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README.rst

Broadcom Linux hybrid wireless driver

DISCLAIMER

This is an Official Release of Broadcom's hybrid Linux driver for use with Broadcom-based hardware.

WHERE TO GET THE RELEASE

http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php

IMPORTANT NOTE AND DISCUSSION OF HYBRID DRIVER

There are separate tarballs for 32 bit and 64 bit x86 CPU architectures. Make sure you use the appropriate tarball for your machine.

Other than 32 vs 64 bit, the hybrid binary is agnostic to the specific versions (2.6.X) and distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSE, etc). It performs all interactions with the OS through OS specific files (wl_linux.c, wl_iw.c, osl_linux.c) that are shipped in source form. You compile this source on your system and link with a precompiled binary file (wlc_hybrid.o_shipped) which contains the rest of the driver.

PRECOMPILED DRIVER

Some distros (Ubuntu and Fedora at the least) already have a version of this driver in their repositories precompiled, tested and ready to go. You just use the package manager to install the proper package. If its available for your distro, this is usually an easier solution. See the end of this document for further discussion.

ABOUT THIS RELEASE

This is a rollup release. It includes and deprecates all previous releases and patches. At the time of release there are no existing patches for this release from Broadcom.

SUPPORTED DEVICES

The cards with the following PCI Device IDs are supported with this driver. Both Broadcom and and Dell product names are described. Cards not listed here may also work.

BRCM PCI PCI Dell Product Name Vendor ID Device ID Product ID

------------- ---------- --------- ----------- 4311 2.4 Ghz 0x14e4 0x4311 Dell 1390 4311 Dualband 0x14e4 0x4312 Dell 1490 4311 5 Ghz 0x14e4 0x4313 4312 2.4 Ghz 0x14e4 0x4315 Dell 1395 4313 2.4 Ghz 0x14e4 0x4727 Dell 1501 4321 Dualband 0x14e4 0x4328 Dell 1505 4321 Dualband 0x14e4 0x4328 Dell 1500 4321 2.4 Ghz 0x14e4 0x4329 4321 5 Ghz 0x14e4 0x432a 4322 Dualband 0x14e4 0x432b Dell 1510 4322 2.4 Ghz 0x14e4 0x432c 4322 5 Ghz 0x14e4 0x432d 43224 Dualband 0x14e4 0x4353 Dell 1520 43225 2.4 Ghz 0x14e4 0x4357 43227 2.4 Ghz 0x14e4 0x4358 43228 Dualband 0x14e4 0x4359 Dell 1530

To find the Device ID's of Broadcom cards on your machines do: # lspci -n | grep 14e4

REQUIREMENTS

Building this driver requires that your machine have the proper tools, packages, header files and libraries to build a standard a kernel module. This usually is done by installing the kernel developer or kernel source package and varies from distro to distro. Consult the documentation for your specific OS.

If you cannot successfully build a module that comes with your distro's kernel developer or kernel source package, you will not be able to build this module either.

If you try to build this module but get an error message that looks like this:

make: *** /lib/modules/"release"/build: No such file or directory. Stop.

Then you do not have the proper packages installed, since installing the proper packages will create /lib/modules/"release"/build on your system.

On Fedora install 'kernel-devel' (Development Package for building kernel modules to match the kernel) from the Package Manager (System-> Administration-> Add/Remove Software).

On Ubuntu, you will need headers and tools. Try these commands: # apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic # apt-get build-dep linux

To check to see if you have this directory do this:

# ls /lib/modules/uname -r/build

BUILD INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Setup the directory by untarring the proper tarball:

For 32 bit: hybrid-portsrc_x86-32_v5.100.82.38.tar.gz For 64 bit: hybrid-portsrc_x86-64_v5.100.82.38.tar.gz

Example: # mkdir hybrid_wl # cd hybrid_wl # tar xzf <path>/hybrid-portsrc_x86-32_v5.100.82.38.tar.gz

  1. Build the driver as a Linux loadable kernel module (LKM):

# make clean (optional) # make

When the build completes, it will produce a wl.ko file in the top level directory.

