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Old 11-16-2021, 10:51 PM   #1
MeCrumbly429
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Broadcom Wireless not working on mid-2012 MacBook Pro '13, running Arch Linux.


Recently, I've installed Arch (using the python installer, sue me) on a 2012 MacBook. I've been having trouble with the wireless card, a Broadcom BCM43142. It simply isn't working. I've checked lspci (wl is the only loaded module), I've tried many different driver packages (I've tried broadcom-wl, broadcom-wl-dkms, b43-firmware & b43legacy on the AUR), I've modprobed WL and made sure that nothing else is loaded (yes, ssb is not loaded) and nothing works. It's worked before, I've gotten it to work before by simply installing broadcom-wl, but now the driver simply doesn't initialize. What am I doing wrong?
 
Old 11-17-2021, 04:51 AM   #2
JuanKenobi
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You have to get the proprietary driver. Trust me it seems every machine I get has a Broadcom NIC. I was able to make the native Linux driver on the machine I have now work, but it was erratic and download speed would be slower than uploads. Got the driver from Broadcom and speed test needle jumped all the way to the other side. It's almost specifically anything B43xx. If you upgrade your kernel you'll have to compile it against your running kernel. Blacklist ssb, bcma, and brcmsmac.



https://github.com/antoineco/broadcom-wl

These guys have some patches for newer kernels - but I have the 6.3xx release of broadcom-sta and it has compiled and worked successfully without out patching from various kernels between 4.4.14 to 5.15.1.
I haven't looked at my build script in a couple of years because everything works, but you may want to try fine tuning your build configuration, so as to be specific as you can about your architecture and hardware.
And make sure you have the broadcom firmware in /lib/firmware. cfg80211 module needs to be loaded as well. Good Luck!

May the source be with you.

Last edited by JuanKenobi; 11-17-2021 at 05:20 AM.
 
Old 11-17-2021, 10:10 PM   #3
MeCrumbly429
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So, what exact package would that be? Is it in the github URL?
(Also, I made sure to rmmod ssb.)
 
Old 11-18-2021, 12:19 AM   #4
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeCrumbly429 View Post
So, what exact package would that be? Is it in the github URL?
At a quick glance, it would appear the github page does not mention distro packages, only manual compilation.
For Arch users, the ArchWiki is always the first stop:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php?search=macbook (don't know which exact model you have)
and most likely:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Broadcom_wireless
 
Old 11-18-2021, 02:29 AM   #5
JuanKenobi
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If Arch has a package for this driver, that should be your first option. I see it's not safe to assume anything anymore.
How do you make the decision to run a distro such as Arch, which lives on the 'bleeding edge' as they say, and not know
to get their packages? When I have trouble with some software that no one has written a SlackBuild for, Arch Wiki is one of the
first places I look. If you can tough it out you'll learn a lot keeping Arch box up and running. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.
 
Old 01-03-2022, 07:07 PM   #6
MeCrumbly429
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Well, I've used Arch Linux before on different boxes without a hitch.
(I hate to be rude) There, I asked what kind of source was in the URL, albeit terribly, TERRIBLY worded.
I'm very sorry about this whole thing. I'm still very much a klutz in the Linux world.
Driver/firmware/module installation is absolutely my least favorite part of Linux systems.
 
Old 01-18-2022, 08:01 PM   #7
Fearless Fred
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I use exclusively Arch based distros as my daily drivers on a 2010 macbook pro with a b43 generation wifi card, and initially had some wifi issues when I first swapped over.

As previously mentioned, you do need to have the correct firmware files, so the b43 or b43(legacy) firmware can be uploaded to the wifi card at boot up, and then Arch can run and use the card properly.

Get the Firmware from the AUR;

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/b43-firmware/

Those two firmware files should be placed in /lib/firmware/ and also in /lib64/firmware/



The only other issue I have had with some Arch based distros, was I had to manually connect to the network at each boot, and that can be fixed by setting up the wpa_supplicant file;

Setting up WiFi from the command line, launch a terminal window first, then type the following commands;

First, find the name of your wireless interface;

iwconfig

This will return the name of your WiFi adapter, in my case it was wlp3s0b1 so this will be used in the rest of the example where needed, replace this with the name of your own adapter.

Next, using the Network name (SSID of the router) and the WPA2 Password (the pre-shared password key from your router) set up the WPA Supplicant file to connect via WPA2 using the following syntax;

sudo wpa_passphrase NetworkSSID PreSharedKey /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Note that there is only a single space between items, this will create the file wpa_supplicant.conf and populated it with the network name, network password, and a generated Hex value password key that the system will actually use instead of the plain text password given.

Now, we will make the adapter use this new file;

sudo wpa_supplicant -B -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -i wlp3s0b1

The -B tells it to send this to the background, the -c the WPA2 config file to use, and the -i is for the adapter, mine was wlp3s0b1 replace this with your own found earlier.

Next, we just need to 'ask' for an IP address;

sudo dhcpcd

That's it for WiFi, you should now be connected to the internet, and it should auto connect each boot up.

N.B. if dhcpcd doesn't work, i.e. you get an error message or no IP issued, you may need to start it first;

sudo systemctl enable dhcpcd
sudo systemctl start dhcpcd



Hope this helps!

Last edited by Fearless Fred; 01-19-2022 at 07:15 PM.
 
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