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Old 09-06-2006, 05:57 PM   #1
jmbrink26
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Getting Broadcom 43xx chipset driver to work in Slack 10.2


Hi,

I'm using Slack 10.2, on the 2.4.31 kernel.

I have a Linksys WPC54G IEEE 802.11b/g WLAN PC Card. I am trying to get Linux to detect the WLAN card, so I can connect to the WiFi networks around me.

I know the 2.6.17 kernel supports the Broadcom 43xx chipset. I have tried compiling the kernel more times that I can count, and can never get the terminal to display properly after boot. X will start fine, but it's just weird. That's a whole other thing though.

Anyway, so I wanted to know what would be the best way to get this WLAN card working.

First, the site: http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/ is supposed to have the driver extracted from the Linksys WRT54G router, which was found to have been based on Linux so they had to release the source code.

Well, I have tried to find a way to obtain the driver by itself, and it's like running in to walls.

So, I've also tried the option of NDISWRAPPER. Problem is, I install the windows *.inf file to install it, and it never detects the wireless extension, and therefore it never gets detected when you run /sbin/iwconfig.

Theres another software called driverloader that I could use, but it's not built for Slackware, and the generic package was built in the RPM package format. Slack has most of the RPM package manager, and the rpm -i string will work w/ the package name, but it wants dependancies resolved, and since I'm not using Yum or Yast, that's kind of a pain to resolve those dependancies.

Is there some relatively simple way to get the Broadcomm 43xx chipset to work in Slack?

If anyone has any thoughts, it'd be highly appreciated.

Thanks,

Justin
 
Old 09-06-2006, 06:03 PM   #2
raska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmbrink26
...So, I've also tried the option of NDISWRAPPER. Problem is, I install the windows *.inf file to install it, and it never detects the wireless extension, and therefore it never gets detected when you run /sbin/iwconfig....
ndiswrapper works for me (on a broadcom too)
did you type
Code:
modprobe ndiswrapper
after installing the .inf driver?
 
Old 09-07-2006, 07:28 AM   #3
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Well, I have tried to find a way to obtain the driver by itself, and it's like running in to walls.
Once the driver moved into the kernel, the bcm43xx stopped distributing the code independent from the kernel. There are no longer any stand-alone packages of the driver.
Quote:
I have tried compiling the kernel more times that I can count, and can never get the terminal to display properly after boot.
I'm going to guess that you don't have the framebuffer configured correctly. In the Graphics section, make sure you have Support for frame buffer devices enabled and teh VESA VGA enabled. Then in Graphics Support > Console display driver support make sure you have both Video mode selection support and Frame buffer console support enabled.
 
Old 09-07-2006, 09:29 AM   #4
jmbrink26
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Hey all,

In regards to NDISWRAPPER, I initially uninstalled it, and then I tried to reinstall the specific TGZ package for the 2.4.31 kernel. Problem is, it kept saying the package was corrupt.

Then, I downnload the tar.gz source archive and extract it, and then try:

make
make install

It gives all kind of errors. One error says "110- Cannot change ownership" The other says "No communication headers" or something like that.

In regards to building the kernel, I know it's some sort of frame-buffer issue.

And, I have enabled VGA support, VESA VGA support, Virtual Terminal support, Compiled in Fonts, driver support for ATI Rage 128, Mach64, and Radeon, plus the Intel 440BX/LX chipset (which is the IC's on my MB).

It's freakin weird.... I don't know why. The weird part is, when the terminal shell loads after the initial kernel boot, it will start having that frame buffer issue.

But, I can type in my credentials, then startx, and the desktop loads. Then I can work in KDE (or whatever desktop environment I set in xwmconfig) just fine.

Then, once I'm in, it sort of detects the card. For one, once I'm in the desktop, the card is only detected as a 802.11b card. That's not so bad as the fact as when you scan for SSID's in the range with kwifimanager, it doesn't really do anything.

Just a weird ol' issue altogether.

Any ideas? Thanks, Justin
 
Old 09-07-2006, 10:35 AM   #5
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Then, once I'm in, it sort of detects the card. For one, once I'm in the desktop, the card is only detected as a 802.11b card.
That could be a result of bcm43xx only supporting 11b speeds at this point.

As far as ndiswrapper, if you are downloading the latest version, it probably will give you trouble on a Slackware 10.2 machine. Ndiswrapper now requires a newer gcc than is in Slackware 10.2 and there may be other problems as well. I use 1.10 and it works fine on 10.2. I would also avoid precompiled packages. My experience with ndiswrapper is that it works best when you compile it yourself.

For the framebuffer, I would pare back what you are doing. Just go vanilla VESA and leave out the ATI and Intel stuff. You also might leave out the compiled-in fonts.
 
Old 09-07-2006, 11:20 AM   #6
BCarey
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Try the slackware packages for 2.6.17.

I installed the slackware tgz version of 2.6.17 (now in extra/) on my 10.2 system and it worked fine, as did the bcm43xx driver (don't forget to extract the firmware).

