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Old 07-13-2006, 02:38 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Runcorn, England
Distribution: Ubuntu 6.06 & 6.1, Mandriva 2007, Knoppix
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Kernel 2.4/Test26/Broadcom 43xx

I'm in the middle of installing Slackware 10.2 on a PII 400 Toshiba laptop which has a Belkin 7010 wireless network card.

I'm using this laptop as a test to make sure I can get everything running before I install it on my primary Dell 8100 laptop.

Its purely as a learning experience, so if something goes wrong, I can wipe and start again if needed.

Originally, I did a partial install using the 2.4 kernal, but didn't like the X interface that I'd selected so I wiped and reinstalled using the Test26 kernal but had problems with the mouse, nothing I did would get it working and I wiped it again and started from scratch using the standard 2.4 kernel.

After I'd done that, I found reference in the forum to having to install additional modules from CD 2. So I could have saved myself one of the reinstalls.

Anyway the question I've got is about the Belkin/Broadcom wireless card.

I've seen the instructions on how to download and use ndiswrapper to be able to set the wireless card up and I'm willing to give that a go, I've also seen reference to the 2.6 kernel including support for the Broadcom 43xx chips since 2.6.17-rc2 (from

All I'm wondering is whether if I reinstall using the Test26 kernel and install the additional modules from CD2 to get use of the mouse, would this detect and configure the Broadcom based wireless card, or wouold I be better sticking with the 2.4 kernel and going through the ndiswrapper procedure to enable the card?

I'm not at home at the moment, so if there's additional info thats needed for somebody to answer the question, I'm afraid I can't supply it until this evening, but I will do if asked.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Interdictor; 07-13-2006 at 03:02 AM.
Old 07-13-2006, 07:13 AM   #2
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The Test26 kernel on Slackware 10.2 is a 2.6.13 kernel, so it doesn't have the bcm43xx module. If you want to test it, you'll have to download the source code for a later version from and compile your own kernel.

As for choosing ndiswrapper or bcm43xx, personally I have both on my laptop. The bcm43xx driver is still a work in progress, and I find it necessary to have a more reliable way to connect wirelessly.
Old 07-13-2006, 07:14 AM   #3
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1. You will need to roll your own kernel to use the bcm43xx driver - Slackware is still using 2.6.16 for its 2.6 kernels, where as bcm43xx was not added to the mainline until 2.6.17

2. To use bcm43xx, you also need to ensure hotplug is running, and use the tool bcm43xx-fwcutter (available from the bcm43xx home page) to extract the firmware from this file (do *not* use the firmware from your Windows drivers) to /lib/firmware.
Old 07-13-2006, 02:50 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Runcorn, England
Distribution: Ubuntu 6.06 & 6.1, Mandriva 2007, Knoppix
Posts: 72

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Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look at the options over the next few days.

From the sound of things though, it might be easier for me to get a new wireless card, but then if I do that, I won't be learning how to set up Linux to get the best out the available hardware.

Decisions, decisions.

Any suggestions on a wireless card that'll work straight off under Slackware with the 2.4 kernels? Probably look at the prices in the uk of getting a compatible card & so I can get rid of Windows on my main laptop straight off and keep learning using the old one to experiment with.


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