How to get Broadcom Wireless to work in Ubuntu 8.04

. Saturday, April 26, 2008

This is a guide on how to use fwcutter in Ubuntu 8.04 to work properly to recognize Broadcom wireless chipsets using the b43 drivers. The b43 drivers are only compatible with the following chipsets:


bcm4303 (802.11b-only chips)
bcm4309 (only the 2.4GHz part)
bcm4311 rev 1 / bcm4312
bcm4311 rev 2 / bcm4312 (needs patches for 2.6.24)


The 802.11a part of the 4309 and 4312 is not supported.
There is no support for any Draft 802.11n features.
BCM 4328/4329

Ok here we go with the fun stuff. If you have any troubles please go to Linux Wireless and search around in there.

First install fwcutter, just open synaptic package manager and search for fwcutter, you need to install from your ubuntu 8.04 cd!

2) Then download this:
(This file WONT download properly with IE7!. Use Firefox or Opera. IE7 malformed the file making it unreadable.)

ok now open up a terminal and type the following

export FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR="/lib/firmware"

then press ENTER

tar xjf broadcom-wl-

then press ENTER

cd broadcom-wl-

then press ENTER

sudo b43-fwcutter -w "/lib/firmware" wl_apsta.o

then press ENTER

At this point the driver should be installed and it should be working. To make sure, go to system -> administration -> hardware drivers. There should be a check box checked and it should say "in use". I hope this has worked for you. If you have any problems, post them here and I'll do my best to help you.

PS, if the opition above dosnt work, try here

Ubuntu 8.04 Problems and Conclusions


I know its been a while since I've updated my blog but I want to help get the word out about the latest Ubuntu 8.04, Hardy Heron. First I'd like to say that I have been a big fan of the Open Source world for quite a long time. Anytime you can take free (not just in the cost since) and have it compete and become better than paid closed source software is wonderful.

With that said, here are my trials and tribulations with Ubuntu 7.10 and upgrading to 8.04 and issues I had with the OS. I started off with Ubuntu 7.10, Feisty Fawn on my Compaq Presario M2301NR. When I installed 7.10 the first time out, it was difficult because I didn't realize what a pain the Broadcom Wireless drivers would be. I have the Broadcom 4318 (AirForce One) chipset in my laptop. In order to get the wireless to work properly, I had to install NDISWrapper and use the windows drivers in linux. After about 3 hours of reading and searching for forum posts at UbuntuForums I found a link that works and that helped me. The drivers worked flawlessly for me. I had issues with the way Ubuntu handled networks and how I had to manually switch between them, but all in all I was pleased. No viruses, spy ware, and easy to use. I couldn't ask for more.

Fast forward to Apr 24Th. I see on slashdot that 8.04 has just be released! I, being a happy convert, was excited to see a new version. I then use the software updater to grab the latest versions and to upgrade. When the updater said it was going to take 17 Hours.....I was unhappy to say the least. So I get the Alternative Install CD and start upgrading using that. Well, it upgraded fine, but destroyed my network settings including NDISWrapper. I still had managed to get the old NDIS files I had used but it wouldn't work.

I spent the next day attempting to get it to work. Then I remembered I had a 1:1 copy of my laptop stored on my desktop. Well, lady luck seemed to have her fill of me yesterday because my desktop died on boot and I'm assuming my info went with that valiant and brave computer. So I'm stuck with no Working wireless on my laptop, no main computer to fetch files with and no means of connecting to the Internet. I luckily found someone who had a working wireless connection and convinced them to allow me to use their Internet for about 10 minutes while I search for an answer. I found info on what to do using fwcutter and b43xx drivers. After 2 days I finally have working Internet against all odds. I'll post what I did to fix it shortly. If I can help one person fix their Internet, I'll have fulfilled my duty as an Open Source follower.