How to Add a Broadcom STA Driver in Puppy Linux

Written by chad anderson
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How to Add a Broadcom STA Driver in Puppy Linux
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Broadcom's wireless drivers have a notorious reputation in the Linux community and lead many a new user to give up installing Linux on their machine all together. For a long time, major Linux distributions didn't provide Broadcom support, but now distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora provide a pre-compiled package of the Broadcom STA driver that just needs to be downloaded by the user. If you are using Puppy Linux, however, you still need to install the driver manually.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Download the Broadcom STA driver for your machine type, either 32- or 64-bit, from the Broadcom support website. (See Resources.)

  2. 2

    Launch a terminal window and use the "cd" command to navigate to the directory you downloaded the tarball to. Use the "su" command to make yourself the root or superuser. Use the "mkdir" command to create a directory called "broadcom," then use the "cd" command to enter that directory.

  3. 3

    Type "tar xzf <path-to-tarball>/hybrid-portsrc" and press "Tab" to auto-complete the name of the tarball. Press "Enter" to extract the tarball into the "broadcom" directory. Type "make" and press "Enter" to produce the "wl.ko" file.

  4. 4

    Type "lsmod | grep "b43\|ssb\|wl"" and press "Enter" to see if any of the Broadcom modules are already installed. Remove any installed modules by using the "rmmod" command, followed by the module name, whether that be "b43", "ssb", or "wl".

  5. 5

    Blacklist the b43 and ssb modules by clicking "Setup," "Configure start-up of Puppy," and then "Blacklist a module," and adding both those module names to the list.

  6. 6

    Go back to the terminal window and execute the command "modprobe lib 80211," and then "insmod wl.ko" to complete the module installation. Your Broadcom card will now be operational, but it may take the network manager a few moments to recognise new networks.

Tips and warnings

  • This module will not compile unless you have the kernel source and kernel developer packages installed.

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