Broadcom wireless under Hardy (Alpha 5)

Problem: wireless not working even using bcm43xx fwcutter trick used on previous occasions successfully.

Looked in system log – System>Administration>SystemLog kern.log
ERROR: Firmware file “b43/ucode5.fw” not found or load failed.
Huh? That’s not even a file made by bcm43xx.

Initial diagnostics:
lspci | grep Network
02:0b.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 03)

Don’t use BCM43xx any more – doesn’t work. Use b43-fwcutter. See

NB don’t bother using make etc on the tarball – just grab the suitable deb file from the hardy util site. Get by searching for Hardy util b43. Obviously, if I had access to the internet I could use synaptic or apt-get but no wireless = no internet (see Catch 22 ;-)).

then gksu b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware ~Desktop/wl_apsta-
NB gksu not sudo when a graphical application

Working on the assumption that I can use the legacy v3 file (incorrect – see below).

Still a problem – there is now a folder called /lib/firmware/b43legacy
So tried:
sudo nautilus /lib/firmware/b43legacy and it contains ucode5.fw etc
Shame the folder has legacy as part of its name
Renamed the folder to b43 in a shameless attempt to get the system going

New issue (possibly progress though):
b43-phy0 ERROR: YOUR FIRMWARE IS TOO OLD. Firmware from binary drivers older than version 4.x is unsupported. You must upgrade your firmware files.

Hmmm – deleted all old bcm43xx firmware files from main /lib/firmware folder.
sudo rm -r /lib/firmware/b43legacy



Ah – download v4 wl_apsta.o file

get wl_apsta.o from inside that file and put on desktop.

then sudo b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware ~Desktop/wl_apsta.o

Right – everything was automatically put it in b43 subfolder, not b43legacy. Starting to click into place. As is often the case, it all makes total sense backwards 😉 .

Looking good – can see my wireless network showing with a decent signal. Supply password. Hmmm waiting for network key.

To be continued …

[Easter 2008] – use latest, v4 wl_apsta.o
sudo b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware ~Desktop/wl_apsta.o
Hmm still waiting for network key.
Even tried unsecured neighbourhood wireless network. Still no success.

And continued …

[Hardy Heron RC]
Waiting for network key (sigh …)
At least dual/multiple monitor support is getting much better.
Intrepid Ibex
Hmmm try v11 rather than v8 of b43-fwcutter deb (google b43 deb)