Enable Broadcom Wireless NIC in Linux


I’ve found that in a few Linux distros, the restricted drivers for Broadcom Wireless NICs are blacklisted out of the box. I’m not sure why, no one on the forums has been able to answer me as to why.
So I show you how to take those drivers off the blacklist, so that you can use the drivers that “just work” (TM), instead of messing around with NDISWrapper.
Tested Hardware – Broadcom Wireless NIC (don’t know the part number)
Tested Linux Distros – Xubuntu, CrunchBang (#!) Linux

I also found the blacklist in the Ubuntu directory.


31 thoughts on “Enable Broadcom Wireless NIC in Linux

  1. This is an excellent idea and it helped me, but you should just comment out the blacklist line with a pound-sign # instead of deleting it, That way you can easily blacklist it again if you really need to use ndiswrapper. I've found that it's never a good idea to actually delete anything in a system configuration file. Thank you though, this solved the mystery I was having with my pci wi-fi card.


    could you comment the path to the blacklist its hard for me to understand you. Im German and i have my problems with commands on linux

    I somehow found a blacklist file but i didnt had the permission to delet it

  3. Oh my gosh! Thank you! I've been wrangling with this problem for over a month now, and I couldn't find a solution, until I watched this. I can't believe it was that simple, but stupid at the same time. I can't even tell you how grateful I am.

  4. I'm going to need a few more details about your situation:
    Were you able to follow to the steps in the video? If yes-
    Were you able to find/edit the black-list file? If yes-
    Were the Broadcom drivers black-listed? If no-
    Have you tried other Linux Distros?
    Packet injection is creating, and sending, a packet under an already existing connection (usually to pretend to be another user on the network).

  5. Ubuntu is a good starter distro, but I might recommend Lubuntu, or OpenSuSE (not Gnome version), due to troubles with PulseAudio. It can be removed from any Gnome distro, but it is kind of an advanced chore.

  6. After having done some research on Backtrack (at least version 4R2), it might not have gedit. Instead, you would type sudo nano, or whatever other text editor is installed. If you want to use a different text editor, it should be as simple as sudo apt-get install [name of editor here].

  7. hey, I´m new at linux, I´m now using backtrack 5, and I have BMC 13xx.. so this is perfecto 4 me, which is the command for backtrack?? because sudo gedit, says "command not found"..

  8. Hey buddy a linux friend here the reason its BL'ed out of the box is because that particular driver if dualbooting with windows causes or caused problems in other version of linux. A black list is usually hardware related since this is a newer bt version and the linux gods probably just forgot the problem didnt exist in new version and forgot to unblack list it.

  9. @zurriagazo71
    Were that the case, then they wouldn't be in the restricted drivers repository. I know some distributions (I think GoBuntu) ship with strictly free, Open Source packages, but that still doesn't stop you from adding proprietary packages down the line.
    As for why it is blacklisted. I'm stumped as well. I still haven't got an answer from the Ubuntu forums as to why it is blacklisted.

  10. @haroldcore13
    Ubuntu 9.10 just had issues with Wi-Fi if I recall. Either go with 9.04, or something newer than 9.10. Sorry that isn't much of a solution, but I found it much easier to install another distro, or a different version than fix 9.10.

  11. @nicecoolbuddy I would just use the driver that pops up in the restricted driver manager (assuming you use Ubuntu, or one of its forks). Otherwise, find, and install, the drivers specific to your hardware.

  12. @FuzzyGhost but HEY what if I know that my broadcom is 57xx not 43xx. Would installing 43 installer firmware work for my wifi?? I think it would not because it is a different driver isn't it? 43xx is not 57xx

  13. @ctsfiddler Sorry to hear that. Any more information you can offer up though?
    As far as computers using 11.04, a previous poster said that he used this to work for that release.

  14. @bullettotheboard That would be true, but the distros that I used on that laptop had proprietary software already. The only distro I know of, but there are likely more, that does not come with any proprietary software out of the box is GoBuntu.

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