Brandon's Notepad

February 18, 2008

Linux, Broadcom & NDISwrapper

Filed under: Computer Hardware,How-To,Linux — Brandon @ 10:02 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Home > My Lists > Technical Notes > Linux, Broadcom & NDISwrapper


At the time of this writing, many laptops, including Dell and HP/Compaq, contain Wifi cards made by Broadcom. In the past, there has been no ‘official’ driver written by Broadcom for these devices for Linux. A tried and true way of using these cards with Linux is through the use of the NDISwrapper utility.


General Procedure

  1. Install NDISwrapper package if not already installed.
  2. Download the Wifi drivers from Dell, Compaq, etc.
  3. Extract the necessary files (e.g. bcmwl5.inf & bcmwl.sys). This may require running a “self-extracting” file under Wine.
  4. Install the driver: sudo ndiswrapper -i /dir_path/bcmwl5.inf
  5. Verify the hardware is present: sudo ndiswrapper -l
  6. Load the driver: sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
  7. Update the configuration: sudo ndiswrapper -m

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