Broadcom Corporation BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4313, BCM4321, BCM4322, BCM43224, BCM43225, BCM43227 and BCM43228 Based Wireless NICs

<!> These chipsets are not natively supported by CentOS.

This page is currently maintained by: Miloš Blažević

NOTE: If you're running EL 6, for which this manual is intended, instead of compilation, you can opt to build your own kABI-compatible binary RPM package of the driver which is reusable after kernel updates. For more info, please refer to ELRepo kmod-wl page. Also, it's been reported that the this driver doesn't work with all chips, so kindly provide feedback on your experiences with Broadcom Wireless, so this manual can be kept up to date and further improved.

NOTE: Due to an excessively restrictive license accompanying this Broadcom driver, the ELRepo repository developers have refrained from supplying it via an rpm package - hence this manual was created with the purpose of providing a single comprehenssive driver installation manual.

NOTE: This manual is based on CentOS 6 and tested with Broadcom BCM4313 (Vendor/DeviceID 14e4:4727). Previous Wiki version was written for CentOS 5 and Broadcom BCM4311/4312 chips have been tested on it.

In order to install Broadcom BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4313, BCM4321 or BCM4322, BCM43224, BCM43225, BCM43227, or BCM43228 based wireless network cards, the next steps should be followed:

Step 1: Determining WLAN chip and installing dependencies

First of all, make sure you are the "proud owner of Broadcom BCM43xx wireless card":

[user@host ~]$ /sbin/lspci | grep Broadcom
0b:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11a/b/g (rev 01)

After the WLAN chip model was determined, make sure you have no missing packages needed at compile-time and install them if you do:

[root@host ~]# yum install kernel-headers kernel-devel gcc

Of course, if you're compiling the driver for Xen kernel (i.e. kernel-xen), you should install kernel-xen-devel instead of kernel-devel.

Step 2: Downloading and extracting Broadcom driver archive

Download the Broadcom BCM43xx linux driver archive from Broadcom Official website to your machine and extract it to /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl and feel free to change the ownership of the directory and it's contents to some unprivileged user

[root@host ~]# mkdir -p /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl
[root@host hybrid-wl]# cd /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl
[root@host hybrid-wl]# tar xvfz /path/to/the/tarball/hybrid-v35_64-nodebug-pcoem-6_30_223_248.tar.gz
[root@host hybrid-wl]# chown -R someuser.somegroup /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl

NOTE: Why not extract it to arbitrary location and leave the ownership it is?
Well, this way the driver module sources remain on the system - where you left them - so you can build the driver module whenever you want (e.g. in case you upgrade the kernel - since driver modules are always compiled for a particular kernel), plus, you can do this as an unprivileged user!

Step 3: Compiling the Broadcom driver module

Driver module can be compiled as follows:

[user@host hybrid-wl]$ make -C /lib/modules/`uname -r`/build/ M=`pwd`

Mind the quotes (i.e. back quotes).

Now, with the current driver (version 6.30.223.248) it's almost certain you'll get an error message instead of compiled driver module (in fact, different scenario other that this error message is unknown to the author). The message should look something like this:

make: Entering directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.x86_64'
CFG80211 API is prefered for this kernel version
Using CFG80211 API
  LD      /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/built-in.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/shared/linux_osl.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_linux.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_iw.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.o
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:83: warning: ‘enum tx_power_setting’ declared inside parameter list
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:83: warning: its scope is only this definition or declaration, <snip>
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: In function ‘wl_cfg80211_join_ibss’:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:730: error: ‘struct cfg80211_ibss_params’ has no member named ‘channel’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: At top level:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1096: warning: ‘enum tx_power_setting’ declared inside parameter list
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1096: error: parameter 2 (‘type’) has incomplete type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: In function ‘wl_cfg80211_set_tx_power’:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1107: error: ‘TX_POWER_AUTOMATIC’ undeclared (first use in this <snip>
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1107: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1107: error: for each function it appears in.)
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1109: error: ‘TX_POWER_LIMITED’ undeclared (first use in this function)
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1115: error: ‘TX_POWER_FIXED’ undeclared (first use in this function)
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: At top level:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1774: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1779: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1780: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1781: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1782: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1783: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1784: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1789: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: In function ‘wl_inform_single_bss’:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:1984: error: too few arguments to function <snip>
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2023: warning: passing argument 1 of ‘cfg80211_put_bss’ from <snip> 
include/net/cfg80211.h:3380: note: expected ‘struct wiphy *’ but argument is of type ‘struct cfg80211_bss *’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2023: error: too few arguments to function ‘cfg80211_put_bss’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: In function ‘wl_update_bss_info’:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2276: error: ‘struct cfg80211_bss’ has no member named <snip>
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2277: error: ‘struct cfg80211_bss’ has no member named <snip>
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2283: warning: passing argument 1 of ‘cfg80211_put_bss’ from <snip>
include/net/cfg80211.h:3380: note: expected ‘struct wiphy *’ but argument is of type ‘struct cfg80211_bss *’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2283: error: too few arguments to function ‘cfg80211_put_bss’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: In function ‘wl_bss_roaming_done’:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2322: warning: passing argument 2 of ‘cfg80211_roamed’ from <snip>
include/net/cfg80211.h:3726: note: expected ‘struct ieee80211_channel *’ but argument is of type ‘u8 *’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2322: warning: passing argument 4 of ‘cfg80211_roamed’ makes <snip>
include/net/cfg80211.h:3726: note: expected ‘const u8 *’ but argument is of type ‘s32’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2322: warning: passing argument 5 of ‘cfg80211_roamed’ makes <snip>
include/net/cfg80211.h:3726: note: expected ‘size_t’ but argument is of type ‘u8 *’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2322: warning: passing argument 6 of ‘cfg80211_roamed’ makes <snip>
include/net/cfg80211.h:3726: note: expected ‘const u8 *’ but argument is of type ‘s32’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2322: error: too few arguments to function ‘cfg80211_roamed’
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c: In function ‘wl_update_wowl’:
/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c:2791: warning: unused variable ‘wdev’
make[1]: *** [/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.o] Error 1
make: *** [_module_/usr/local/src/hybrid-wl] Error 2
make: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.x86_64'

