So I just installed Suse 11 KDE 4 and oh boy do I have no clue what to do.
I’ve only ever toyed around with Ubuntu and Zenwalk and they have detectors for wifi signal and everything works within seconds… this on the other hand…
So pretty much I have no idea what to do or what to run in order to get my wireless working. I’ve tried all sorts of programs but I really don’t know what I’m doing here. When I search, people give such complicated answers. So can I get some simple help here?
I did actually and I don’t know if its something wrong on my side but I can’t install any of the tools such as Wifi radar (does it even work in 11?) and I am not too sure of ndiswrapper. I hear it is sort of a last resort and figured that I haven’t tried something logical.
I guess I’d like to start at the beginning. So lets say I’m off a clean boot, what is the first thing I want to look at and do to try and set up a wireless connection?
> So I just installed Suse 11 KDE 4 and oh boy do I have no clue what to
> I’ve only ever toyed around with Ubuntu and Zenwalk and they have
> detectors for wifi signal and everything works within seconds… this
> on the other hand…
> So pretty much I have no idea what to do or what to run in order to get
> my wireless working. I’ve tried all sorts of programs but I really don’t
> know what I’m doing here. When I search, people give such complicated
> answers. So can I get some simple help here?
> I got a Linksys WMP54GS card.
I’m going to jump back to the start of this thread because there is
useful information here.
Your WMP54GS card has a Broadcom chip. To make it work you need to
install the firmware for this device. You will need an Internet
connection to do this. I hope you have a way to connect using a wired
connection. If so, open a console terminal and enter the following
That script will download the Broadcom proprietary files that cannot
be distributed by openSUSE or any other distro, extract the necessary
firmware, and put that firmware in the proper locations. Then your
wireless device should work. Configure it using YaST => Network
Devices => Network Settings. My preferred option is to select the
“Global Options” tab and choose the “User Controlled with
NetworkManager” option. Unless you really need it, deselect the
“Enable IPV6” checkbox.
If you don’t have Internet access with this computer, please let me
know how you can get access, and we can work out a strategy.
> Larry Finger;1824909 Wrote:
>> That script will download the Broadcom proprietary files that cannot
>> be distributed by openSUSE or any other distro…
> [Sorry to go off-topic, but Larry appears to have no pm-ability.]
> Larry -
> I know of at least 2 distros that DO distribute firmware for numerous
> wireless devices, right in their LiveCD/InstallCD, including Broadcom.
> Are these distros acting illegally?
> Please explain. (Feel free to ‘pm’ me with this discussion.)
I prefer to keep this public, even if off-topic.
The firmware is copyrighted by Broadcom. To my knowledge, they have
not granted anyone the right to distribute it. Thus, they are illegal.
I’m aware of distros that configure ndiswrapper in their Live CDs. As
they don’t have the right to distribute the Windows driver, that also
The bcm43xx development team is working on reverse engineering the
firmware to make an open-source version. ATM, the resulting code can
receive, and they are starting on the transmit functions. Once that
work is complete, anyone will be able to distribute the firmware for
BCM43xx devices and this problem will be over.
You say ‘they don’t have the right to distribute the Windows driver’
as though you are a lawyer. [Yet, I’m betting that you’re shooting from
I’m NOT a lawyer. But, I SUSPECT that distributing such
firmware, and Windows-drivers, is NOT illegal. I’d argue that anything
that is offered up for anonymous download by the companies that
own it is then legally construed as ‘in the public domain’ and is therefore
[In other words, I suspect that the ‘distro-owners’ have explored the legality
of this before releasing their LiveCDs, etc. It’s been going on so long
that I would think we would have heard about it by now, and the practice stopped,
if it was illegal.]
Well IANAL either, but I know there are a whole raft of rights associated with a work, and just because it’s out there, doesn’t mean it’s public domain (which has a specific meaning). It is possible for a company to permit people get it from their website but not allow redistribution by other sites, or other means. It is all in the fine print.
It is possible that Broadcom hasn’t thought hard about this (perhaps they are not as lawyer-obsessed over there), and simply put it out for all and sundry and don’t really care that much, after all they just want to sell more hardware. But the redistributions rights may not have been established. and cannot be assumed.
