[sf-lug] wifi on linux (notably laptops)

Grant Bowman grantbow at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 02:15:16 PST 2010

On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 8:19 AM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
> ...
> this particular broadcom 43xx chipset to work,
> ...

Hi Jim,

This particular chipset needs a particular binary to work.  There's a
package called b43-fwcutter that should do it for you automatically,
automatically chosen from the System...Administration...Hardware
Drivers control panel of Ubuntu.  Make sure you have an internet
connection when installing this package.  As crazy as this sounds when
trying to get wifi working it's important to download the proprietary
driver during installation.  I haven't checked the package version
notes to see what changes this package has gone through lately.

Last week I tried this same process and even after I used it and got
the binary firmware "cut" out of the auto-downloaded windows driver I
still had intermittent problems with the wifi appearing and
disappearing.  I went to a different wifi adapter.  If only more
hardware vendors would open their specs!  While I sympathize with
wanting to get the hardware you have working, I think it might be more
trouble than it's worth when a USB $15 + 7 shipping solution (thanks
for the link) will give you fewer hassles now and in the future.  When
an alternative costs relatively little the time spent fighting an
uphill battle is just not worth it to me.

Another model of USB adapter a friend recommended is the EdiMax
EW-7318USG which has a small external antenna and uses the rt73usb
kernel driver.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315075  $25 +
7 shipping  I successfully used this model on a Thinkpad for awhile
since the "aironet" "b" internal wifi was lacking in software support,
reliability, and didn't support "g".  For the EW-7318USG there was a
very slight change in the way the chipset reports itself within this
model line during 2009.  A more recent kernel has the very small patch
applied already if you encounter any problem.  I can dig up the links
and research I did if anyone cares to read up on this particular issue


More information about the sf-lug mailing list