[xubuntu-users] Installing and configuring Broadcom Wireless Firmware (b43) driver with Xubuntu 14.04

Brian Masinick masinick at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 23 21:12:16 UTC 2014

I've used past releases of Xubuntu (and other family members as well) with good success in the past, and in fact, I also upgraded Kubuntu 12.04.4 LTS to Kubuntu 14.04 LTS recently and that went well, no issues, including with firmware.  For reasons I have not yet uncovered, Xubuntu 14.04, first, does not recognize that I need firmware installed to manage my Broadcom 4311 network card, and when I attempt to install the firmware-b43-installer and/or the b43-fwcutter tool to snag the firmware, these packages DO download the firmware, but the firmware still is not properly activated.

When I attempt to manually run a modprobe b43 from a privileged account, instead of activating the firmware, it freezes the terminal window.

Clearly there is at least one conflict somewhere that is preventing this from working properly; I have not yet located it and I would like assistance in finding the problem and the solution.  What particularly bothers me is that the b43 driver has always worked fine for me in the past.  What's the problem now, and where could the conflicts be hidden?  I appreciate your comments and suggestions for areas to check and investigate.

Relevant network details from a running system that DOES work correctly on the same hardware:

Network:   Card-1: Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connection driver: e100 v: 3.5.24-k2-NAPI port: 4000 bus-ID: 04:08.0
           IF: eth0 state: down 
           Card-2: Broadcom BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN driver: b43-pci-bridge bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: wlan0 state: up

Brian Masinick
masinick at yahoo dot com
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