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How To Install Broadcom Wireless Drivers Using Debian Linux

You just installed Debian and your wireless network adapter is not functioning. What a pain in the butt. Debian is hard enough for most people to install, especially noobs. The reason it is not functioning is because the firmware does not have a valid license. Broadcom is the worst chipset to use for a linux based install because of the licensing issues. Don't worry though if you follow the details below, you will have a functioning wireless adapter in a few minutes.

  • First, we must find out what version of the broadcom driver we need, we can do this by typing the following command in a terminal lspci -vvnn | grep 14e4 then visit wireless.kernel.org to see if your version and revision is supported.
  • Next, we need to update our sources list, so we can download the packages we need. Add the following source by doing the following from a terminal window.
  • nano /etc/apt/sources.list You can use Vi if you are more comfortable with that. Add the following source to the list deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian squeeze main contrib non-free When finished save the file and exit.
  • If you would like a mirror closer to your location go to Debian download mirrors
  • Next, update the list of available packages from a terminal using this command aptitude update
  • Next, install the wireless tools using this command aptitude install wireless-tools
  • Next, install the correct firmware for your device.
  • For 802.11b/g devices with a BCM4306 revision 3, BCM4311 or BCM4318 chipset, install firmware-b43-installer: aptitude install firmware-b43-installer
  • For 802.11b/g devices with a BCM4312 LP-PHY chipset (PCI-ID 14E4:4315), install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer: aptitude install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer
  • For 802.11b-only devices (BCM4301, BCM4303 chipsets) or 802.11b/g devices with the BCM4306 revision 2 chipset, install firmware-b43legacy-installer: aptitude install firmware-b43legacy-installer
  • Next, make sure you have network manager installed, if not enter the following command in a terminal: aptitude install network-manager-gnome If you are not using gnome then replace that text with KDE for example.
  • Next, make sure your wireless lan has an available interface with this command: iwconfig
  • Next, make sure the wlan is up and running with this command: ifconfig wlan0 up
  • Log off and then log back in to the system and launch the network manager tool that should now be in your system tray. You should now see wireless networks available to connect.

Create a great day! Leave a comment if you require some help, or just to say thanks.