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I noticed there were upwards of 800 views to my previous post about wireless in SuSE 10.2, and zero responses. I dug and dug and dug, and finally, at of all places, they had a fix for me. I will post it here as verbatim as I can, otherwise you can see it in full by clicking here. . Please note that this will only work with BROADCOM cards, not atheros or any other brand. Be warned.



Situation 1 - You have a Broadcom WLAN card based on BCM4306 chipset but the card is not active because of the missing Linux Driver (Version 9.3 - 10.0). See "ndiswrapper procedure".


Situation 2 - You have openSUSE 10.2 and you have a Broadcom bcm43xx series chipset listed in YaST > Network Devices > Network Card. Note: openSUSE 10.2 was distributed with the BCM46xx driver but not the firmware for legal reasons.


openSUSE 10.2 Option 1 - You can use the orginal drivers distributed with openSUSE 10.2, however, the bcm46xx drivers only support 11 Mb/s. Users who need/want the original drivers need to load the firmware for the chipset using bcm43xx-fwcutter. See "Original Driver Procedure"


openSUSE 10.2 Option 2 - You can maximize your wireless hardware to 54 Mb/s in most cases using the ndiswrapper, however to use this option you will need to remove the bcm46xx drivers and blacklist them from being reloaded again using the "bmc43xx Removal Procedure" then use the "ndiswrapper procedure".


ndiswrapper Procedure


Note: In 10.2 you must first remove the original bcm43xx driver according to "openSUSE 10.2 Option 2 - bcm43xx Removal Procedure", prior to using ndiswrapper, see below for removal procedure


1. You need to check if ndiswrapper is installed through: Yast > Software > Software Installation and search for ndiswrapper. 2. Start the shell console (Kmenu >System > Terminal Program > Terminal) and login as root with the command:


sux -


and type in the root password. Afterwards create a directory with:


mkdir /lib/windrivers


You need to download the Windows driver for BCM4306 from the following link: [/url][url=] and place them under /lib/windrivers:


mv PATH_TO_DRIVER /lib/windrivers


From the console change to the directory with the drivers:


cd /lib/windrivers


Afterwards execute


tar -zxvf NAME_OF_DRIVER.tar.gz


for example tar -zxvf SP23107A.tar.gz then




Check if threre are no other ndiswrapper modules loaded with:


ndiswrapper -l


if there are some, remove them with:


ndiswrapper -e NAME_OF_MODULE


After this install the Drivermodule with


ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf


and load the module with


modprobe ndiswrapper


Reboot. Now you can configure your WLAN card through YAST > Network devices > Network card and configure a new wireless card and use the module name ndiswrapper. The other options here depend on the network system you want to use. (Fixed IP or DHCP, encryption etc.)


You can check if the card is active as from the console [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F1] as "root" and type in








to see if the interface is recognized.


openSUSE 10.2 Option 1 - Original Driver Procedure


1. You need to check if the bcm43xx-fwcutter package is installed through: Yast > Software > Software Installation and search for bcm43xx-fwcutter


2. Find the windows driver for your wireless chip. An example windows driver was titled bcmwl5.sys Also note if you can't find yours try doing a google search for wl_apsta.o (SUSE worked with both the orginal windows driver and the wl_apsta.o at the time of this WIKI post). Put the driver file on your desktop in SUSE.


3. Start the shell console (Kmenu >System > Terminal Program > Terminal) and login as root with the command:


sux -


and type in the root password


Extract your firmware files from your wireless chip and store them in the firmware file by typing in the following. (Note: Swap out the name of your driver this example it is wl_apsta.o):


bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware ~/Desktop/wl_apsta.o


Now that the firmware is extracted and ready for the driver to use, load the module by typing the following:


modprobe bcm43xx


6. Reboot and now you can configure your WLAN card through YAST > Network devices > Network card


openSUSE 10.2 Option 2 - bcm43xx Removal Procedure


Only use the procedure below if you plan on removing openSUSE 10.2's original bcm43xx driver and installing the unsupported ndiswrapper driver.