Sometimes a workaround is to distribute a script that fetches the software from the official site. This was what was done with the Microsoft TT fonts, for example. But of course there is a Catch-22 in fetching from the net without a network driver.
What fine print?
I do not think it is possible, unless that restriction is in writing on those websites.
And, the ones I checked don’t show any such a thing.
What you and Larry seem to be saying, in effect, is that those individuals that
distribute those Linux distros are lazy, sloppy fools, who have little concern for
legalities and are just begging to be caught and stopped? [That doesn’t seem plausible, to me.]
No, I didn’t say that. What I said was that you cannot assume that just because it’s free for all to download, that it’s legal to redistribute by other means. It could be that those distros have formed the opinion that de facto, Broadcom is not going to raise a fuss. They could be right, but they could also be wrong about Broadcom.
Yes, I CAN assume that there are no restrictions. And, I’m not talking just
about Broadcom…I’m talking about them all.
I just went to the store today and bought a shirt. I can give/sell it to my neighbor
or do whatever I want (because it doesn’t say on the shirt that I can’t).
I assert that the same is true of software, UNLESS it makes me
press a button saying that I agree with the terms and conditions of any restrictions.
[Why do you think they make you do that, if they aren’t required to legally?]
I’ve installed MANY drivers via ndiswrapper, and I’ve never been prompted with
any license agreement. These companies WANT the Windows driver to
work on Linux via ndiswrapper…sells more hardware, and they have ZERO
support responsibility. They gotta be loving it!
> Larry Finger;1824950 Wrote:
>> The firmware is copyrighted by Broadcom. To my knowledge, they have
>> not granted anyone the right to distribute it. Thus, they are illegal.
>> I’m aware of distros that configure ndiswrapper in their Live CDs. As
>> they don’t have the right to distribute the Windows driver, that also
>> is illegal.
> You say ‘they don’t have the right to distribute the Windows driver’
> as though you are a lawyer. [Yet, I’m betting that you’re shooting
> the hip.]
> I’m NOT a lawyer. But, I SUSPECT that distributing such
> firmware, and Windows-drivers, is NOT illegal. I’d argue that anything
> that is offered up for anonymous download by the companies that
> own it is then legally construed as ‘in the public domain’ and is
> legally distributable.
> [In other words, I suspect that the ‘distro-owners’ have explored the
> of this before releasing their LiveCDs, etc. It’s been going on so
> that I would think we would have heard about it by now, and the
> practice stopped,
> if it was illegal.]
First of all, I said “to my knowledge”. Broadcom is very concerned
about their intellectual property and is very protective about their
drivers and their firmware. If they hadn’t been caught violating the
GPL over the Linux versions used in Linksys and other routers,
development of the open-source driver would have been impossible.
Because of their “paranoia”, the bcm43xx development team has been
very careful to maintain the clean-room approach, which is legal.
I’m pretty sure that if a major distro like openSUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu,
etc. were to include firmware in their distribution, Broadcom’s
lawyers would be calling.
No, you cannot generalise from shirts to other things. You cannot go into a shop, buy a book and then proceed to make photocopies for everybody. You can however give or lend the book to somebody else. That’s the first sale doctrine (look it up in Wikipedia).
In fact you cannot even take the logo on the shirt and start printing your own shirts with the same design, if it’s a copyrighted design.
The lack of any kind of notice doesn’t necessarily give you open slather on the work. If I take a picture, I don’t have to attach a notice to it saying the copyright is mine. It happens automatically when I create it. You cannot happen upon my photo print on a cafe counter where I misplaced it and start using it. De facto I may have difficulty claiming it was my photo, especially if I lost the original media also, but I have not in principle lost my rights.
If you look at novels and that sort of thing where they quote sayings, they are very careful to acknowledge copyrights. They even go to the extent of saying, well there are these works we can’t find the author for and we did try in good faith, so if you are the author could you please contact us.
I’m quoting now from the overview section of that doctrine:
“So, for example, if the copyright owner licenses someone to make a copy (such as by downloading), then that copy (meaning the tangible medium of expression onto which it was copied under license, be it a hard drive or removable storage medium) may lawfully be sold, lent, traded, or given away.”
Seems to me that this is saying that a distro can legally distribute it.