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Old 02-03-2008, 02:22 AM   #1
firekid1239
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Broadcom Bcm43xx Driver In Fedora 8


Hey folks.. just trying to figure out how to do my wifi with Fedora 8....

I have a Compaq notebook with a Broadcom bcm43xx integrated wireless lan... and when I load Fedora i turn the switch on in the front of the notebook to turn on the wireless and it doesnt activate. There is 2 lights.. an orange one when the switch is off.. and the light usually turns blue when it is turned on (in windows that is...)

Well in fedora the lights doesnt even turn blue... nor dose anything register in the OS. When i go to my network devices my Lan and wireless lan show up but I am unable to activate the wireless (ethernet works fine)

Any suggestion or possibly a fix...

most ppl say to use ndiswrapper to install the windows drivers... but will that fix the problem with my wifi device not even turing on??

Thanx Much... Firekid-CT-US
 
Old 02-03-2008, 08:58 AM   #2
Lenard
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Yes, but you need to blacklist a couple of drivers first. Add to the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file something like;

# wireless
blacklist b43
blacklist ssb

Also see:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...cm4318-615517/
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...laptop-616323/
 
Old 02-03-2008, 09:38 AM   #3
wraithe
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ndiswrapper or madwifi(there may be another app) is used for broadcomm wireless chips as there is no other solution for some of them...
ndiswrapper works well...but on a lot of laptops you cant turn the chip on and off like when you use windows(it wont wake up)...
Best to turn on before OS boots, and then it works when the OS is up...if yoyu turn it off, it may not work again until reboot...Mind you once you get it going, you could try that!...
 
Old 02-03-2008, 11:58 AM   #4
elliott678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithe View Post
madwifi(there may be another app) is used for broadcomm wireless chips
Madwifi is for Atheros chipsets only, not Broadcom.
 
Old 02-03-2008, 12:18 PM   #5
b0uncer
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Well, Broadcom43xx is a series that does have native Linux drivers (bcm43xx and the newer one, b43, though I haven't used it - I'm fine with bcm43xx). It's just that those drivers don't have everything it takes to use the device, and Broadcom didn't provide Linux drivers nor instructions to make them. Therefore the users are left with two options, from which I prefer the first (tried second, it works, but it's easier with the first one):

1) stick to the native driver that is already in the kernel, and get the missing parts for it by "chopping" some firmware files out of the Windows drivers using bcm43xx-fwcutter (for bcm43xx) or b43-fwcutter (for b43, which Fedora uses). After the firmware is "cutted" and placed into /lib/firmware/(kernel_version/ in some distributions), the native driver works and all is good.

2) abandon the native driver completely, blacklist it to prevent it from loading during boot and interfering with ndiswrapper, which is used to wrap the Windows drivers (a .inf and a .sys file are needed from the Windows drivers) and use them. This works, but needs blacklisting of the native driver, and overall is just a little bit messy.

So in any case you need a little piece of the Windows drivers, thanks to Broadcom not caring about Linux users. The drivers ought to be on a cd-rom or in the internet; if you search for b43-fwcutter (maybe separate words, to get results?) on the web, you should find what you need to download, and precice instructions on how to do the job (it is easy, don't be afraid - basically one command to cut, anotherone to copy). Use your package manager to install the fwcutter package if it is not installed, obtain the needed file which you'll cut, and follow the instructions. Once it's done, you can just as well reboot and see if it just works.

If you use ndiswrapper, first use rmmod to remove b43 module from kernel (bcm43xx for some distributions). Then blacklist it: you need to alter a blacklist file of module config, something like /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist or close to that, and add a line there that reads "blacklist b43". Then install ndiswrapper and ndiswrapper-utils (Debian has these two packages; not sure if Fedora has them in one or two rpms, but use your package manager and it's done). Then obtain the Windows drivers and extract in some way the needed .inf and .sys files. Then, as root, run "ndiswrapper -i inffilename.inf" and after that "ndiswrapper -l", which should say that driver is loaded and hardware present. If either line is missing, you have wrong drivers or need a reboot. When it's done, reboot and with "lsmod" make sure ndiswrapper is loaded, b43 is not. Your device should now work.

There are numerous howtos and instructions on the web that tell you step by step how you use either method, ndiswrapper or b43-fwcutter. Note that you can configure both of them, but you may use only one of them at a time - if both drivers (b43 and ndiswrapper) are loaded, they interfere and the wireless doesn't work. So choose which one to use -- I would strongly recommend b43 (bcm43xx) + fwcutter -- and stick to that. This link, among the horde of others, describes what to do: it's not for Fedora, but the methods are more or less distribution-independent after you have installed b43(/bcm43xx)-fwcutter or ndiswrapper:

wiki.sabayonlinux.org/index.php?title=HOWTO:_Using_BCM43xx_cards_using_bcm43xx_or_ndiswrapper_with_Sabayon

First you need to decide which way to go.
Second you need to install b43-fwcutter (native driver way) or ndiswrapper (+utils; ndiswrapper way).
Third you need to obtain the Windows driver/firmware part.
Fourth you need to cut the firmware (native driver way) or install the Windows drivers trough ndiswrapper (ndiswrapper way)
Fifth you need to reboot - and if you decide to use ndiswrapper, blacklist b43 module.

