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How to enable broadcom wireless BCM4311 card on Linux Mint 11

July 31, 2011

This will be very quick and useful tutorial for people who try to install proper driver for broadcom wireless cards on Linux Mint (it probably works on Ubuntu and Debian like distributions). There are two drivers for broadcom wireless card on Linux. One is STA driver which is proprietary and the second  is b43 open source driver. I have installed Linux mint 11 and get problems with enabling wireless using STA driver. It does not work for BCM4311 cards  and you need to install b43 driver. Here is the solution.

Install b43-fwcutter
sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
b43 module is blacklisted by default  you need to comment out that line.
sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Put comment on line with following content

blacklist bcm43xx

To avoid whole  system restart, just restart b43 and ssb module

sudo modprobe -r b43 ssb
sudo modprobe b43

Click on your network manager to and wait a second to load all available networks. Enjoy!

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From → linux

24 Comments
  1. beyonddc permalink

    This just work. Thank you

  2. Tom permalink

    when I type in sudo vim…. to a terminal I get error sudo: vim: command not found

    I’m obviously missing something, but I’m a linux newbie and can’t see what

    • drndy permalink

      You need to install vim. Vim is one of the most popular editor for Linux. For more information about vim click on it.

      • Tom permalink

        okay, vim installed.
        now, what do you mean by

        “Put comment on line with following content

        blacklist bcm43xx”

        After the “sudo vim ..” I get a load of text with an entry
        “# replaced by b43 and ssb.
        blacklist bcm43xx”

        so what do I do next?
        do you mean I have to “comment” that line so it’s inactive? How do I do that?

        sorry to be asking such basic questions, but I am a real noob.

      • Tom permalink

        Also, after the sudo vim command, I can move around the terminal window, but cannot make changes, it seems, so don’t know how I’ll be able to “comment” out that line.

      • drndy permalink

        Here you can find all inforamtion about using vim http://www.vim.org/. If you do not have any experience you can use any editor (For example gedit, type sudo gedit).
        Puting “#” means that line is commented out. In this case it means that you do not want to blacklist b43 and sbb modules.

  3. Keith permalink

    Beautiful–but you have to run the modprobe commands again after reboot–how do you make it permanent?

  4. Gregg permalink

    Amazing! And here I was going in circles looking on old ubuntu posts going no where!

    Thank you!

  5. Aile permalink

    Worked great, thank you!

  6. You are a genius. By the way, I had to write a BASH script to redo the modprobe commands after every shutdown/restart.

  7. Kevin permalink

    Thank you, Ivan! That worked for me.

  8. Kyndle permalink

    So I comment out the line in the terminal how do I save it? Because every time I start my computer up I have to do this process again to get my wireless working.

  9. Bogdan permalink

    Works fine for me with Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon on Dell Inspiron 6400.
    Thank you!

  10. xnorsx permalink

    Simple go to Menu/Software Manager/Edit(On top bar)/Software Sources/Additional Drivers/ and check Using Broadcom…… and press Apply no need to use Terminal :)

  11. Use gedit. (sudo apt-get install gedit)
    VIM is hard for novice users.

  12. Jim Lynch permalink

    DIdn’t work on Compaq Presario running Mint 13.

    lspci -vnn -d 14e4:
    05:02.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4318] (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN [103c:1355]
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 64, IRQ 20
    Memory at c0204000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
    Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge
    Kernel modules: wl, ssb

    So I have a driver module.

    But no light on the wireless button and ifconfig -a only shows eth0 and lo. I rebooted win xp and the wireless card is working there.

    Any suggestions would be helpful. The additional drivers window says this driver is active and currently in use. My only concern is that the list of supported cards doesn’t include mine.

    See:
    lspci -vnn -d 14e4:
    05:02.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4318] (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN [103c:1355]
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 64, IRQ 20
    Memory at c0204000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
    Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge
    Kernel modules: wl, ssb

  13. alvinh permalink

    i think mint in general doesn’t work on hp systems. i have 1 too & it doesn’t work even after following the procedure. i guess hp systems are just not linux friendly!

  14. On linux mint debian edition:
    sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer
    sudo modprobe -r b43
    sudo modprobe b43

    worked just fine!

  15. luptonma permalink

    Does not work on Dell D630 with Broadcomm BCM4311 chipset. Hangs terminal after modprobe b43 command

    • luptonma permalink

      To xnorsx:
      Mint 15 does not have any “Additional Drivers” options under “Software Sources” in the Software Manager.

  16. Edward permalink

    I have a HP-550 laptop that I’m running Oracle Linux on. This blog is the more successful routes I’ve found so far.

  17. I’ve been messin’ around with this wifi problem for two days now, I wish I would have found this blog sooner, I’m running mint on a compaq Presario c500 with bcm4311 wireless card and this worked for me! now I can delete the Windows7 duel boot! :-)

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Linux Mint 11 and Broadcom wireless BCM4311 « Hesham Bahram
  2. HOWTO Get Broadcom Wireless Working with Linux

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