broadcom wireless

"Terrell Prudé Jr." microman at
Mon May 5 00:10:12 UTC 2008

Ah.  My Broadcom junk is the 4306, not the 4310.  But I would still
expect it to work.

If it really proves to be a problem, then I'd suggest ditching that
Broadcom crap and getting a Ralink or Realtek unit.  Those work with
*everything*, even OpenBSD.  The Intel units are also known to work well
with GNU/Linux.

Do you GNU <>?
Microsoft Free since 2003 <>--the ultimate
antivirus protection!

Flavio Costa wrote:
> Check those links:
> I have a Dell Wireless 1390 aka BCM4310 and nothing seemed to make my
> card to work (neither bcm43xx nor the new b43) and yes I had the
> /lib/firmware populated with the correct files (b43-fwcutter
> instalation does this automagically).
> On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 6:46 PM, "Terrell Prudé Jr."
> <microman at <mailto:microman at>> wrote:
>     Have a look in the /lib/firmware directory and see if you see any
>     files in there.  If not, then that's your problem.
>     BTW, yep, it does work.  I've got it working on my Dell Latitude
>     D600, which comes with that accursed Broadcom crap.  I've also got
>     it working on my Latitude D610 that runs Slackware.  The driver
>     itself has been included in Linux ever since v2.6.17.  However,
>     you also need something called the firmware, which is loaded by
>     the driver up into the wireless card's own little embedded
>     memory.  A little explanation of what's really going on here is in
>     order.
>     See, these wireless NICs are their own little tiny computers, with
>     their own little CPUs, DRAMs, and operating systems.  That little
>     operating system is what tells the wireless NIC how to be a
>     wireless NIC.  Think of it as the wireless NIC's own little BIOS. 
>     Traditionally, that little embedded operating system was included
>     on a PROM (and its successors EPROM and EEPROM) chip.  However, to
>     save some pennies here and there, some manufacturers have decided
>     to do away with the EEPROM and replace it with DRAM.
>     But wait, you say!  DRAM gets wiped after every power cycle! 
>     Well, you're right.  Since that's so, then how do we get that
>     little embedded operating system back into the wireless NIC so
>     that it can actually work?
>     The answer is something called a "firmware image."  This is a file
>     that contains the entirety of what used to be on that EEPROM. 
>     When you install a device driver on, say, MS Windows, that device
>     driver is more than just a device driver.  It also contains these
>     "firmware images."  What it does is store them somewhere on your
>     hard disk.  Then, at boot-time, the driver comes up, looks for the
>     firmware image, and loads it up into the wireless NIC's DRAM. 
>     Effectively, you've replaced the EEPROM with some space on your
>     hard disk.
>     It works the same way on GNU/Linux.  The problem isn't technical;
>     it's legal.  Broadcom, for whatever asinine reason (Microsoft
>     payments/threats, perhaps?), doesn't seem to want their firmware
>     distributed with FOSS platforms.  So, we have to install them
>     ourselves. usually from a Windows driver package.  We've got to
>     extract the firmwares from the driver package and then put them in
>     the right place.  That "right place" on GNU/Linux systems is
>     /lib/firmware.
>     The bc43xx-fwcutter package is what does this extraction.  After
>     you extract the firmwares, then you've got to copy them all over
>     to the /lib/firmware directory.  You will need to have root powers
>     ("sudo -i", for example) to do that.  You also will need a Windows
>     driver package from which to extract these firmwares.
>     --TP
>     _______________________________
>     Do you GNU <>?
>     Microsoft Free since 2003 <>--the
>     ultimate antivirus protection!
>     Curtis Vaughan wrote:
>>     I have been struggling 2 days now to get a broadcome wireless card to 
>>     work on an HP DV6000 under Ubuntu 8.04. I've found tons of pages with 
>>     people getting it to work. But everything I've tried doesn't work. The 
>>     interesting thing is I went to the Ubuntu Help Wifi Docs and they say 
>>     that the driver is included in 8.04 and that a manual config is not 
>>     required. That it is all controlled through the nm-applet. But I have not 
>>     been able to get the card up at all. 
>>     Any ideas?
>>     Thanks.
>>     Curtis
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> Flávio Coutinho da Costa 
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