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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


View Poll Results: What is your favourite Linux distro?
Fedora 29 20.14%
Ubuntu 30 20.83%
Kubuntu 10 6.94%
Mandriva/PClinuxOS 20 13.89%
Gentoo 30 20.83%
Debian 22 15.28%
Linux SUX!!! 3 2.08%
Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-04-2007, 10:42 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2007
Distribution: Fedora 7
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Question Fedora 7 cannot detect my Broadcom WiFi card

I upgraded from Ubuntu 6.10 (I just HATE the brown theme) to Fedora 7. But I cannot get my Broadcom wireless card to work, I used a how-to in Ubuntu Forums to get my wifi working in ubuntu about 3 months ago when I thought Uglybuntu was the only easy distro, and the wifi worked just fine, then I re-formatted to Fedora, and I can find no how-to's to get my WiFi working, will a Ubuntu wireless howto work for Fedora? Can anyone find a how-to to get a Broadcom wireless card working in Fedora? I am not an advanced user so make sure it is easy to follow.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Laptop: HP Pavilion zd7000 (Technically zd7010CA)
RAM: 512mb
VRAM: 64mb
Video card: nVidia GeForce4 448 Go
Old 07-05-2007, 03:13 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
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- you can change the brown theme to just about anything, including whatever Fedora uses; that's a sucky reason to switch distribution, so I guess you had other cases as well
- maybe tell us the exact model/chipset of your wifi card, to ease this up a bit? is it by any chance bcm43xx card?
- maybe also tell us (even link?) what howto you used to get it working under Ubuntu; nobody can tell you "yeah it just works" if they can't see what you did - there are numerous howtos for every distribution
- all distributions are easy, it's just you thinking they're difficult
- Fedora isn't as easy as Ubuntu, if you ask me, but it sure is heavier also try out SuSE if you're into the Massive Distributions.

If it's a BCM43xx card, the native driver may or may not work. You can use ndiswrapper in this case. If the howto wasn't about installing Ubuntu-specific/only packages, but was more common (i.e. setting up ndiswrapper, installing the inf/sys files for it, ...) then it works for any distribution, provided that you have the software needed. RedHat/Fedora series does differ quite a bit from Debian based distributions (like Ubuntu), so it's also likely the howto doesn't work out just like that, but with little modifications it should do if I'm right. Of course it helped a bit to know which howto it was

It would also be a nice thing to know what you've tried so far on Fedora, what the actual problem is (card not found, networks not found, networks found but doesn't connect, ...).

EDIT: as to themes, you can download more from the internet or create your own. Ubuntu uses Gnome. I'm not sure what you use on Fedora, but if it's Gnome as well, it's the same case. KDE should be pretty easy to theme too. For Gnome you can just visit, download all the themes/wallpapers you like to your desktop, open the theme settings tool from your settings menu, click "Install new theme" and drag the downloaded package on the window. Release your mouse, and in a second you have the new theme there ready for use.

EDIT II: what the heck was that poll about? Listing a few of the most massive distributions that quite a many people just don't use? Not listing other grand old distributions like Slackware at all? Huh?

Last edited by b0uncer; 07-05-2007 at 03:17 AM.
Old 07-16-2007, 02:00 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: ubuntu
Posts: 29

Rep: Reputation: 15

forget ndiswrapper, get another ethernet card. 3com or intel are probably the best but lots of others work too. Ndiswrapper is just not reliable even if you get it working.

Old 07-16-2007, 03:02 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
Posts: 14

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I'll vote for LinuxMint Cassandra. It's Ubuntu-based, uses their repo's, and installs restricted items by default. I prefer it leaps & bounds over anything else I've used, ever.
Old 07-16-2007, 06:11 AM   #5
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Berea, Kentucky
Distribution: openSUSE
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About the poll

Yeah, there seem to be quite a few distros missing, like (open)SUSE. Called 'heavy' in the post above, I would call it 'rich' and easy to install and use.

I also use Debian (on iMac), DSL, CentOS, xubuntu and Solaris.

And jamie, the wireless thing can be worked out, no matter what distro, hang in there!

