) and typing in your root password

4. We now need to use the b43-fwcutter tool. A standard Fedora installation already has this tool installed however if you don't have it type in the following:

yum install b43-fwcutter

5. Now run the following:

b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware /path/to/wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o

Replace the “path/to” section with the path to the file you downloaded.

6. Now type in following following:

echo "modprobe b43legacy" >> /etc/rc.modules"
chmod 755 /etc/rc.modules"

7. Reboot your system and hopefully you will have functioning wireless.

Using the b43 driver

If you need to use the b43 driver follow these steps to install the required firmware.

1. Download this file

2. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

3. Switch to the root user by entering the command “su -” (without the quotes) and typing in your root password

4. Extract the contents of the file you downloaded by typing the following:

tar -xjvf /path/to/broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0.tar.bz2

Replace the “path/to” section with the path to the file you downloaded.

5. We now need to use the b43-fwcutter tool. A standard Fedora installation already has this tool installed however if you don't have it type in the following:

yum install b43-fwcutter

6. Now run the following:

b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0/kmod/wl_apsta.o

7. Now type in following following:

echo "modprobe b43" >> /etc/rc.modules"
chmod 755 /etc/rc.modules"

8. Reboot your system and hopefully you will have functioning wireless.


Discussion

Carlos, 2009/07/05 05:30

awesome my inspiron 1100 rides again, thank you sir.

Francis Koh, 2009/04/23 11:55

I managed to get my wireless connection working with the above instructions. And, it is working fine for me. I am using Fedora 10 on a Lenovo laptop. Thanks.

Bill Conner, 2009/02/03 16:07


I went through all this with Fedora 9 and got it working but it's a huge pain and still doesn't work consistently. Should wpa_supplicant be running (it always starts even after chkconfig wpa_supplicant off). All I diid was upgrade to to Fedora 10 and now it's not working (again).

Is this ever going to get fixed?

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configuring_the_b43_driver_for_broadcom_based_wireless_controllers_in_fedora_10.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/12 04:02 by billg
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