If your driver does not build, check to make sure you have installed the kernel package described in the requirements above.

INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS

Upgrading from a previous version:

If you were already running a previous version of wl, you'll want to provide a clean transition from the older driver. (The path to previous driver is usually /lib/modules/<kernel-version>/kernel/net/wireless)

# rmmod wl # mv <path-to-prev-driver>/wl.ko <path-to-prev-driver>/wl.ko.orig # cp wl.ko <path-to-prev-driver>/wl.ko # depmod # modprobe wl

The new wl driver should now be operational and your all done.

Fresh installation:

1: Remove any other drivers for the Broadcom wireless device.

There are several open source drivers that are used to drive Broadcom 802.11 chips such as b43 and ssb. They will conflict with this driver and need to be uninstalled before this driver can be installed. Any previous revisions of the wl driver also need to be removed.

Note: On some systems such as Ubuntu 9.10, the ssb module may load during boot even though it is blacklisted (see note under Common Issues on how to resolve this). Nevertheless, ssb still must be removed (by hand or script) before wl is loaded. The wl driver will not function properly if ssb the module is loaded.

# lsmod | grep "b43|ssb|wl"

If any of these are installed, remove them: # rmmod b43 # rmmod ssb # rmmod wl

To blacklist these drivers and prevent them from loading in the future: # echo "blacklist ssb" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf # echo "blacklist b43" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

2: Insmod the driver.

Otherwise, if you have not previously installed a wl driver, you'll need to add a security module before using the wl module. Most newer systems use lib80211 while others use ieee80211_crypt_tkip. See which one works for your system.

# modprobe lib80211
or

# modprobe ieee80211_crypt_tkip

Then: # insmod wl.ko

wl.ko is now operational. It may take several seconds for the Network Manager to notice a new network driver has been installed and show the surrounding wireless networks.

Common issues:

  • After the insmod you may see this message: "WARNING: modpost: missing MODULE_LICENSE()" It is expected, not harmful and can be ignored.

  • You might see this message: "insmod: error inserting 'wl.ko': -1 Unknown symbol in module" Usually this means that the wlan security module (as mentioned above) is not loaded. Try this: # modprobe lib80211

    or

    # modprobe ieee80211_crypt_tkip

    and then re-try to insmod the wl driver.

    # insmod wl.ko

  • If the wl driver loads but doesn't seem to do anything: the ssb module may be the cause. Sometimes blacklisting ssb may not be enough to prevent it from loading and it loads anyway. (This is mostly seen on Ubuntu/Debian systems).

    Check to see if ssb, wl or b43 is loaded: # lsmod | grep "b43|ssb|wl"

    If any of these are installed, remove them: # rmmod b43 # rmmod ssb # rmmod wl

    Back up the current boot ramfs and generate a new one. # cp /boot/initrd.img-uname -r somewheresafe # update-initramfs -u # reboot

3: Setup to always load at boot time.

The procedure to make a module load at boot time varies from distro to distro. Consult the docs for your specific distro to see how. The following seems to work for my setup on Fedora and Ubuntu. Check your docs to see the procedure for your distro.

Follow these steps to have the driver load as part of the boot process:

# load driver as described above # cp wl.ko /lib/modules/uname -r/kernel/drivers/net/wireless # depmod -a

# echo modeprobe wl >> /etc/rc.local (Fedora/SUSE)

Ubuntu ships a version of wl.ko, so those need to be disabled. On my system the were several versions, so I searched and renamed the .ko's like this:

# sh: for i in find /lib /var -name wl.ko; do mv $i ${i}.orig; done

TX POWER EXPLAINED

'iwconfig eth1 txpower' & 'iwlist eth1 txpower' set and get the drivers user-requested transmit power level. This can go up to 32 dbm and allows the user to lower the tx power to levels below the regulatory limit. Internally, the actual tx power is always kept within regulatory limits no matter what the user request is set to.

