Saturday, 7 July 2012

Broadcom Wireless fix for Ubuntu 12.10


Yes, I am ahead of the game; I am testing Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal, which is currently on the Alpha-2 release.

More than this I am testing the 12.10 kernel on 12.04! I like to live on the edge.

Of course, on the Dell mini v10 (Inspiron 910), this means grief with the ever troublesome Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g wireless adapter. In this combination, the firmware and Additional Drivers don't work. At all...

But looking at the existing bug reports, and 1003793 'broadcom wireless does not work with quantal-backport-kernel' in particular, it needs the firmware found in the  linux-firmware-nonfree package.


As Tim Gardner reports:
"If you've installed the Broadcom wl binary driver, then the kernel drivers won't work since they are all black listed in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcm43.conf.

You can check to see if Jockey has installed the binary driver:

dpkg -l | grep bcmwl-kernel-source

The only way the Quantal kernel will work is if you remove the wl driver:

sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree

As I found, following these instructions and giving the machine a restart fixes the wireless adapter. DON'T go installing the Broadcom proprietary drivers through System Settings, Additional Drivers, or you'll just reset the whole lot back to the non-working ones! RC

35 comments:

  1. I followed your instruction on ubuntu 12.04. Works great. thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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  2. Yes, it works great. thank You very much.

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  3. Did this, but my card is still not picking up any networks...very frustrating. I'm using an Acer Aspire 5750 with a BCM4277 wireless card. I've googled everything. Am I missing something?

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  4. Theo: now that is frustrating. The BCM model numbers seem to make a difference as the firmware is different and the behaviour inconsistent as you have found.

    I've not found any useful references to the 4277 either, which is disappointing now that Ubuntu 12.10. It may be worth jumping in the IRC channels and see if a networking expert can point you in the right direction. RC

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  5. It worked perfectly for me in 12.10 :) Thank you.

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  6. I just installed Ubuntu 12.10 I followed the instructions above and my wireless now works like a charm. I will continue to test the fix and report back if I find anything different.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent; always good when a solution works for others. RC

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  7. Robin, Thanks a lot for the fix . It worked for Ubuntu 12.10 ( BCM4312 802.11b/g wireless adapter )

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  8. Hi Robin, didnt work for me so far. HP2133 with U 12.04.
    BCM4311 802.11a/b/g [4311:14e4] Set-up was ok for 6 months;
    allowed updates; now nothing. sudo lshw results in: UNCLAIMED.
    Also shows 64bits - this is 32? or is the results from non-loaded driver/ module not powered-up. How can I determine?
    Thanks. Jaggie

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    1. The update process is not perfect and certain firmwares can go walkabout from one update to the next. There are also variations in the firmware requirements between Broadcom adapter versions and I seem to recall not all made sense.

      If you haven't already, you might want to check the correct drivers for the device according to the pci.id. Broadcom devices don't always update correctly when a newer kernel version is installed (as I know from past experience).

      It may be worth trying the following:

      sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic
      sudo apt-get install --reinstall bcmwl-kernel-source
      sudo modprobe wl

      RC

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    2. Many thanks for your response Robin. Just done a re-install of U12.04 (no updates!) I will try your cmds & let you know the outcome. Thanks again. Jaggie.

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    3. Robin. Great!! Many thanks for the solution. This will be recorded for future & assist others. Over several weeks,tried various solutions: briefly worked with b43 until powered down - then no wl again. Of all the published remedies, YOUR solution - simplest & best for me with limited Terminal know-how. Wonderful!! Jaggie.

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  9. My lubuntu 12.10 says cannot find bcmwl kernel source

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    1. prizerebel: haven't run Lubuntu for a while now, so not sure where they are in terms of firmware. Will ponder a while for a solution. RC

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  10. Thanks - don't know what I'd have done without your help.

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  11. Thanks, works for me. I'm on Ubuntu 12.10. Dell Vostro 1520. Broadcom BCM4312

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  12. Thank you, Works for me, Acer Aspire 8943G, ubuntu 12.10

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  13. HP Pavilion dv6 + BCM4312 = works perfectly. Thank you!

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  14. oops... my system is hp pavillion. comes with Broadcom BCM4312 .
    tried everything above, no avail. bcmwl-kernel-source isnt installed and couldnt be located when i tried to reinstall

    i am using ubuntu 12.10

    pls help,i need to browse with wifi

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  15. Here's another success story! Thanks for sharing your instructions! I'm on Ubuntu 12.10, HP Pavilion dv1000 (dv1710us), Broadcom BCM4311.

    Normally I use Jockey to do this for me with great success, but it just wasn't kicking in this time. I even tried the other instructions to use b43cutter, etc. but that didn't work either, so my thanks goes out to you!

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  16. Thanks! You saved my life! =)

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  17. Thanks! This worked for my Dell Inspiron 1545. Now on to my OS Class :P

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  18. Yeeesss! So many googling dead ends before I found this one. Mad props. Dell Inspiron 1520 with Ubuntu 12.10

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  19. I am currently using an Acer Aspire 5100 with Broadcom Adapter. Until locating this blog I was about to give up hope because of all the misinformation out there guiding many of us in the wrong direction and putting us at wit's end. This is very cut and dry, and my Acer now connects on wireless ! Job well done RC, Can't thank you enough. Your commitment to resolving this issue will help others for years to come.

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  20. E: Invalid operation linux-firmware-nonfree?

    I have the CD in the drive. What have I done wrong

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  21. Works neat in my Ubuntu 12.10 !
    Thanks !!

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  22. Worked for me as well. Dell Studio 1537 (Notebook).

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  23. Excellent !!
    worked for me on my HP
    Great.

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  24. Really thought after I don't know how many hours your solution was going to work - but alas still no wireless. The problem first occurred after a year of trouble free computing with Ubuntu 12.4. I updated to 12.10 in the hope of wireless kicking in. Terminal tells me drivers there but doesn't recognise wireless! Anyway thanks for your help, it was the simplest yet precise approach so far.
    Thanks Kelvin

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    Replies
    1. I had the same problem, found the wireless disabled in the bios, then after correcting that, had to use the blue Fn key + wireless icon to switch on the wireless after booting. Not sure if that will help, but figured I'd suggest it.

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  25. hi Robin,I am having ubuntu 12.04 on my DELL 3521 and my wifi is not working.
    i have tried the above method but didn't work for me.
    so , can you please provide an alternative solution.
    thanks in advance.

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  26. Muchas Gracias!!!, ahora puedo usar wifi con mi notebook :) ...
    Thanks!!!

    Saludos, Valeria (Argentina).

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  27. Anon: I don't know specifically which wlan adapter the 5321 uses, but it appears to be one of the lesser Atheros cards. Without more info, I'm struggling to advise any further. RC

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  28. Just did this on an old HP dv1000. Lubuntu 13.10

    finally have wifi on this thing!!

    Thank you!

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  29. This was great man! thanks!!!

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