Saturday, April 30, 2011

Get running Broadcom WLAN under OpenSuse 11.4

I described how I did it in OpenSuse 11.3. OpenSuse 11.4 is shipped with an open source driver brcm80211 on board and you don't need proprietary broadcom-wl-... drivers anymore (downloaded by PackMan) for many new Broadcom cards. Please check this page for compatibility issues before you start with an installation. To see details to the available Broadcom card, use the commando lspci. My output is e.g.:

/sbin/lspci -nnk | grep -i -A2 broad
12:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4727] (rev 01)
Subsystem: Dell Device [1028:0010]
13:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller [10ec:8168] (rev 03)

The driver brcm80211 supports BCM4313 and BCM43224, BCM43225, BCM4329 chips. The installation is straightforward.

1) Remove all WLAN configurations in NetworkManager.
2) Install kernel-firmware from a DVD with OpenSuse 11.4. That's is the file kernel-firmware-2.6.38-1.2.1.noarch.rpm. You should see after that all brcm80211 stuff under /lib/firmware/brcm
3) You will see Broadcom WLAN Controller with the device name wlan0 in Yast's Network Settings. All stuff is recognized well. Broadcom WLAN Controller needs a small configuration if you have a WLAN router (my one is FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270). You should set default gateway and input WAP or WEP key for the authentication.
4) Reboot and enjoy the wireless LAN.

Edit: I  was asked whether b43 drivers (for old BCM chips) should be removed. Yes, you can remove b43 and broadcom-wl-... drivers or do them blacklisted (see blacklist config files under /etc/modprobe.d/), so that they are not loaded at all.


  1. Hi Oleg.
    I've trie to use the broadcom drive 14e4:4727, in the kernel, but it dosen't work. There is some command like modprobe that I need type in the terminal. I have the brcm80211 module.

  2. Hmm... I have the kernel 2.6.37... Maybe yo didn't blacklisted b43 and broadcom-wl-... drivers (see config files under /etc/modprobe.d/). What files do you have under /lib/firmware/brcm? If you installed the brcm80211 module, you should see there many files.

  3. Thanks it worked for me.

    Earlier I tried lot of things without any success.


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