Broadcom BCM4322 Wireless On Ubuntu Karmic

I recently tried setting up a Dell Laptop with a Broadcom wireless driver. It was the only thing that wasn’t auto detected and setup correctly. Which got me a bit worried.

drubin@ubuntu:~$ lspci | grep -i net
0e:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller (rev 01)

One of the first hits in Google was from Dimitar while this blog post has nice detailed instructions. It seems to miss points that make Linux so amazing the first being package management and on this point being able to upgrade your kernel. I found that blog post to be very informative and detailed but the part that made me question things was

Then click on the “Status” button and select “Installed”. Then search for “linux-”. Select all packages that start with “linux-” and then Package -> Lock Version.

What so I wouldn’t be able to do kernel updates? That wasn’t going to do at all. So I did what any good Floss user would do and read the read me from the BroadCom driver page

Some distros (Ubuntu and Fedora at the least) already have a version of
this driver in their repositories precompiled, tested and ready to go.
You just use the package manager to install the proper package. If
its available for your distro, this is usually an easier solution. See
the end of this document for further discussion.

This is something I haven’t seen that often official drivers pointing you to the Distro maintained versions. Linux has come along way in recent years. Any how for all those that happen to stumble here from Google and other places. I just want to mention the easier way to get the drivers working is written in the readme. 🙂

Go to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers
Choose the Broadcom STA wireless driver

Sometimes the driver does not show up in the Hardware Drivers choices. In
this case, try reintalling the driver from the GUI or shell like this:

From the GUI:
Package Manager (System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager). Click the
Reload button in the upper left corner of Synaptic to refresh your index then
search for and reinstall the package named bcmwl-kernel-source.

From the shell:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get –reinstall install bcmwl-kernel-source

In either GUI or text case, after reinstalling, reboot your machine.

Now go back to System->Administration->Hardware Drivers
and you should see the driver enabled and working.

I really hope this helps some one from compiling their own driver and having to maintain it between kernel upgrades. Btw I have upgraded my Karmic kernel to the latest with it still working.

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Monday, March 15th, 2010 Ubuntu 10 Comments