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Get wireless working on Fedora with BCM4313

Device:

BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller (rev 01)

This is the built-in wifi on the Lenovo B570 (and many other laptops).

[UPDATE: As of updates applied on 15.04.12, wifi is again broken (curse you Fedora and your inadequate testing suites!) – I’m currently working on finding a fix ]

[UPDATE: The fix is to connect temporarily using another method (ethernet cable, 3G, or wifi dongle), update your system using yum update, and then reboot. This should hopefully fix the issue. Apparently after using yum update to install the broken updates you can often run yum update immediately after to fix it. See here for a thread with more info ]

[UPDATE 19.03.13: If you have problems with dependencies during updates, follow the advice stated here. It relates to a nVidia kmod package, but the instructions apply for kmod-wl also. Just replace “kmod-nvidia” with “kmod-wl”]

The following procedure gets this chip working for me with Fedora 16 / 17 / 18 (run the commands in a terminal – accessible via alt+F2, enter: gnome-terminal [press enter]

Enable rmpfusion repos:

Follow this guide: http://rpmfusion.org/Configuration

Login as root:

su

Update to latest packages and kernel:

yum update

Install kmod-wl and wl-broadcom:

yum install broadcom-wl kmod-wl

Blacklist acer_wmi, dell_wmi and bcma:

nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

[add the following lines to the end of this file:]

# blacklisted to get broadcom 4313 wireless to work
blacklist acer_wmi
blacklist dell_wmi
blacklist bcma

Restart network manager:

service NetworkManager restart

Try and connect as usual using the Gnome 3 network manager applet


USB Wifi for the SheevaPlug freedombox

After a few hours searching for a USB wifi adapter to purchase for my Debian Squeeze based eSATA SheevaPlug last weekend, I settled on one from Amazon.

Despite the availability of numerous adapters claiming to be compatible with various versions of GNU/Linux (or ‘Ubuntu x.xx compatible’ at least), few of them work with non x86/64 versions of Debian because they require the use of non-Free firmware which is only available for those two architectures. For example, the LM Tech Wireless n adapter has the following warning on its corresponding Wiki page.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any 802.11n devices that looked like they would work with ARM versions of Debian, and it was often impossible to tell what chipset the advertised product was using (note to retailers: if the chipset cannot be easily determined then a whole market just ruled our your product!).

Therefore I reluctantly bought an 802.11b/g adapter using the RTL8187B chipset, which as far as I can tell from the Debian Wiki should work with all Squeeze architectures supported by the distribution.

It’s galling to have to pay more for an inferior product (I’ve previously purchased 802.11n adapters for £6 that worked with fedora out-of-the-box), but if the adapter works with my SheevaPlug when it arrives then all will be forgiven.

Look out for an update in the near future.

In the mean time please share your recommended Debian Squeeze ARM USB wifi adapters in the comments.

UPDATE:

The adaptor that I purchased works perfectly with with my freedombox. A quick addition of my network password to /etc/network/interfaces, followed by the execution of ifup wlan0 was all that was required. The adaptor in question is labelled “LogicPro”, and can be purchased from Amazon (don’t forget to use the FSFE donation add-on if you buy one!).