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HOWTO: [NET-WIRELESS] Broadcom 43xx and WPA
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Joined: 03 Apr 2004
Posts: 2155
Location: Mysłowice/Lublin, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject: HOWTO: [NET-WIRELESS] Broadcom 43xx and WPA Reply with quote

I had so much problems with this card on my laptop (HP Pavilion dv5000 with AMD Turion64 (so HowTo is for x86_64 system, I dont try on x86)) and I know, that often many people have this same problem like me, so I wrote this short and simply (I think so) HowTo (It's translate from my oryginal HowTo in polish language).
So, let's start!
Firstly we have to have a kernel from 2.6.18 series, because on 2.6.19* sometimes are problems with ndiswrapper like this what I had -
We go into /usr/src/kernel_sources and do make menuconfig and we have to disable drivers for broadcom, so go to

Device Drivers -> Network Device Support -> Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) -> < >   Broadcom BCM43xx wireless support

and turn off drivers.
Recompile and reboot for new kernel without drivers.
Now - ndiswrapper

emerge ndiswrapper

Now we must download drivers for ndiswrapper:
and unpack it and go to unpacked directory (80211g)
Now we should remove standard drivers form ndiswrapper:

#ndiswrapper -l
#ndiswrapper -r driver_name#1
#ndiswrapper -r driver_name#2

and install new (these downloaded)

#ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf

After correct install we have to edit a file [/i]/etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6[/i] and add to list ndiswrapper module manualy or

#echo "ndiswrapper" >> /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6

Now we should reboot a computer for reload a kernel and update a modules (on my machine I had to reboot, because modprobe ndiswrapper + modules-update didnt give me positive results) and after reboot we going to emerge wireless-tools

#emerge wireless-tools

and when compile is done then we start iwconfig. We should see wlan0 interface.

Ok. Now we'll be configure WPA encryption.
Firstly we have to compile wpa_supplicant

emerge wpa_supplicant

and configure:
1) wpa_passphrase

#wpa_passphrase <SSID> <WPA-KEY>

This program will generate long string. Copy it.
Secondly we're editing /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf (IMPORTANT: Sometimes this file should be in /etc, not in /etc/wpa_supplicant)
The simply config should look like this


Sometimes must run command

#wpa_supplicant -Dwext -iwlan0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

And last - /etc/conf.d/net file:


modules_wlan0=( "wpa_supplicant" )
config_wlan0=( "192.168.x.x netmask brd 192.168.x.x" )
routes_wlan0=( "default gw 192.168.x.x" )

If You use dhcp then config_wlan0 and routes_wlan0 should be change to dhcp lines like in wired interfaces (ethX)

We're cerating symlink now in /etc/init.d from net.wlan0 => net.lo
and start!

#/etc/init.d/net.wlan0 start

If all was correct, we should see iwconfig similar like this

wlan0     IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:"OWN_SSID"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.422 GHz  Access Point: MAC_OR_NAME_OF_AP   
          Bit Rate=36 Mb/s   Tx-Power:24 dBm   
          RTS thr:2347 B   Fragment thr:2346 B   
          Encryption key:**************   Security mode:restricted
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality:51/100  Signal level:-63 dBm  Noise level:-96 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:12810  Invalid misc:42495   Missed beacon:0

That's all :)

IMPORTANT: Sometimes You could havent a connection, then You have to stop a wired connections (ethX)

#/etc/init.d/net.eth* stop

IMPORTANT: HowTo is for x86_64 systems

So, have a great fun without cabels :)

cheers & sorry for my english
Hardware:HP Pavilion DV6875SE[C2DT5550@1.83GHz_3GB-DDR2_320GB-SATA_GF8400GS] - Popkulturowa Kawa

Last edited by Poe on Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 171
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, thats a good tutorial... but im having a problem... i brought up wlan0 and so all but im unable to associate my Access point to the wlan interface...
any idea?

thanks in advance
Gentoo Rulez

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