Linux Broadcom BCM43xx drivers

From Ever changing code

Install Wireless network card drivers on Dell D620/D630

Identify the Broadcom BCM43xx chipset

lspci -vvnn | grep -A 9 Network

Important details in Dell 630 output: ChipID: BCM4311, PCI-ID: 14e4:4312, Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge. You may see two variations:

  • 14e4:4311 - 802.11b/g WLAN - on wireless card Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card
  • 14e4:4312 - 802.11a/b/g WLAN - on wireless card Dell Wireless 1490 WLAN Mini-Card


We are going to install Broadcom wireless card drivers that come in firmware-b43-installer package, it supports BCM4301 BCM4306/2, BCM4306/3, BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4318, BCM4320 chips.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo reboot

Off line driver installation

Please follow the original Ubuntu guide for BCM chip systems The below are specifics for Dell D620/D630.

cd /media/cdrom/pool/main/b/b43-fwcutter/     #you may need to mount USB before accessing it
sudo dpkg -i b43-fwcutter*
cd /media/cdrom/pool/main/p/patch/            #it may not be required on your system
sudo dpkg -i patch*

wget  #download for b43 (14.04 Trusty Tahr) on a laptop with Internet access
tar xfvj broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2     #execute from now on the target machine
sudo b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware broadcom-wl-5.100.138/linux/wl_apsta.o

At this point you should reboot or reload b43/b43legacy drivers outlined below:

#Remove                                  #Insert driver into kernel                                    
sudo modprobe -r b43 bcma                 sudo modprobe b43
sudo modprobe -r brcmsmac bcma            sudo modprobe brcmsmac
sudo modprobe -r wl                       sudo modprobe wl

If you wish to permanently use the open source drivers then remove the bcmwl-kernel-source package:

sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source

Connect to the wireless network

Follow this guide Ubuntu_networking#Wireless_from_command_line