Linux Mint 17.3 Desktop
Scratching Your Head Trying to Get an Old PC with a Broadcom Adapter Onto Wi-Fi Using Linux? — Join the Crowd
Old PCs, in particular Dell PCs and laptops vintage 2000’s, oftentimes shipped with Broadcom network adapters. There were a variety of Broadcom BCM43xx adapter models. If you happen to have an old PC with one of these ancient network adapters, it can be quite a challenge to get the PC using Linux to connect to a Wi-Fi network.
Broadcom Corporation was an American semiconductor company in the wireless and broadband communication business. It was acquired by Avago Technologies in 2016 and currently operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the merged entity called Broadcom Limited.
Equipment Used for These Procedures
Dell XPS M1530 Laptop with Ethernet Connection to Wi-Fi Modem/Router
Steps to Connect a Broadcom Network Adapter to a Wi-Fi Network
A. Connect Your PC to the Internet via Ethernet Cable
B. Verify the Broadcom Network Adapter on Your PC
- Open a Terminal window.
- Type this command: lspci -vnn
- Look at the last section of the stuff output to the screen, it should look something like this:
Network controller : Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY [14e4:4315] (rev 01)
In this case, the Broadcom BCM4312 network controller (adapter) is installed on the PC.
C. Install B43-Fwcutter
Use Synaptic Package Manager
- Select b43-fwcutter.
- Mark it for installation.
- Select Install.
D. Install Broadcom-STA Driver
- Download required firmware files:
http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/wl … 130.20.0.o
http://mirror2.openwrt.org/sources/broa … .5.tar.bz2
- Copy the downloaded files to your Home Folder.
- Open a Terminal window to extract and install the files. Become Super User by typing su — then enter your Admin password.
- Copy the following 3 commands, paste them into the Terminal window, then hit Enter to execute them.
tar xfvj broadcom-wl-126.96.36.199.tar.bz2
sudo b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta-188.8.131.52.o
sudo b43-fwcutter – -unsupported -w /lib/firmware broadcom-wl-184.108.40.206/driver/wl_apsta_mimo.o
- Check for available Wireless Networks.Click on Wi-Fi panel icon, lower right hand of screen — you should see the Wi-Fi Network List without needing to reboot, select your network, enter your password, then connect. If the Wi-Fi Network List isn’t available, reboot.
- After your PC boots up, click on the Wi-Fi List, select your network & enter your password, then connect (skip this if you were able to connect in Step 5).
- Now, every time you boot your PC, it will automatically connect to your WiFi network.