Old 07-16-2007, 07:40 AM   #6
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: opensuse
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Although I distro hop on a regular basis my preference is Ubuntu.

Last edited by LinuxUsr95; 07-16-2007 at 07:57 AM.
Old 07-16-2007, 07:46 AM   #7
Registered: Apr 2006
Location: holland
Distribution: Gentoo / debian / suse / mint
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It was a hard choice, but i chose Gentoo, personally i feel i can customize my pc to my needs the most with this distro.
Old 07-16-2007, 08:11 AM   #8
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Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
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Did you install ndiswrapper and wrap the windows driver?
If so, check if the ndiswrapper kernel module is loaded. Even if it is, if the bcm43xx driver is also loaded, then you will need to black list it because you have a conflict.

If you use ndiswrapper, make sure that you also installed the ndiswrapper kernel module. Visit the ndiswrapper wiki to find the best windows driver download. Make sure that you don't use a 32 bit driver on a 64 bit distro or vice-versa. This site's wiki has an ndiswrapper howto.

Also install the wireless-tools package.

If you use the bcm43xx driver instead, you will need to install the bcm43xx-fwcutter package. The program will cut out the firmware from a windows driver. The README file has urls to the drivers you need and instructions on using the program.

I don't know if bcm43xx will operate at 56 Mbs. If not, it will be fine for internet browsing but not a good choice if you share files on a wireless lan.

I don't know if bcm43xx will support WPA encryption. If it does, fine. If not, then it isn't a suitable driver and you will probably want to use ndiswrapper instead.
Old 07-16-2007, 10:31 AM   #9
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Nova Scotia
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 72

Rep: Reputation: 26
Slackware is conspicuous by its absence.
Old 07-16-2007, 11:14 AM   #10
Registered: Feb 2006
Posts: 40

Rep: Reputation: 15
I use opensuse, but please stick to the distro you are familiar with already. Better master one distro than jumping from one to another because there you get too brown, here you get 0.1 older driver, it does not make too much sense.
Changing habits it is a lot of wasted time, distros do not differ that much, you use KDE (yes!) or Gnome, or whatever after all.

have a nice day, bye
Old 07-16-2007, 11:40 AM   #11
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Perry, Iowa
Distribution: Mepis , Debian
Posts: 2,692

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Originally Posted by labradog
forget ndiswrapper, get another ethernet card. 3com or intel are probably the best but lots of others work too. Ndiswrapper is just not reliable even if you get it working.

blanket statements are a dangerous thing. i've used ndiswrapper without issue for years now.
Old 07-16-2007, 12:37 PM   #12
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Registered: Oct 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu - Feisty Fawn
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Mepis! (it's Ubuntu based, but much better. I hate Ubuntu)
With Mepis not an option, I go to the opposite end of the spectrum and vote Gentoo, my second-favorite distro.
Old 07-16-2007, 01:29 PM   #13
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:33 PM   #14
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Registered: Jul 2007
Posts: 19

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Originally Posted by b0uncer
- Fedora isn't as easy as Ubuntu, if you ask me, but it sure is heavier also try out SuSE if you're into the Massive Distributions.
How do you qualify this statement when through out your post you have no clue how Fedora does things?

Heaviness would be a function of what you install, and what you run, not the distro. If Ubuntu and Fedora are running the same version of things (e.g. Gnome), how could one be heavier than the other?


yum install ndiswrapper

How is that not easy?

To answer the post, use NDIS wrapper since Broadcom is notoriously anti-Linux where driver development is concerned (as far as I know) and you will likely not get this hardware working with a Linux driver.

There are many a site that discuss how to use ndiswrapper, and are not distro-specific.

Oh one more thing, Fedora supports Debian packages out of the box. So if you are more familiar with Ubuntu package management, you can use apt-get as an interim while you fiddle with yum.

Great site for those new to Fedora ->

Old 07-16-2007, 04:16 PM   #15
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2007
Posts: 26

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Mandriva/PCLinuxOS ???

What's up with putting Mandriva & PCLinuxOS together? Can't get any meaningful answers that way.

I use PCLinuxOS on most of my machines.


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