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frankbell 10-07-2012 09:44 PM

Suggestion: Sticky about Broadcom wireless
There are so many questions here about Broadcom wireless that it occurs to me that a sticky about it might be useful. New users would likely overlook it, but older users could point them to it.

I was originally thinking of it in terms of Slackware, but upon reflection, I'm not sure where it would be best: hardware, networking, or somewhere else.

Given that Slackware kind of goes its own way (one of the reasons I like it, I think), maybe one for Slackware talking about the appropriate Slackbuilds, and one for other distros talking about how to find Broadcom in their repos.

Just a thought.

el chapulín 10-08-2012 09:33 AM

My only experience of broadcom is with the b43 driver. For offline installs with this driver, it's best to get the wl driver (firmware) and b43-fwcutter and keep them handy on USB flash or a CDR (in fact it's far better to plug in an ethernet cable, but not everyone has that option).

wl proprietary driver (firmware):

(There are also slackbuilds for the above.)


There seems to be some confusion as to the location of the firmware, if the driver cannot find it try extracting it to "/lib/firmware/b43".

For Debian users the wiki should be your first stop:

Be aware that the b43-fwcutter package in Debian is in the contrib repository, so not on the installation media... and even if you were to install it afterwards from USB flash, it attempts to download the firmware and handles the process "automagically", this is obviously not that useful if your only connection is the wireless adapter in question... in such cases, download the two files and use the manual install above, after doing an offline install. Once you're online you can "apt-get install b43-fwcutter" and it will clean it up (by overwriting it), keeping the system consistent.

Habitual 10-08-2012 09:55 AM

I agree with Frank.

TobiSGD 10-08-2012 10:23 AM

Sounds good. Since this should be a sticky about the Broadcom drivers, not Slackware or any other distro, the right place to post it would be Linux - Wireless Networking. Posting different stickies in different forums is IMHO not the way to go, the information should be kept at one place.
Of course it should contain some distro specific advices, but as less as possible without leaving out essential information. The way to install the driver is pretty much the same on any Debian derived distro, so one paragraph for those distros should be enough. An extra paragraph for Slackware and one or more for Red Hat based distros (I don't use them, so I can't comment how the install procedure differs between the distros, but I would think it differs more than on Debian based ones).
I would vote for closing the thread after the initial post, so that new members still are forced to open a new thread when they don't manage to install the drivers, instead of posting all there questions into one big thread.
There should be an extra note for members who which an expansion or correction to contact a moderator about this.

But the first thing we need is someone who comes up with a good enough article as a first version.

frankbell 10-08-2012 08:43 PM


But the first thing we need is someone who comes up with a good enough article as a first version.
I am not an expert and I probably can't get to it for a few days, but I'll be willing to work up a draft if no one more knowledgeable doesn't step in.

If I do, how should I proceed to get it reviewed and improved?

TobiSGD 10-08-2012 09:28 PM

Please open a new thread about that in the wireless forum and post a link to it here. Then it can be discussed and improved in that thread until it is good enough to make a sticky from it.

frankbell 10-08-2012 10:02 PM

Will do. As I said, it may take a few days, since I'll need to do (gasp!) some research for distros I'm not particularly familiar with.

TobiSGD 10-09-2012 12:30 AM

After all this is a forum with members using almost any distro. Just start with the distros you are familiar with and I am sure that other people will jump in to help.

jeremy 10-09-2012 10:36 AM

Also, keep in mind that for some cases like this, the LQ Wiki might be the ideal place. This will allow the content to be collaboratively worked on by a group, but still give us a place to point members when they ask about a topic that has been well covered.


frankbell 10-09-2012 09:07 PM

Thanks, Jeremy. I will certainly also take the wiki into account.

frankbell 10-19-2012 09:59 PM

Sorry, folks. Something came up. I'll try to get the Broadcom thing next week.

frankbell 10-31-2012 05:52 PM

I finally got a crack at this posted. Suggestions, comments, and corrections welcome in the thread.

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