Fedora 11 Broadcom BCM4310
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  1. #1
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    Fedora 11 Broadcom BCM4310

    Hello all.

    I have had a search around, any cannot find any thing I can make sense of as to how I go about getting the above card to work with Fedora 11.

    Just done a fresh install (need Linux for some development) but have no wifi. My chipset is this Broadcom BCM4310. There seems to be a whole load of options, and I don't know which works and which don't:

    • kmod-wl
    • broadcom-wl
    • ndiswrapper


    I can sit with an Ethernet cable to install/update as necessary, but really could do with wireless.

    Thanks in advance,

    Tom

  2. #2
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    I recommend using the linux-kernel "native" b43. One of these days I'm going to write a script that will fetch and install all the necessary b43 stuff. Reason I say native is you don't have to worry about it being broken in kernel updates, as so long as the kernel is built with b43 support, it should work.

    Basically, follow this guide.

    I've used b43 since pretty much when it was built into the linux kernel as b43, because bcm43xx never really worked.
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  3. #3
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    Hello pickles

    The kernel based b43 driver does not support the broadcom 4310 chipset.

    Quote from their site:

    unsupported chips
    The 802.11a part of the 4309 and 4312 is not supported.
    BCM 4310 USB - This device has an LP PHY. We think that means low power. In any case, previous code does not work. The reverse engineers have generated specs for the code writers and development is in progress. Note: This card uses the PCI bus, despite its name.
    The site itself is here:

    http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Dr...devicefirmware

    Similarly, the new broadcom-wl driver does not claim compatibility with that card either.

    Until someone proves otherwise, I think that just leaves you with the choice of ndiswrapper for that card.

    This is the generic instruction set for installing your windows driver with ndiswrapper:

    Ndiswrapper, as it's name implies is a way of wrapping some Linux code around a windows driver to make it work in Linux.

    Ndiswrapper will not work with Windows Vista drivers. It is also not happy with every version of a driver for every chipset. If the one that came with your card doesn't work it may be necessary to experiment with other manufacturers drivers that were made for the particular chipset.

    The parts of the windows driver file that you are looking for are the .inf file and the matching .sys file.

    For instance in my case when I used ndiswrapper for my broadcom card, there was a 'bcmwl5.inf' file in the driver along with a bcmwl5.sys. Other manufacturers will use different file names.

    Acquire full root rights with:

    Code:
    su -
    That's a space and a minus sign after the su. It gives full root rights over the machine, not just over your own environment which is what you get with plain su.

    If you haven't already, install the rpmfusion repositories:

    Code:
    rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm
    Install ndiswrapper:

    Code:
    yum install kmod-ndiswrapper
    should bring in the three relevant packages.

    Then set up and configure ndiswrapper with:

    Code:
    ndiswrapper -i <path to your windows driver file>.inf
    should install the driver,

    Code:
    ndiswrapper -l
    if it is going to work should return "driver present" and "hardware present"

    Code:
    modprobe ndiswrapper
    should load the driver into the kernel, but probably only until you reboot.

    If you are lucky now and NetworkManager is running then after a short while it 'may' begin reporting wireless networks. NetworkManager is the preferred method of connecting to wireless networks with Fedora and should be located on the top Gnome Panel to the right in the notification area.

    If it works, or indeed if it doesn't you will also need to run:

    Code:
    ndiswrapper -ma
    Reboot and try connecting again.
    One other problem you may face is that ndiswrapper does't like all windows drivers equally. The couple of people I have helped with this chipset previously only had success with one specific driver. Notes on how to get it below. Remember though that if it has several drivers, it's the Windows XP ones you need:

    http://ftp.us.dell.com/network/Dell_...17_R174291.exe

    If you need to use it then put it into a folder somewhere, from the command line 'cd' into that folder and use the command:

    Code:
    unzip -a Dell_multi-device_A17_R174291.exe -d driver/
    In the new driver folder you will see subfolders for Japan, US and Rest of World. In those should be the bcmwl5.inf and .sys files that you require.
    Don't be put off by the length of the notes. There aren't really that many steps in there, just a lot of explanation.

    If you have problems or questions during those processes I'll be looking for questions.

  4. #4
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    Thank you bbfuller. Pity it is unsupported with naive drivers, but at least I will get wireless this way.

    Will go through the instruction later. I have done an ndiswrapper before with Ubuntu (long time ago - but the everything is slightly different between the RH and Debian bases).

    Thanks again,

    Tom

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