Now, the driver won't compile because of the if-then-else clause for kernel version checking in file wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c. To remedy this, we'll run the following two commands:

[user@host hybrid-wl]$ sed -i 's/.. KERNEL_VERSION(3, ., .)/>= KERNEL_VERSION(2, 6, 32)/' src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c
[user@host hybrid-wl]$ sed -i 's/.. KERNEL_VERSION(2, 6, 3.)/>= KERNEL_VERSION(2, 6, 32)/' src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c

But wait, just this is not enough by itself to ensure proper driver operation. So, we also need to apply the following patch wl-kmod-fix-ioctl-handling.patch prior to actually compiling the driver. Download it to /usr/local/src and run the following command to patch the driver source code:

[user@host hybrid-wl]$ patch -p1 < ../wl-kmod-fix-ioctl-handling.patch 
patching file src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.c
patching file src/wl/sys/wl_linux.c

Now, try compiling the driver module again:

[user@host hybrid-wl]$ make -C /lib/modules/`uname -r`/build/ M=`pwd`

and the compile output should look something like this:

make: Entering directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.x86_64'
CFG80211 API is prefered for this kernel version
Using CFG80211 API
  LD      /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/built-in.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/shared/linux_osl.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_linux.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_iw.o
  CC [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/src/wl/sys/wl_cfg80211_hybrid.o
  LD [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/wl.o
WARNING: modpost: missing MODULE_LICENSE() in /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/wl.o
see include/linux/module.h for more information
  Building modules, stage 2.
CFG80211 API is prefered for this kernel version
Using CFG80211 API
  MODPOST 1 modules
WARNING: modpost: missing MODULE_LICENSE() in /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/wl.o
see include/linux/module.h for more information
  CC      /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/wl.mod.o
  LD [M]  /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/wl.ko.unsigned
  NO SIGN [M] /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/wl.ko
make: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.x86_64'

The module, once built, can be stripped of unnecessary symbols:

[user@host hybrid-wl]$ strip --strip-debug wl.ko

What you will notice, is that driver module file size reduces (from 8.2MB to 7.2MB). And yes, your driver module works ;-)

Step 4a: Loading the driver module into kernel

Having successfully compiled the driver module, you can now load it into kernel, and eventually set up automatic driver load on system boot (to do all this, you'll have to assume root privileges). Of course, driver module loading can be done only after you remove the existing/conflicting wireless driver modules from kernel (in case these are loaded):

[root@host ~]# modprobe -r bcm43xx
[root@host ~]# modprobe -r b43
[root@host ~]# modprobe -r b43legacy
[root@host ~]# modprobe -r ssb
[root@host ~]# modprobe -r bcma
[root@host ~]# modprobe -r brcmsmac
[root@host ~]# modprobe -r ndiswrapper

copy the driver module file to a location where kernel can find it:

[root@host hybrid-wl]# cp -vi /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl/wl.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/extra/

to be consistent with all other external modules that have been / may be installed from a kmod packages (e.g. fuse, ntfs-3g, etc.)

Next, run:

[root@host ~]# depmod $(uname -r)

in order to create a list of module dependencies, and now load the driver module:

[root@host hybrid-wl]# modprobe wl

If no error was reported, the driver module is now successfully loaded and ready to use. The 'ndiswrapper' kernel module can be removed, provided you don't use it for anything else but wireless driver - but this is not necessary.

Step 4b: Loading the driver module into kernel on boot time

Couple of more steps are needed to get your module load every time the system boots. First, edit the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf file adding the lines:

blacklist bcm43xx
blacklist b43
blacklist b43legacy
blacklist bcma
blacklist brcmsmac
blacklist ssb
blacklist ndiswrapper

By doing so, you're preventing these modules from being loaded into kernel at boot time and conflicting with the wl module. Second, in order to load the wl module into the kernel on boot time, create/edit the file /etc/sysconfig/modules/kmod-wl.modules and copy-paste the following contents into it:

#!/bin/bash

for M in lib80211 cfg80211 wl; do
    modprobe $M &>/dev/null
done

Your driver should now load every time you reboot (except of course, when you install the new kernel, in which case the driver has to be re-compiled for it following these same steps).

ATTENTION: This driver module is NOT persistent across kernel upgrades (i.e. when you update the kernel, and boot the newly installed one, you'll have to do this over again). And again, this is why you placed the archive contents in /usr/local/src/hybrid-wl and changed the ownership of the directory and it's contents.

NOTE: After successful setup of the driver, users new to wireless often report problems like "Error for wireless request "Set Encode" (8B2A): SET failed on device.... Quick and easy solution is to configure NetworkManager service to manage your network connections instead of the network service. This used to be the case on CentOS 5, but has not happened (or reported to have happened) on CentOS 6.

HowTos/Laptops/Wireless/Broadcom (last edited 2014-11-21 23:30:50 by MilosBlazevic)