Quote:
That's not so bad as the fact as when you scan for SSID's in the range with kwifimanager, it doesn't really do anything.
This is a kwifimanager problem, not a wireless problem. Use iwconfig and ifconfig to test how well it is working. I never could get kwifimanager to work properly, although command line worked fine for all wireless functions. If you don't need WPA and really want a GUI, there is a program called wlassistant which does seem to work well.

Brian
 
Old 09-11-2006, 10:00 AM   #7
Interdictor
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I had problems installing ndiswrapper on a Slackware 10.2 installation using the 2.4.31 kernel.

I downloaded & updated the gcc packages to 3.4 (i think), but even then ndiswrapper wouldn't compile.

I ended up downloading a preconfigured package from linuxpackages and installing that & was able to get ndiswrapper installed & a Broadcom 4306 wireless configured without any problems.

I didn't get chance to finish configuring it last night, I've added

modprobe ndiswrapper
dhcpcd wlan0

to my /etc/rc.d/rc.local file but I still have to do the dhcpcd again once I log in. At least almost there.
 
Old 09-11-2006, 02:20 PM   #8
Hangdog42
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Oh yeah, one more important point about bcm43xx under Slackware 10.2....bcm43xx requires a newer version of udev than is in 10.2. If you try to use the stock 10.2 install, you'll see errors about firmware files failing to load. If you use the udev package from -current, the problem is solved so this should cease to be a problem when Slackware 11 is released.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 05:49 AM   #9
DonaldUK
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Justin,

Have you managed to get this to work? I am trying to get wireless to work on 10.2 with the 2.4.31 kernel. I have installed ndsiwrapper 1.14 from linuxpackages, and the most up to date udev from current. I go through all the ndiswrapper steps and then type iwconfig only to get

lo no wireless extensions

eth0 no wireless extensions

I got wireless working with Kubuntu but my Slackware skills aren't quite up to working out what to do next!

Donald
 
Old 09-18-2006, 09:58 AM   #10
Chromezero
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Quote:
lo no wireless extensions

eth0 no wireless extensions
I had this problem as well. After a TON of trial and error, I discovered the problem. There's about a dozen or so different versions of the bcm43xx drivers floating around out there on the net. Of the 5 or 6 that I have downloaded, only one of them seems to work. I should also mention that the one driver that does work, actually gives me an error when running "ndiswrapper -i". It's something along the lines of "forcing parameters" but after that, it seems to work just fine.

Last edited by Chromezero; 09-18-2006 at 10:00 AM.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 10:12 AM   #11
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromezero
I had this problem as well. After a TON of trial and error, I discovered the problem. There's about a dozen or so different versions of the bcm43xx drivers floating around out there on the net. Of the 5 or 6 that I have downloaded, only one of them seems to work.
Huh? There is only one bcm43xx driver I'm aware of and it is in the kernel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromezero
I should also mention that the one driver that does work, actually gives me an error when running "ndiswrapper -i". It's something along the lines of "forcing parameters" but after that, it seems to work just fine.
Are you confusing the Windows drivers running under ndiswrapper (yes, there are a LOT of those) with bcm43xx, which is a native Linux driver?

@DonaldUK
Instead of using one of the packages from linuxpackages, I would compile ndiswrapper from source. Ndiswrapper is a kernel module, so it has to be compiled against the exact kernel version you're running. If that package wasn't compiled against 2.4.31 it likely isn't going to work. Ndiswrapper is an insanely easy compile if you have the proper kernel source code package installed.
 
Old 09-18-2006, 11:31 AM   #12
Chromezero
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@Hangdog42
Yes I'm sorry, I was referring to Windows drivers, used with ndiswrapper. However, I haven't had any luck at all with the bcm43xx driver included in the 2.6 kernel.

To further clearify, I'm using a Slack 10.2 install, with the standard 2.4 kernel. Ndiswrapper does work just fine, although setting up wpa or any form of wireless security does tend to cause some headaches.
 
Old 09-19-2006, 04:29 AM   #13
DonaldUK
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I got it to work!

I ran removepkg ndiswrapper...., then reinstalled it (the 1.14 version). Running the ndiswrapper commands then worked. Eventually, having no luck running iwconfig commands, I had a look in /etc/rc.d and edited the /etc/rc.d/rcinet1.conf file to enable wlan0 and the DHCP, ssid and key settings. Rebooted and was connected. Feeling very happy.

Donald
 
Old 09-19-2006, 09:29 AM   #14
DonaldUK
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Ah, but I have found that it takes two boots to make it connect. Booting the laptop there is no connection and I then reboot, and the connection works. This happens every time.

Can anyone think what might be causing this and how I put it right?

Donald
 
Old 09-19-2006, 01:55 PM   #15
Hangdog42
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After the first boot, check lsmod and make sure that ndiswrapper has loaded. If it hasn't, that is the problem. If it has, then check to see if the card is configured. If not, can it be configured? If it is, is there an IP address?

Basically you need to work through the steps of bringing up the card to see what isn't running on the first boot.
 
  


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