Erratic wireless connection with Broadcom BCM4313 and similar cards


I have an old MacBook Pro running OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 instead of macOS. Everything works fine, except that wireless connections sometimes behave erratically. As far as I could make it out, some access points work fine and others don’t.

First things first, here’s the card.

# lspci | grep -i network
25:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Limited BCM4313 802.11bgn
Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)

I installed b43-fwcutter and then the firmware:

# zypper install b43-fwcutter
# install_bcm43xx_firmware

And just to be on the safe side, I blacklisted the free drivers (which don’t work at all):

# zypper addlock broadcom-wl
# zypper addlock broadcom-wl-kmp-default

I rebooted, and wireless works OK most of the time.

Here’s the curious part.

Sometimes I see various available access points except those in the immediate vicinity. Sometimes I disconnect and all available access points suddenly disappear. Sometimes they reappear, sometimes they don’t. I’m describing all this as it appears to me, since most of the time this seems completely random.

I’ve installed a Dell Latitude laptop for one of my clients some time ago. This laptop has a Broadcom 43XXX card (must verify which one exactly) and the client recently described a similar erratic malfunction. What happened with his machine was even more puzzling. It worked perfectly in my office on no less than three different access points. Then I snail-mailed the laptop to him, and he can’t use it in his office, because all access points except his show up.

Any suggestions ?

Cheers from the sunny (and confined) South of France,


Try to RTFM.

There are many revisions of a Broadcom 43xx series of chips.
Some of them are not compatible with an open drivers.
You have to know exactly what you have.
Sometimes you need closed-source driver from Broadcom “broadcom-wl”.