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 Installing driver for Broadcom 802.11b/g wireless cards

This tutorial is applicable to LinuxMint Debian Edition for it doesn't come with the Hardware Driver option (System->Administration->Hardware Drivers) found in Ubuntu and LinuxMint. Installing LMDE will not automatically install the driver for you so you have to manually do it from the Terminal.

Steps are outlined below:

You are required to connect to the Internet with the LAN interface before proceeding.

1.) After successfully installing LMDE, you have to update it first prior to installing the driver.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

2.) After a successfull update, we can now install the desired driver for our Broadcom wireless card:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

All you have to do is wait for the installation to finish and you will be able to use the Broadcom wifi card.


[March 19, 2011]

Here's an update if you're trying to install the driver on a netbook with low-power b43 chipset:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-lpphy-installer


[April 26, 2011]

Updating my LMDE with the latest kernel had my broadcom wireless messed up. In order to have my connection back, I had to use a different set of commands.

sudo -i
apt-get install module-assistant wireless-tools broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source
m-a a-i broadcom-sta
echo "blacklist brcm80211" >>/etc/modprobe.d/broadcom-sta-common.conf
update-initramfs -u -k $(uname -r)
modprobe -r b44 b43 b43legacy ssb brcm80211
modprobe wl

Now, it's working fine. You had to issue this command whenever you have to upgrade your current kernel.

Tags: broadcom driver, wireless
Created: 4 years ago.
Last edited: 4 years ago.
Reviewed: 4 years ago.
Read 2219 times.

7 months ago

You rock man!! It worked in HP-Compaq nx6110. I'm using Linux Mint 17 (Cinnamon) for 32 bits.

I did steps 1 and 2... but nothing happens immediately. Then I restarted my laptop and the wireless connection raised from the dead !! Thanks a lot !!
7 months ago


Its amazing solution
9 months ago

Thanks, my Mint 17.1 whith hp dv6000 broadcom now ok!!!  
10 months ago

I did steps 1-2 and it worked fine after reboot. The hardware is HP Pavillion dv6000 PN:dv6243cl  
11 months ago

Thank you for writing the only solution that works for the Broadcom driver issue. It's surprising how many "solutions" you find for getting your Broadcom b4311 to work with Mint when you Google it, however this is the only one that actually works. All the other ones simply give you typing practice and excercise your patience. Wouldn't it be grand if Mint would finally fix this issue? You would think by now (17.1) that when you go to Administration - Driver Manager - and see the the device listed and enable it, that would do it. Alas, like all the other supposed "fixes", it does absolutely nothing.
Thank you again. I have to go through this every time I upgrade Mint.
Dell D630
Broadcom b4311
8gb RAM
Mint 17.1 64bit Cinnamon
1 year ago

I was given an unwanted but working Windows XP Dell laptop by a relative who asked me to wipe everything off the disc. I decided that this would be a good platform to dip my toes into Linux. The laptop didn't have a wireless card so I bought one from e-bay that had come from a similar model Dell. I fitted it and installed Mint 13, partitioning and wiping the disc to do so. Then I tried and failed to get the broadcom card working and in my trial and error efforts I got stumped by things refusing to delete and I got completely lost and decided the best thing to do was to start from scratch. In the interim Mint 17 was released with improved Broadcom Support, so I created the live CD and installed it wiping everything for a clean start. But despite adding SSID and security key the card didn't run, so I searched for further assistance, and found this article and another on the ubuntu forum. This one explained about the fwcutter, but starting with a working clean v2 install I was a bit wary of upgrading when all I wanted was to test whether I could get the card working. So I followed the simpler route on the ububtu forum -
To install b43-fwcutter issue the following commands in a terminal and follow the prompts:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
Under the desktop menu System > Administration > Hardware/Additional Drivers, the b43 drivers can be activated for use.
[end quote]
In Mint 17 there isn't Administration but the function is under Software Manager.
The thing this article doesn't say, which I add for anyone else solving this problem is that it is necessary to quit and then boot for the activated drivers to come into use. I did and the Broadcom card connected immediately. I am sending this meessage using it.
1 year ago

There seems to be a problem with bluetooth and Wlan on the same device, but this brought an old HP Compaq NX6325 onto WiFi - finally. Excellent tutorial!  
2 years ago

Excellent guide :-)

I call out to the 2-3 people out there who are like me and are still using the old Dell Inspiron 6400 with the Broadcom B43 wireless card:


I used the "Additional Drivers" update and it ended badly. I have never seen anything like it before in any Linux distro cause it killed my entire OS. Initially it killed the X server (recovered) and then the wired connection didn't work (rebooted). Every now and then it reported a crash or crashed the X server or the entire system without warning. No dpkg or roll back helped.
Seen it on Mint 13,14,15 so I guess it is not version dependent. After using the above guide, my Mint 13 runs smoothly without any problems for weeks now.

Be advised, use the above guide instead of the "Additional Drivers" update and have fun with Mint. It is an excellent OS.
2 years ago

My laptop is HP CQ41, and I have problem since my wireless switch is Hard blocked and not using Fn key. This tutorial really usefull, thanks.  
2 years ago

After a reboot...

Worked for me (first and second step) ; after a fresh 32 Mint 15 Mate installation, on a HP Pavilion dv5000 with a Broadcom BCM4311 card...

Also, I did put a « b43 » at the end of the /etc/modules file. A reboot
and I'm sending this msg with a wireless connexion...


2 years ago

Thank's for the instruction! I followed it, and it didn't work for me until I run
sudo modprobe b43

although I did not update kernel. So I assume in some cases it needs to be run anyway, even if you did not update kernel.

My OS is Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon.

2 years ago

Thank you ianace. Your original method worked perfectly for my HP Pavilion DV6000.  
2 years ago

Brilliant. Thanks. Worked first time using the Low Power B43 command on a Lenovo S10e...  
2 years ago

Thx ianace! Made my old ACER ASPIRE 5020 wifi work.  
3 years ago

Works on ACER ASPIRE 5755G a few errors during installation but finally works.. now i'm connected with my wifi adapter...

Thx a lot.. i thinking about changue to Ubuntu or other distro because this bug..

Thx a lot again!
3 years ago

Thanks this really helped me out.  
4 years ago

Worked like a charm! Tnx very much for the help!!!  
4 years ago

Thank you! I didn't want to install the recommended STA drivers (BTW I own a Lenovo S10e Netbook) and the low power b43 worked like a charm. My laptop even gets a stronger and more stable signal everywhere. Again, thank you!  
4 years ago

Good tutorial.  
4 years ago

this may take an error:  
4 years ago

Thanks for this solution. I had been reading the forum threads and was getting no where.I installed Mint "Julia" on a HP Pavillion DV4 1225dx and it needed the low-power b4 chipset and it works fine now.  

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