WHAT'S NEW IN RELEASE 5.100.82.38

  • Support for bcm43227 and bcm43228
  • Fix for issue where iwconfig was sometime reporting rate incorrectly
  • Supports rfkill in kernels 2.6.31 to 2.6.36
  • Supports scan complete event (SIOCGIWSCAN)
  • Adds EAGAIN (busy signal) to query of scan results

WHAT'S NEW IN RELEASE 5.100.57.15

  • Following fixes (issues introduced in 5.100.57.13)

    Issue #87477 - 4313: DUT is not able to associate in WPA2-PSK TKIP/AES Issue #87533 - NetworkManager: 4313: Unable to associate to APs with WPA2-PSK

WHAT'S NEW IN RELEASE 5.100.57.13

  • 4313 PHY fixes to improve throughput stability at different ranges
  • Fix for interop issues with different APs
  • Fix for hangs seen during Fn-F2 sequence
  • Support for rfkill in kernels 2.6.31 to 2.6.36

WHAT'S NEW IN RELEASE 5.60.246.6

  • Supports rfkill in kernels 2.6.31 to 2.6.36
  • Fix for compile error with multicast list in kernel 2.6.34
  • Fix for #76743 - Ubuntu9.04: Network manager displays n/w's with radio disabled

WHAT'S NEW IN RELEASE 5.60.246.2

  • Supports up to linux kernel 2.6.36 (from 2.6.32)

  • Fix for #86668: [Canonical] Bug #611575/617369: System will hang if

    you use the F2 hot key to enable/disable wireless quickly while wireless is still in the process of re-association with AP

WHAT'S NEW IN RELEASE 5.60.48.36

  • Supports up to linux kernel 2.6.32

  • Supports hidden networks

  • Supports rfkill in kernels < 2.6.31

  • Setting power level via 'iwconfig eth1 txpower X' now operational

  • Support for bcm4313

  • Additional channels in both 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands

  • Fixed issue with tkip group keys that caused this message to repeat often:

    TKIP: RX tkey->key_idx=2 frame keyidx=1 priv=ffff8800cf80e840

  • Following fixes
    Issue #72216 - Ubuntu 8.04: standby/resume with WPA2 and wpa_supplicant causes

    a continuous assoc/disassoc loop (issue in 2.6.24 kernel)

    Issue #72324 - Ubuntu 8.04: cannot ping when Linux STA is IBSS creator with WEP Issue #76739 - Ubuntu 9.04: unable to connect to hidden network after stdby/resume Issue #80392 - S4 resume hang with SuSE SLED 11 and 43225 Issue #80792 - LSTA is not able to associate to AP with transition from AES to TKIP encryption

KNOWN ISSUES AND LIMITATIONS

#72238 - 20% lower throughput on channels 149, 153, 157, and 161 #76793 - Ubuntu9.04: STA fails to create IBSS network in 5 Ghz band #81392 - Unable to transfer data over ad-hoc network created by NetworkManager (iwconfig OK) #81452 - STA unable to associate to AP when PEAPv1-MSCHAPv2 authentication is used #87531 - WPASUP: 4313: WPA Supplicant crashes when trying to connect to 802.1x

HOW TO INSTALL A PRE-COMPILED DRIVER

Some of the major linux distros already supply a version of this driver, so you don't have to compile your own. Most of the distros keep this driver along with other proprietary or non-GPL drivers in a separate repository.

For further information see the documentation for your specific distro.

Fedora:

su -c 'rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm'

su - yum update yum install kmod-wl

Ubuntu:

Go to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers Choose the Broadcom STA wireless driver Activate

Sometimes the driver does not show up in the Hardware Drivers choices. In this case, try reintalling the driver from the GUI or shell like this:

From the GUI: Package Manager (System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager). Click the Reload button in the upper left corner of Synaptic to refresh your index then search for and reinstall the package named bcmwl-kernel-source.

From the shell: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get --reinstall install bcmwl-kernel-source

In either GUI or text case, after reinstalling, reboot your machine.

Now go back to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers and you should see the driver enabled and working.

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