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Old 2nd October 2009, 07:03 AM
jdhaas Offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Red face F11 new install, what is a good wireless pc card that works


To all the experienced experts,

I have a Dell Vostro 1520 laptop with F11.
I love the new Fedora 11, however wireless is an issue with
Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller
I had trouble with the compile of the wl.so then adding the kernel patch to make things work. So that I am not without wireless, I wanted to buy a wireless pc card. Does anyone know which brand model is an easy install with F11?

Thanks for the help ahead of time.

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Old 2nd October 2009, 07:07 AM
ozjd Offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Age: 62
Posts: 2,563
Your current card can be made to work, have a look at http://www.fedoraguide.info/index.ph...er.

Also do a search on these forums for your card and you will find a number of threads on it.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 12:23 AM
jdhaas Offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Hi ozjd,

I went through the page http://www.fedoraguide.info/index.ph...er.
I was able to extract the firmware to make the wl_apsta.o I have both b43s
I did not understand where this is found: bcmwl5.sys
Also the su -c 'echo "alias wlan0 b43" >> /etc/modprobe.conf'
makes the wlan0 show up in the manager, but the hardware is not seen by the network manager and on a reboot it disappears.

I was ready to give up but went through the steps once more after your email. It seems close, but like something is missing. If you have ideas, or things I should check that would be great.

I checked all the links from your email, but they were on installing other times. I am doing well on everything else for moment. Thus the idea of just buying a pc card that will work is appealing. I didn't see any ideas about those on the other links.

Oh, there is now a list of other wireless cards when looking to add a new device, so there is now a library of sorts.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 12:46 AM
ozjd Offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Age: 62
Posts: 2,563
I don't have that wifi chip so can't give any detailed help however did you try the official driver from rpm fusion first. That seems the simplest way.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 01:08 AM
stoat Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,548
Hello jdhaas and ozjd,

To me, the instructions in that Fedora Guide page are in dire need of revision and updating. For example...
  1. It calls broadcom-wl the "Broadcom b43 Official driver!!!". That is not an accurate way to describe it. The broadcom-wl driver that it says to install with yum is the binary yum-installable version of the new Broadcom 802.11 STA Linux driver available as source code from the Broadcom company. It works very well with about a half dozen or so Broadcom wireless chipsets. Whereas the b43 driver is the result of reverse engineering of proprietary Broadcom drivers and started out as the bcm43xx driver several years ago at a time when Broadcom was not sharing its driver code with anyone much less Linux developers. Anyway, bcm43xx began to be included with Fedora kernels and was replaced by b43 in Fedora 7. It works very well but requires firmware, and that's where b43-fwcutter and files such as wl_apsta.o or wl_apsta.mimo come in. The b43 driver is known to work well with several Broacom wireless chipsets. Many other Broadcom wireless chipsets can still be used in Linux with software known as ndiswrapper and a Windows wireless driver. Using one of those three driver methods (b43, broadcom-wl, ndiswrapper), cards with most Broadcom chipset can be used in Linux.

  2. The version of the Broadcom file in the Fedora Guide instructions is fairly old (broadcom-wl- Most of us have moved on to several newer versions. And the file wl_apsta.o did work well, but many people (and me) have better results with wl_apsta.mimo in the newer versions of the driver file.

  3. That bcmwl5.sys file that you asked about is a common Broadcom driver file and usually found on CDs that accompany Broadcom-based wireless devices. It can also be downloaded from the Internet. There are many versions of it. I used it long ago for firmware for the earlier versions of bcm43xx, and I also used it with ndiswrapper. But at some point (I don't know when), that file stopped working well as a source for b43xx-fwcutter and b43-fwcutter to extract firmware. Most people moved on the tarball Broadcom driver files found at openwrt.org. So I would forget about bcmwl5.sys for b43. But it still works great with ndiswrapper.

  4. The file /etc/modprobe.conf is not created in Fedora 11. The things that used to be in that file are now in other files in the directory /etc/modprobe.d and must have a .conf ending to the filename.

  5. Lastly (for now), if NetworkManager is to be used to manage the wireless connection, then nothing needs to be done in the old Network Configuration utility (aka and started with system-config-network). The only thing of significance in there in this situation is to edit any auto-created wireless connections and check "Controlled by NetworkManager". If no wireless connections exist in the utility, you don't need them there anyway.

Sorry about this, but it's not my fault. I hope you get this sorted out in your head and in your computer. Or, I hope you find a card that you like better. But for me, my Broadcom cards are excellent with b43 and NetworkManager. If you're interested and still need help with b43 or broadcom-wl or ndiswrapper and your Broadcom card, it is available right here in various tutorial-like threads and in a more up-to-date form than that Fedora Guide.

Last edited by stoat; 3rd October 2009 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 10:26 AM
bbfuller Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 4,415
Hello jdhaas

Hope you are still with us here.

As as been said above, the broadcom range of cards is one of the easiest to get working reliably and I wouldn't recommend changing it until you have exhausted all possibilities.

The only problem with the broadcom chipsets is that there are three ways of making them work.

b43 which you have tried. That is doomed to fail with your card because b43 doesn't support the 4322 chipset.

broadcom-wl driver from broadcom which does support your chipset and has proved very reliable for most people.

You might ask "why two drivers", and the answer is that neither of them support the full range of broadcom chipsets.

There is also ndiswrapper which is usually seen as a last resort these days. That supports most broadcom chipsets.

If you want to pursue the broadcom-wl driver option, post back and we'll see what can be done.
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