RPM installation of Broadcom 802.11 STA wireless driver in Fedora 8/9/10

RPMs for the Broadcom 802.11 STA Wireless Driver are now available from the rpmfusion.org repos for Fedora 8, 9 and 10.

This is an official-release of Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n hybrid Linux device driver for use with Broadcom’s BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4321-, and BCM4322-based hardware. This driver also supports the incorrectly identified BCM4328 chipset which is actually a BCM4321 or BCM4322 chipset.

Previously I explained how to build the Broadcom STA driver from source but now the installation and updates can all be taken care of using yum and the rpmfusion non-free repository. Just follow these two simple steps:

1) Enable the rpmfusion non-free repository.

The broadcom-wl and wl-kmod RPMs that we need are in the rpmfusion non-free repository which also requires the rpmfusion free repository. To enable these repos in Fedora simply do this:

su -c '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'

2) Update and install the driver package

Now that you have the appropriate repository enabled, to install the driver package we first ensure that we have the latest updates and then install the “broadcom-wl” package which will bring with it the required “kmod-wl” package:

su -
yum update
yum install broadcom-wl

3) Make a couple of adjustments

At this stage you should reboot and provided you have Network Manager running (default setting for F10) it should detect your Broadcom wireless device and you should be able to connect to your wireless network.

If you’re having problems then it is likely some conflict between Network Manager and the network service. To ensure that Network Manager can use the wireless go to System > Administration > Network and select the wireless device (if it’s not there then this doesn’t apply to you). Edit the device and check “Controlled by Network Manager” and “Activate device when computer starts”. Close Network Configuration, save changes and then reboot.

You should also read the license and readme which are located in /usr/share/doc/broadcom-wl-5.10.27.6/

4) Enjoy your wireless!

That’s all there is to it. At this stage you may need to reboot (if you didn’t already) in order to enable the new driver and any new kernel that was installed during the update.

When future kernels are released a simple “yum update” command should install the new kernel and also pull in the updated Broadcom driver for that new kernel.

97 thoughts on “RPM installation of Broadcom 802.11 STA wireless driver in Fedora 8/9/10

  1. Dave

    Thanks very much for the info. Here I was dreading getting my wireless working on Fedora 9, and with the instructions above it took about a minute!

    One more nail in my Windows Vista partition’s coffin!!

    Dave

  2. Pingback: [CW]Broadcom Wireless Linux Drivers Available - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

  3. Steve

    Hey.

    Great, but how do you install the rpm files if you don’t have an internetconnection to start out with?!?
    Didnt find the rpm-package-download anywhere on the site!!

  4. Chris Post author

    Hi Steve, that’s the problem with OTA delivery of network drivers!

    As a solution, you can either use a wired net connection (!), or download the appropriate RPMs on a net-connected machine and transfer them to the target machine for local installation.

    The RPMs you’ll need for offline installation are broadcom-wl, kmod-wl and kmod-wl-uname-r. For example, for F10 x86_64 (kernel = 2.6.27.5-117) you would need the following RPMs:

    broadcom-wl-5.10.27.6-3.fc10.noarch.rpm
    kmod-wl-5.10.27.6-5.fc10.5.x86_64.rpm
    kmod-wl-2.6.27.5-117.fc10.x86_64-5.10.27.6-5.fc10.5.x86_64.rpm

    You can find these here: http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/releases/

    Hope this helps
    Chris

  5. Ken

    I did this, using a wired connection on F10 for the initial setup. I have a Dell Inspiron 2200 and used the patched driver before; it worked okay. But I cannot get these steps to work. In the Network admin gui, the wlan0 is “inactive.” When I try to activate it, it says it “doesn’t seem to be present.”

    Any clue?

  6. Sean Dalton

    I didn’t get any sort of recognition of my wireless from Network Manager until I did two things:

    modprobe broadcom
    modprobe wl

    then it worked fine.

    Thanks for this guide, a long awaited one that’s for sure ;)

  7. Chris Post author

    @Sean Dalton:

    If you created the alias in step 3 (or even if you didn’t) then after a reboot it should automatically load the “wl” kernel module. The “broadcom” kernel module is nothing to do with this driver so it doesn’t need to be loaded. Glad you got it working though!

  8. Chris Post author

    @Ken:

    I’m still trying to figure out how the network service and Network Manager interact in F10 – it seems a bit odd. You shouldn’t need to activate the device through the network admin gui – just ensure that it is selected as being controlled by Network Manager and then Network Manager should look after activating/deactivating it.

    Moreover, I have found that it isn’t even necessary for the device to exist as a configured network service device: Network Manager still detects it and controls it.

  9. Sean Dalton

    @Chris

    Yeah, I was hoping it would work after a reboot, but I didn’t get anything from network manager or System > Administration > Network when I did. It wasnt’ until I specifically executed the modprobe wl that I noticed any system recognition of my wireless card.

    I was also coming off a ndiswrapper install of the broadom drivers, which might of been the problem. Even though I removed ndiswrapper completely, it might of had the old alias in there loading on startup, not sure really, either way it works fine.

    Thanks again!

  10. Ken

    @Chris

    Still, I have no wireless connection. iwconfig reports no wireless extensions . . .

    Are there any other commands/messages I can obtain to help further diagnose the issue. This is strange, since it worked just fine under F9. Was there anything I needed to do before following the above instructions?

  11. Chris Post author

    @Ken

    There should be nothing else you need to do before following the above instructions. Couple of things to look at to diagnose the problem:

    1) When you run system-config-network and click the “Hardware” tab does the card show up there?
    2) Do you also have an entry for the wireless card in system-config-network under the “Devices” tab?
    3) What is the output of “lsmod | grep wl”

  12. Ken

    1) When you run system-config-network and click the “Hardware” tab does the card show up there?

    No, not now. Oddly enough, it was there–Broadcom. Since the installation of the broadcom-wl rpm, it’s no longer there!

    2) Do you also have an entry for the wireless card in system-config-network under the “Devices” tab?

    Yes, it’s been there all along, marked inactive. I also have a pan(0) device in hardware and devices. I don’t remember this in F9.

    What is the output of “lsmod | grep wl”

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

    This is strange. I thought it might have something to do with the hardware/bios switch that allows a user to turn off the wireless. On a Dell, this is Fn-F2. But I have the bios set to turn it on at boot and leave it on.

  13. Chris Post author

    Ken, no output from that command means that the kernel module isn’t loaded for some reason and that is the problem. What is the output of:

    modprobe wl
    lsmod | grep wl

    Does this bring the device up? It is possible that some other module is conflicting with the wl kernel module. If that still doesn’t work please post the output of the following 2 commands:

    rpm -qa | grep wl
    uname -r

  14. Ken

    Well brother what do you know . . . I’m so slow to learn. I have a Broadcom 4318 Airforce One!

    I noticed that when I removed the broadcom-wl rpm, the wireless showed up on the hardware tab again. I figured the installation was blocking the actual wireless and looking for one that wasn’t there!

    A bit of googling about and I was able to refresh my memory on using fwcutter to extract the drivers for the 4318, and now I’m wireless. Sorry to send you on a goose chase, but maybe this will help others with an Inspiron 2200 and a 4318 chipset.

  15. Pingback: Bitacora de José Angel » Blog Archive » Wireles en Fedora 10

  16. kojang

    warning: /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.46gkRE: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID b1981b68
    error: Failed dependencies:
    rpmfusion-free-release >= 8 is needed by rpmfusion-nonfree-release-8-6.noarch

    anyone?

  17. Chris Post author

    @kojang

    It means you are missing the rpmfusion free repository. I updated step 1 now to include this repository, so try again from step 1.

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