More Broadcom Wireless Woes

OpenSuse 12.3
MacBook Pro
Broadcomm 4331

Following various stickies and posts here ran these actions in this sequence:

  1. ran dmesg, followed instruction there, downloaded and successfully installed b43 legacy firmware and b43 firmware.
  2. checked, b43 and b43 legacy folders show in /lib/firmware
  3. YasT shows no Wlan
  4. iwconfig yields no wireless extensions in eth0 or lo
  5. iwlist scan yields no scanning interfaces in eth0 or lo
  6. lspci [etc] yields BCM4331 14e4:4331 (rev 02) using kernel driver bcma-pci-bridge
  7. downloaded and installed the broadcomm drivers from packman (-wl and -desktop), rebooted…
    still no wireless

being a nube I’m out of ideas

mjbh wrote:

> being a nube I’m out of ideas

Not sure if it is supported, but I had a 4313 problems and I only needed to
install the kernel-firmware package.

-G-

This is not meant as criticsm. I’ve no idea how difficult it must be to get a Linux distro out the door. I used Suse back in the day and loved it, it was the second of my two favorite flavors (the other was Mandrake).

That said, installing open SUSE can be frustrating to those of us whose laptop hardware includes Broadcom branded WiFi. Since users of Apple laptops are among them, this must represent a significant segment of the market to which openSUSE could appeal. I found installing Fedora 18 to recognize my Broadcom 4331 much easier to accomplish than openSUSE 12.3 (still not done). And the installs of both Manjaro and Chakra Linux (both based upon Arch) on the same MacBook Pro required nothing more than naming my WiFi SSID and supplying the WPA2 password, the rest was automagically done behind the scene.

A great deal of effort and time has gone into crafting openSUSE’s installation process. It seems the devs want to broaden its user base to include the less tech skilled, like me. The Broadcom WiFi bit seems to be one of the remaining gotchas.

On 03/16/2013 06:06 PM, mjbh wrote:
>
> This is not meant as criticsm. I’ve no idea how difficult it must be to
> get a Linux distro out the door. I used Suse back in the day and loved
> it, it was the second of my two favorite flavors (the other was
> Mandrake).
>
> That said, installing open SUSE can be frustrating to those of us whose
> laptop hardware includes Broadcom branded WiFi. Since users of Apple
> laptops are among them, this must represent a significant segment of the
> market to which openSUSE could appeal. I found installing Fedora 18 to
> recognize my Broadcom 4331 much easier to accomplish than openSUSE 12.3
> (still not done). And the installs of both Manjaro and Chakra Linux
> (both based upon Arch) on thje same MacBook Pro required nothing more
> than naming my WiFi SSID and supplying the WPA2 password, the rest was
> automagically done behind the scene.
>
> A great deal of effort and time has gone into crafting openSUSE’s
> installation process. It seems the devs want to broaden its user base to
> include the less tech skilled, like me. The Broadcom WiFi bit seems to
> be one of the remaining gotchas.

The biggest problem with Broadcom wireless is Broadcom. They refuse to allow
anyone to redistribute their firmware. Perhaps Fedora, Manjaro, and Chakra
violate the terms and conditions imposed by Broadcom, but openSUSE cannot and
will not include the firmware under any circumstances. Anyone that does this is
inviting a lawsuit. The b43 developers, including me, have written the fwcutter
code to extract firmware from drivers written for other systems, but these must
be downloaded before extraction, thus you need a network connection. We do
publicize the need for Broadcom users to run the script
/usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware. Did you fail to do this? If you do not have
any network under openSUSE, I have also written a script that lets you download
the necessary file offline and install the firmware that way.

Why do we make it necessary for you to download an extra file? Those special
drivers are about 12 MB, which is rather large to be added to every
distribution media, especially as only a small percentage of the users will need
it. It is always a fight to get the essential material to fit on real media. For
instance, the 12.3 KDE and Gnome Live media no longer fit on a CD. If you have a
system without a DVD drive and no possibility to boot USB media, your only
option is to use the NET install CD!

Yes, it is not straightforward to get the b43 firmware loaded, but we do the
best we can.

