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Old 10-06-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
johnmeehan
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Broadcom BCM4311 and Slackware 14.2


I apologize for not being able to grasp what is written in internet posts I have read on this subject. I have tried a solution from WebGnuru and could not get it to work.

What I have is a Dell Latitude D531 with (according to lspci -v) a BCM4311.

I cannot get it to work.

I have read about deleting the Firmware on the wireless card but this is a dual boot system (yes, I could figure that out) if I mess with the firmware on the wireless card won't that cause problems with my windows XP connection to the internet?

If someone could please respond in a manner that even the slowest newbie could understand I would appreciate it. Also if there are packages that I need to download please provide current links (some of the links I followed from other forums have been dead).

If you could also tell me step by step it would be appreciated. On the WebGnuru site I got to the step of entering insmod wl.ko and was greeted with a message that wl.ko did not exist. I am sure I followed all the instructions, but the article was written in 2011 and things do change in the computer world.

Thank you for having the patience to read this and for any help you can provide.
 
Old 10-06-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
Timothy Miller
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I'd say with the 4311, run the b43 module. No reason going to the proprietary wl, the 4311 is supported by the open source b43 (at least it's supposed to be, so I'm going to proceed like it is). Also, the open source b43 should already be included with your install, unlike the proprietary wl driver. If that is true, you SHOULD only need https://slackbuilds.org/repository/1.../b43-fwcutter/. Once you build that, it'll get the firmware needed so that the drivers are able to properly load and work. Now, I don't use Slackware, so I might be missing something, and if so no doubts someone with more experience than I will give you more information.

Also, welcome to the WONDERFUL (horrible) world of Broadcom!! This company has caused more issues for linux users than I think any other single company.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 10-06-2016 at 07:27 PM.
 
Old 10-06-2016, 08:11 PM   #3
johnmeehan
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Thank you.

So I just need to download and install that file with nothing else needed?

Please remember that while the XP is on the internet, I cannot access the internet on the Slackware system. That means I have to download that file to my XP hard drive partition and then copy it to a location in Slackware to run it.
 
Old 10-06-2016, 08:19 PM   #4
Timothy Miller
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I would say you'll need that file and https://slackbuilds.org/repository/1.../b43-firmware/ that file. Assuming there are no other dependencies then that should be it.
 
Old 10-06-2016, 11:02 PM   #5
Gordie
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This firmware will not render your wireless card inoperable in Windows. The firmware you end up with only works in linux. Scary, I know but you won't break anything.

You could try https://slackbuilds.org/repository/1.../broadcom-sta/ as your card is on the list

Last edited by Gordie; 10-06-2016 at 11:08 PM.
 
Old 10-06-2016, 11:22 PM   #6
frankbell
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For what it's worth, here is the story of my ultimately successful attempt, thanks to the kind folks here at LQ, to get Broadcom working in my now departed to the great network connections in the sky Dell.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 12:15 AM   #7
johnmeehan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordie View Post
This firmware will not render your wireless card inoperable in Windows. The firmware you end up with only works in linux. Scary, I know but you won't break anything.

You could try https://slackbuilds.org/repository/1.../broadcom-sta/ as your card is on the list
Thank you, but I tried that when I was following the instructions at webgnuru.com/linux/slackware_bcm43xx.php after reinstalling Slackware 14.1.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 12:39 AM   #8
johnmeehan
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So how exactly does one utilize b43 fwcutter and the b43 firmware (Mr. Miller's posts above)?

Like I stated I am new to Slackware. Maybe I am missing something but reading the phrase "once you build that" leads me to believe that it is not as simple as just decompressing the files and running pkginstall.

I know I am being a pain, but think about this as your good deed for the year.

On a side note. I miss the easy install of drivers under windows but it is time to say "adios" to Microsoft.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 09:10 AM   #9
onebuck
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Member response

Hi,

Welcome to LQ & Slackware!

Look at the instructions; https://slackbuilds.org/howto/ to use the SlackBuillds.

Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
 
Old 10-07-2016, 10:11 AM   #10
johnmeehan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,

Welcome to LQ & Slackware!

Look at the instructions; https://slackbuilds.org/howto/ to use the SlackBuillds.

Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
So I need something called chemtool?
 
Old 10-07-2016, 10:27 AM   #11
johnmeehan
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Okay so do I just need to follow the instructions that I found at http://webgnuru.com/linux/slackware_bcm43xx.php to "make" the "driver" to "make" the b43-fwcutter build?

