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eth0enigma

Broadcom drivers on an Acer Aspire laptop

6 posts in this topic

i was re purposing an older Acer aspire laptop and i thought i'd try out Ubuntu on it. I downloaded Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and installed it and found that both the wired and wireless nics were not working. 

Googling around i found this link http://askubuntu.com/questions/14970/broadcom-bcm4401-b0-100base-tx-issues

Using the command lspci -nn 

i found that i had:

  • Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)
  • Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)

Messing around in /etc/modprobe.d  i found that both of these were in one of the blacklisted files which doesn't allow the driver to load.

I ended up editing /etc/modprobe.d/ broadcom-b43.conf and removing the following two lines

 

blacklist b44 
blacklist b43

 

After a quick reboot everything worked correctly and i was able to use both wired and wireless connections. I played around with this for a few hours so i thought documenting it here might come in handy to someone else.

 

-E

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but why was it blacklisted in the first place?

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The research i did, didn't really explain on why they were blacklisted, the weird thing is when i first used a live cd the wired ethernet worked, it was only after i did the install did that stop working.

 

Maybe it's a bug in this version of Ubuntu, i am using the 32 bit version for this laptop because it's an old hunk of junk.

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dunno mean, besides bugs the only legitimate excuse i could think of is if it caused the system to crash or something using those specific chips

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Maybe, but i just ran into another snag, i did an update through the package manager and both network cards are disabled again and not in the same way they were before, so i'm going to have to start digging into the why.

 

found the issue It is with the newest kernel version...

 

 

Edited by eth0enigma
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Broadcom doesn't release the source for their drivers. So.. most distros include them in "non-free" because of licensing.  There is a firmware part of the driver that has to be extracted from Windows driver, and there is a tool do this in most distros.

Some distros do have broadcom drivers and firmware - but they need to enabled because of licensing not complying with  open source. Here are directions I used to get my Broadcom working on Ubuntu: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx

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