I know Broadcom is close-fisted with their firmware. I recognize where the problem ultimately lies. I do not know how other distros deal with Broadcom’s firmware, I can only assume strictly legitimately. I believe I followed the instructions found in the stickies (both of them) and still found no joy. That said, it is more than likely that my problems are peculiar to my hardware, care in installing the OS, and level of experience. I would not be at all surprised to find someone else more skilled and with the same setup having absolutely no difficulty getting a B4331 set working. As I first said, I intended no criticism, only to point out that installation may not yet be entirely idiot-proof. I respect all the hard work that’s gone into writing openSUSE. It may well become my desktop OS (LinuxMint-Nadia xfce right now). The biggest problem with Broadcom wireless is Broadcom. They refuse to allow anyone to redistribute their firmware. Perhaps Fedora, Manjaro, and Chakra violate the terms and conditions imposed by Broadcom, but openSUSE cannot and will not include the firmware under any circumstances. Anyone that does this is inviting a lawsuit. The b43 developers, including me, have written the fwcutter code to extract firmware from drivers written for other systems, but these must be downloaded before extraction, thus you need a network connection. We do publicize the need for Broadcom users to run the script /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware. Did you fail to do this? If you do not have any network under openSUSE, I have also written a script that lets you download the necessary file offline and install the firmware that way. Why do we make it necessary for you to download an extra file? Those special drivers are about 12 MB, which is rather large to be added to every distribution media, especially as only a small percentage of the users will need it. It is always a fight to get the essential material to fit on real media. For instance, the 12.3 KDE and Gnome Live media no longer fit on a CD. If you have a system without a DVD drive and no possibility to boot USB media, your only option is to use the NET install CD! Yes, it is not straightforward to get the b43 firmware loaded, but we do the best we can.[/QUOTE]

I have a 4313 and the same experience. Now the real problem is that kernel-firmware is installed by default in 64-bit, but not so in 32-bit, this is at least true for Gnome and Xfce. And as I can see that nobody in this thread states whether they are running 64- or 32-bit we’re heading for missunderstandings.

On 03/18/2013 07:56 AM, mjbh wrote:
>
> I know Broadcom is close-fisted with their firmware. I recognize where
> the problem ultimately lies. I do not know how other distros deal with
> Broadcom’s firmware, I can only assume strictly legitimately. I believe
> I followed the instructions found in the stickies (both of them) and
> still found no joy. That said, it is more than likely that my problems
> are peculiar to my hardware, care in installing the OS, and level of
> experience. I would not be at all surprised to find someone else more
> skilled and with the same setup having absolutely no difficulty getting
> a B4331 set working. As I first said, I intended no criticism, only to
> point out that installation may not yet be entirely idiot-proof. I
> respect all the hard work that’s gone into writing openSUSE. It may well
> become my desktop OS (LinuxMint-Nadia xfce right now). The biggest
> problem with Broadcom wireless is Broadcom. They refuse to allow anyone
> to redistribute their firmware. Perhaps Fedora, Manjaro, and Chakra
> violate the terms and conditions imposed by Broadcom, but openSUSE
> cannot and will not include the firmware under any circumstances. Anyone
> that does this is inviting a lawsuit. The b43 developers, including me,
> have written the fwcutter code to extract firmware from drivers written
> for other systems, but these must be downloaded before extraction, thus
> you need a network connection. We do publicize the need for Broadcom
> users to run the script /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware. Did you fail
> to do this? If you do not have any network under openSUSE, I have also
> written a script that lets you download the necessary file offline and
> install the firmware that way. Why do we make it necessary for you to
> download an extra file? Those special drivers are about 12 MB, which is
> rather large to be added to every distribution media, especially as
> only a small percentage of the users will need it. It is always a fight
> to get the essential material to fit on real media. For instance, the
> 12.3 KDE and Gnome Live media no longer fit on a CD. If you have a
> system without a DVD drive and no possibility to boot USB media, your
> only option is to use the NET install CD! Yes, it is not
> straightforward to get the b43 firmware loaded, but we do the best we
> can.

If you are going to include my material in your posting, at least attribute it
to me.

One can never make anything idiot proof - you always are meeting a better class
of idiot.