[svlug] Fedora 12 wireless hell

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Apr 22 16:53:03 PDT 2010

Quoting David Rosenstrauch (darose at darose.net):

> You're probably in the same boat as me.  I have a Dell Wireless 1397 
> WLAN Mini-Card, which is also a Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 model.
> I've found that the b43 module that comes shipped with the kernel 
> doesn't work with that card.

Did you make sure you fetched and installed into /lib/firmware the
firmware ("BLOB") image file required for the kernel's hotplug
subsystem to initialise the BCM4312 chipset?  

Without loading the firmware image, no driver can work.  It's shipped
with both the proprietary linux_sta / wl driver and the proprietary
MS-Windows drivers people using ndiswrapper rely on, which is one reason
why people often jump too hastily to the conclusion that perfectly fine,
and in fact usually much _better_, open source drivers can't work.

You see, Broadcom Corp. _could_ easily permit people (including Linux
distros) to redistribute their firmware images.  All it'd take them is a
one-page letter.  They just don't give a damn.

So, the best distros can do is to furnish utilities like b43-fwcutter,
bcm43xx-fwcutter, and fw-cutter to automagically fetch MS-Windows driver
files from their publishers' sites on the Internet, extract the firmware
files, and put them in /lib/firmware or other appropriate hotplug
location.  More at:


Rick Moen                "Never substitute a slash for a solidus. 
rick at linuxmafia.com      You don't want to get letters from Victorian bankers."
McQ!  (4x80)                                              -- FakeAPStylebook

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