1. Start the shell console (Kmenu >System > Terminal Program > Terminal) and login as root with the command:


sux -


and type in the root password


See if you have the bcm43xx drivers still installed:


lsmod | grep bcm43xx


Any response means it's installed, so remove it:


rmmod bcm43xx


Now blacklist it from being loaded again by adding the line "blacklist bcm43xx" to very bottom of the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file. To open the file with Kwrite type:


su -c 'kwrite /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist'


Also edit /etc/sysconfig/hardware/(your nic card) to change the module. Change 'bcm43xx' to 'ndiswrapper'


su -c 'kwrite /etc/sysconfig/hardware/hwcfg-bus-pci-xxx


2. Now follow the instructions in the "ndiswrapper procedure" above to setup your wireless card using ndiswrapper.

what kind of broadcom do you have. I am currently attempting to help develop the native linux driver.. I have a 4311 and there are some patches that should be in .21 that make the card work and get really good speeds.


there are still some that are not working too.. but I'd give the project another 6 months and there will be a good native driver in the kernel that will support most of the chipsets

Quote:what kind of broadcom do you have?
According to lspci, I have a Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 [AirForce 54g] 802.11a/b/g PCI Express Transceiver (rev 02) card in my Dell Latitude D610. Long story short, same card as yours. I would die of glee if somebody made this card native.

if you aren't scared of compiling and patching kernel source.. my bcm4311 works perfectly in with some of the broadcom patches that should be in .21



I updated my blog about getting the 4311 working in linux

Does that process you listed run the card natively or is it an alternate workaround for ndiswrapper?
its the patch to natively get your 4311 working in linux using the bcm43xx module



I'm extremely new to linux, and have never used SUSE before, so I decided to try it.


I have now spent 3 days fiddling with this stuff, to do what I can do in Windows in 30 seconds. And 20 of the 30 seconds would be spent opening the wrapped CD and inserting it.


This is insanely difficult to figure out, there are conflicting procedures everywhere I look, the screens don't look the same.


I haven't a clue how to install ndiswrapper, i got it unzipped, but thats as far as i can get with it.


I went out and bought a wifi card so I can use this, because the old card simply doesn't use .inf files, the driver is installed via an executable, so that was out.


Now I have a new wifi card, literally took me 30 seconds to install the driver, and about 2 minutes to configure it to work in the network in windows.


Now I've been working on getting it working in Suse 10.2 for 2 hours now, and i'm at a raodblock. I simply don't know how to install ndiswrapper, haven't a clue, nor do I know where to look for that.


I've been working on computers for 25 years, never had this much difficulty getting a board to work, nor having to jump through this many hoops. This is more difficult than getting a 180MB drive to work in DOS 3.0.


So, needless to say I'm extremly frustrated at this point, and to be honest, I'm really not sure I will use this OS. If its this difficult to configure something as simple as a standard NIC whether its WiFi or not, is just silly.


No wonder Windows is so much more popular than Linux, this is just insanely complicated, and the average user is never going to go through half of what I've gone through for this.


If anyone can give me some idea of how to install nidiswrapper, so I can get this working, I would really appreciate it.


The general assumption from what I've seen is that everyone thinks you know how to install an application in Linux, but I've never seen any instructions on how to do it. So if its not available in an .rdm I'm pretty much lost.


btw, I've worked in tech support on computers for 25 years, I'm not a noob on computers. But I am new to Linux.




hi Randy


i'd suggest you get some live support from us on #linux-noob


assuming you can get on the internet with the computer close at hand we'll guide you through what seems difficult now


i know it feels hard (trying linux for the first time) but please persevere, you'll appreciate it later, and believe me you'll learn to love linux and the power it offers over windows


the 20 seconds you take unwrapping that wrapper from a windows driver cd will turn into the 20 seconds you execute a script in linux and get the job done.


it just takes time to learn what to do and when, we'll help you


so, let us know what card you have (exact details) and if you want live support hop on IRC, lookup the server called EFNET and join the channel called #linux-noob


if no one answers you there, they try again later


we will help


cheers and welcome


Hey Randy, I ran into the same problem with Linux when I was a noob (about a month ago) and there were 2 things that saved me. The first was perseverance, and the second was repositories. A repository eliminates the need to download an installer (like you do in windows) and execute it, because, as you may have noticed, installing things in linux that way is next to impossible. With a repository, you type in "NDISWrapper" and check the box next to it, and then hit "Install" and there it is. Bam. Easy as pie. Go to [/url][url=] and follow their exact directions (don't fret, it's mad easy) to install "package sources". Once you've done that, you'll be able to browse and search through those directories for any linux program you want, and install it at your fingertips. Once you do this, we can tackle NDISWrapper. Don't give up, Linux will be the best thing to ever happen to your computer.


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