Updated: 9 Jan '07
This thread is not for ndiswrapper questions/problems.
Q. Do I have to update my kernel?
There is nothing ppc specific here
A. As long as you are using at least
18.104.22.168 then no.
To check your kernel do:
Q. Are all broadcom bcm43xx cards the same?
A. No. All cards are not the same, and in fact it is very important to identify which revision you have, as this will directly determine your success with the drivers. No one can help you if you don't specify what card version you have.
To find out what card version you have:
Q. What cards aren't fully supported?
#lspci | grep -i bcm43
0001:10:12.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 03)
Q. My card is supported, now what?
- If you have 432x and 433x cards (N PHY cards), then you are out of luck because the devel's haven't even started on them yet.
- 4320 is actually a 4306 in Master which also is not supported due to a SoftMAC issue.
- 4309 cards are not supported at the time due to issues with the A PHY.
- 4311 or 4312 work but only under 22.214.171.124 and requires a kernel
patch. (Patching a kernel is not difficult and there is a great how-to here)
- 4318 has sometimes has transmission power problems, but does work.
A. You need to find drivers for your card. If you have Windows installed you probably already have the files that you need. Do a search for bcmwl5.inf
and open it up in a text editor.
If you see something like
then you may be in luck. Check your version against the ones listed in /usr/share/doc/bcm43xx-fwcutter-005/README
(or similar). If you don't find a match then try to find a version that is relatively close to the one that you have. (The README, provides many links.)
Q. I don't have Windows installed, my driver isn't on the list, I use OS X, what do I do?
A. Again consult the readme.
Q. I have a correct driver, now what?
A. You need to extract the firmware from it
#bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware bcmwl5.sys
and have Network Manger automatically connect to your wireless and wired connections.
Q. iwconfig shows my card, but I can't connect to my network. Why not?
#chkconfig --level 345 NetworkManager on
#chkconfig --level 345 NetworkManagerDispatcher on
#service NetworkManager start ; service NetworkManagerDispatcher start
A. Your router must
be setup to allow wireless 'b' connections as that is the only mode the driver works in. Check the channel of your router; 1 or 11 is good. Also don't try to get everything working at 1 time if you are using WEP/WPA. Make sure you can connect without encryption first.
Q. iwconfig does not show my card. Why not?
A. That's a tough one. Make sure that you have a line like alias eth1 bcm43xx
in your /etc/modprobe.conf. If that doesn't help try unloading the module then loading the module and bringing up the device.
Q. I have 64 Gigs of Ram installed and my computer freezes up when I boot.
#modprobe -r bcm43xx && modprobe -v bcm43xx && ifup eth1
A. That actually means the driver is working, because it is not designed to work with more than 1 Gig of Ram. To restrict the RAM to 1 GB (and remove any possibility of a DMA problem) add mem=1024M
to the kernel load line.
Q. What's that stuff in dmesg mean about the core's?
0: Chip Common Core - Contains information about the device and which cores are in here (Enabled to get info)
1: 802.11 Core - Wireless (Not enabled yet)
2: V.90 Core - Modem (Never enabled, we don't even have a driver to write specs for, and it's a win-modem anyway)
3: PCMCIA Core - Disabled, not in use (usually the PCI core is used even on PCMCIA Cards)
4: PCI Core - Enabled, that's how you're using the card
for more information.
Q. What do I need to have enabled in my kernel for the bcm43xx driver to work?
<M> Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack
[x] Enable full debugging output
<M> IEEE 802.11 WEP encryption (802.1x)
<M> IEEE 802.11i CCMP support
<M> IEEE 802.11i TKIP encryption
<M> Software MAC add-on to the IEEE 802.11 networking stack
[x] Enable full debugging output
Device Drivers --> Network device support --> Wireless LAN drivers (non-hamradio) &
<M> Broadcom BCM43xx wireless support
[x] Broadcom BCM43xx debugging (RECOMMENDED)