If so then do I need to do a fresh install and run the b43-fwcutter then create and run the b43 firmware (which I believe I created using the above link).

Logic (they tell me computers operate using logic) would seem to dictate that the firmware would have to be stripped and then the new firmware added.

Sorry I am such a pain. I just am trying to figure this out in sequence of:

Okay idiot (me) this is what you do:

1. Download needed file that ends in .tar.gz
2 through whatever this is what you need to do to get from download to finished product.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 12:48 PM   #12
Gordie
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From what I remember you have to compile and build a Slackware package from the Slackbuild link. Next, you install the package. Lastly you build, install and use b43-fwcutter in the command line to extract the firmware from your firmware file. There should be directions telling you what to do with the firmware that results.

Chemtool is just an example. It could have been any file name. The example tells you how to go about building a SlackBuild.

https://slackbuilds.org/repository/1.../broadcom-sta/ is a ready to use package that can be built from a SlackBuild with no fwcutter needed. just build, install and try it out
 
Old 10-07-2016, 12:59 PM   #13
onebuck
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Hi,

The module will utilize the firmware for the hardware. Firmware is just the interface to the hardware and how to handle that device via the kernel module;
Quote:
From https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware

Firmware refers to embedded software which controls electronic devices. Well-defined boundaries between firmware and software do not exist, as both terms cover some of the same code. Typically, the term firmware deals with low-level operations in a device, without which the device would be completely non-functional (read more on Wikipedia).
Quote:
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmware

In electronic systems and computing, firmware[a] is a type of software that provides control, monitoring and data manipulation of engineered products and systems. Typical examples of devices containing firmware are embedded systems (such as traffic lights, consumer appliances, remote controls and digital watches), computers, computer peripherals, mobile phones, and digital cameras. The firmware contained in these devices provides the low-level control program for the device. As of 2013, most firmware can be updated.[2]
Firmware is held in non-volatile memory devices such as ROM, EPROM, or flash memory. Changing the firmware of a device may rarely or never be done during its economic lifetime; some firmware memory devices are permanently installed and cannot be changed after manufacture. Common reasons for updating firmware include fixing bugs or adding features to the device. This may require ROM integrated circuits to be physically replaced, or flash memory to be reprogrammed through a special procedure.[3] Firmware such as the ROM BIOS of a personal computer may contain only elementary basic functions of a device and may only provide services to higher-level software. Firmware such as the program of an embedded system may be the only program that will run on the system and provide all of its functions.
Before integrated circuits, other firmware devices included a discrete semiconductor diode matrix. The Apollo guidance computer had firmware consisting of a specially manufactured core memory plane, called "core rope memory", where data were stored by physically threading wires through (1) or around (0) the core storing each data bit.[4]
Where the module for the hardware handling the interface between the kernel & the device via firmware.

Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
 
Old 10-07-2016, 01:16 PM   #14
johnmeehan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordie View Post
From what I remember you have to compile and build a Slackware package from the Slackbuild link. Next, you install the package. Lastly you build, install and use b43-fwcutter in the command line to extract the firmware from your firmware file. There should be directions telling you what to do with the firmware that results.

Chemtool is just an example. It could have been any file name. The example tells you how to go about building a SlackBuild.

https://slackbuilds.org/repository/1.../broadcom-sta/ is a ready to use package that can be built from a SlackBuild with no fwcutter needed. just build, install and try it out
So instead of downloading hybrid-v35-nodebug-pcoem-6_30_223_271.tar.gz (4e75f4cb7d87f690f9659ffc478495f0)from that site and using it when I followed the instructions contained in http://webgnuru.com/linux/slackware_bcm43xx.php I should have used broadcom-sta.tar.gz?

I cannot understand why I have so much trouble comprehending what is going on? Maybe I am getting older. In my younger days I used the book Supercharging MS DOS to build a backup program using batch commands. Heck it even had a nifty looking display that looked like file folders. Utilizing a small program that I entered from that book that would feed the "error levels" of keystrokes to the program.

I cannot understand why I can not grasp Slackware.

Does Slopkg (I think that is the name) eliminate the need for "building"?

Last edited by johnmeehan; 10-07-2016 at 01:22 PM.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 01:20 PM   #15
johnmeehan
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Addendum I will still be good and gosh darned if I migrate to Windows 10!
 
  


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