It sounds difficult, but it is not once you get it. Basically you just want to get a driver loaded, and only one driver. After that is done, you should reboot to make sure everything is set fine, and run, as root:
Code:
iwlist eth1 scan
If it says no such device, try wlan0 instead of eth1 (eth0 would be your wired card). If your driver installed all right, you see scan results - access points and their information. If your driver install didn't work out well, you get a message saying that interface does not support scanning. In that case get back to the driver installation procedure and see what went wrong: in ndiswrapper's case run "ndiswrapper -l" and make sure it says hardware is present and driver is loaded. In the native driver's case make sure the firmware files got copied to /lib/firmware/ or /lib/firmware/kernel_version_here depending on your distribution's directory structure.

Once the scan works, move on to your favourite wireless network connection program; wpa_supplicant on command-line or NetworkManager on Gnome desktop or WirelessAssistant on KDE desktop. Establish a connection, enjoy a life.
 
Old 02-03-2008, 05:10 PM   #6
frndrfoe
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This may help you since it applies to redhat/centos
bcm4306 help
 
Old 02-04-2008, 02:08 AM   #7
firekid1239
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Well maybe I should have explained MYself better also... I am an MCP and a+ tech... but I know absolutely nothing about linux or programming at all. ( I know everyone says to not compare linux to windows but i cant help it... lol sry) I used fedora soley because a freind of mine reccomended it and I don't know any better anyways. When everyone start telling me the codes and stuff to use ndsiwrapper and fwcutter... it gets a littel confusing. Ive searched for a while but has been unable to find something easy enough to interpret... does anyone know a resource where i can get a True STEP by STEP instruction on how to do this... or does anyone feel in a good enough mood to explain it me? I would appreciate it more than you could imagine... I don't even know where to begin.. I know in fedora you use the terminal (similar to command prompt in windows)... but some of the commands i'm being told to use dont work or i get one erroe or another...

Also... I DO NOT have a wired lan available to use while I'm in linux... so therefore I have no internet access while in in fedora... i have to log into windows to use internet and such... just keep that in mind when you explain it... Thx Much!

Firekid, CT, US
 
Old 02-04-2008, 02:27 AM   #8
BittaBrotha
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b0uncer mention these steps to try. It reads pretty straight foward to me. Since you don't have a wired connection to the net, you may need to put the files on a thumb drive, cdrom or floppy to copy into Fedora.

1) stick to the native driver that is already in the kernel, and get the missing parts for it by "chopping" some firmware files out of the Windows drivers using bcm43xx-fwcutter (for bcm43xx) or b43-fwcutter (for b43, which Fedora uses). After the firmware is "cutted" and placed into /lib/firmware/(kernel_version/ in some distributions), the native driver works and all is good.

The drivers ought to be on a cd-rom or in the internet; if you search for b43-fwcutter (maybe separate words, to get results?) on the web, you should find what you need to download, and precice instructions on how to do the job (it is easy, don't be afraid - basically one command to cut, anotherone to copy). Use your package manager to install the fwcutter package if it is not installed, obtain the needed file which you'll cut, and follow the instructions. Once it's done, you can just as well reboot and see if it just works.

Give it a shot.
 
Old 02-04-2008, 04:40 AM   #9
firekid1239
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Sorry Bittbrother... Im that much of a newbie...

I downloaded b43-fwcutter... how do I even install it into linux.. there doesnt seem to be an executable file(if thats what linux even uses). Isn't it command based to install something?
 
Old 02-06-2008, 02:21 PM   #10
tnrooster
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F8 comes with fwcutter.

Open up terminal -Top of screen, hit "Applications" then the drop down menu will show options, hit System Tools. At the bottom should be Terminal. Open it up. Type- lspci - then the output should show you the broadcom chipset somewhere through there. Take note of the version and rev numbers.

Go to linuxwireless.org and get all the firmware shown for yours.

There is directions on linuxwireless.org on how to extract the firmware and where to put it.


Put it in a folder you can access from linux or on a CD.



Login to Fedora as root. Draq the files you just downloaded, apsta.o /mimo and such into say, Documents (double click on root on desktop, you'll see Documents folder).

Open up terminal. Now go into the the Document folder via "cd" . Thats- cd /root/Documents - then hit enter. Use - dir - to make sure the files are there.

Then type- b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta_mimo.o - and hit enter. Then do the the same for the other version of firmware-legacy. Be sure to use the exact syntax of the other file, be it wl_apsta or whatever.

Reboot and see if you got wireless. Mine has never connected with that method but thats how they say it should. I can see the routers no problem just never connect.
 
Old 02-07-2008, 01:29 AM   #11
firekid1239
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Hey Thx Tnrooster... thats all i need is someone to explain it liek that and I'm all set. I mean... I am an MCP and a+ tech... and I know windows inside and out including dos... but linux is almost the total opposite. I know some of the commands are the same but theres a whole new set that i need to learn... and it's a royal pain in the balls if u know what I mean. lol.
 
  


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