Broadcom 4318, ndiswrapper and wpa_supplicant under Linux

I don’t know about others, but for a long time I had problems with using WPA with my Broadcom wireless card in Ruri. Thankfully all troubles are now gone :)

The steps for a working wpa_supplicant are simple:

  1. Download the latest wpa_supplicant. I recommend at least version 6.3 (5.x didn’t work for me)
  2. Install it and configure it to use Linux Wireless Extensions driver interface, for example by supplying -Dwext to it’s command-line options. Exact configuration depends on your linux distribution – on Gentoo it’s a wpa_supplicant_interface="-Dwext -iinterface" line in /etc/conf.d/net
  3. Start it up and voila – wpa_supplicant should be able to properly associate with networks from now on. Do some checking with wpa_gui

Happy wireless surfing :)


ndiswrapper and Broadcom 4318 wlan card HOWTO

Broadcom is a company well-known for their lack of cooperation with open-source developers, even when they have complete code for linux driver!

That also means that one of the more popular 802.11b/g cards, Broadcom 43xx series, is a PITA under linux.

Some time ago I got it working using ndiswrapper 1.38 and XP64 drivers from some other laptop. Sometime later, I upgraded both kernel (2.6.22.1-ck1) and ndiswrapper (1.47) and when I got myself in need to use WiFi, I found it doesn’t work. After long story of shotgun debugging, I finally found a way to make it work.

Install ndiswrapper 1.47 from here.

In gentoo:emerge ndiswrapper

Download driver sp33008, like:
wget ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/sp33001-33500/sp33008.exe

And use cabextract to extract drivers from exe file:
cabextract sp33008.exe

Now, install driver using ndiswrapper and reload ndiswrapper (Remember to uninstall old one!):
ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf && modprobe -r ndiswrapper && modprobe ndiswrapper

In case of my card (in Acer 5112WLMi), I had to add symlink 14E4:4318.5.conf -> 14E4:4318:1355:103C.5.conf, like
ln -s /etc/ndiswrapper/bcmwl5/14E4:4318:1355:103C.5.conf /etc/ndiswrapper/bcmwl5/14E4:4318.5.conf

It seems to help with some errors concerning encryption. Your mileage may vary, but there are few variants of this conf file – one of them might work for you, and they are all included with the driver

If all is well, you should have a new network device by the name of wlanx or ethx, depending on your settings, and iwconfig should be able to set up your card.