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Broadcom 43xx wireless devices

This page describes how to enable support for WiFi devices based on Broadcom BCM4301, BCM4306, BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4318, BCM4321 and BCM4322 chips on Debian systems.

Identification

<!> The PCI ID is not sufficient to determine the Broadcom chip within.

The relevant driver has built-in logic to probe the actual chip, for example:

Refer to http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#Supported_devices for more information.

Drivers

There are multiple drivers supporting Broadcom wireless LAN chips.

Linux kernel drivers:

More information on b43/b43legacy can be found on the Linux Wireless b43 driver page. The b43, b43legacy, brcmsmac and wl drivers do not support any USB devices.

Using Windows' binary drivers:

b43 and b43legacy

These drivers are included as modules in Debian kernel images. Firmware from userspace is required for device operation.

Firmware is not packaged by the Debian Project. It must be downloaded and extracted, which can be performed by the firmware-b43-installer, firmware-b43legacy-installer or firmware-b43-lpphy-installer packages during their installation. An Internet connection is required.

  1. Add a "contrib" component to /etc/apt/sources.list, for example:

    # Debian 7 "Wheezy"
    deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
  2. Update the list of available packages:

    apt-get update
  3. Install the appropriate firmware installer package:

    For devices with a BCM4306 revision 3, BCM4311, BCM4318, BCM4321 or BCM4322 chip, install firmware-b43-installer:

    apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

    For devices with a BCM4312 LP-PHY chip (PCI ID 14E4:4315), install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer:

    apt-get install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer

    For devices with a BCM4301 chip or the BCM4306 revision 2 chip, install firmware-b43legacy-installer:

    apt-get install firmware-b43legacy-installer
    A PCI ID check will be performed. When satisfied, the relevant Broadcom proprietary driver will be acquired, the firmware within will be extracted and installed.
  4. If not already performed, connect the device to your system. The necessary kernel module is automatically loaded for supported devices.

  5. Configure your wireless interface as appropriate.

Troubleshooting

NDISwrapper

This should only be used as a last resort, if the device is not supported by Linux kernel drivers (e.g. Broadcom USB devices, other than the BCM4320).

Blacklist Linux kernel drivers

If loaded, the b43/b43legacy drivers will conflict with NDISwrapper. To unload and blacklist:

modprobe -r b43 b43legacy
echo -e blacklist b43\\nblacklist b43legacy >> /etc/modprobe.d/local.conf

Installation

Kernel module and NDIS driver installation is described on the NDISwrapper page.

Supported Devices

b43

The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI explains how to identify a PCI device.

b43legacy

The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI explains how to identify a PCI device.

See Also


CategoryHardware | CategoryWireless