Broadcom BCM4311 problem on Debian, Mint, Ubuntu

The STA driver does not work properly for the BCM4311 in Mint/Ubuntu/Debian.
The Restricted Driver Manager only gives you the Broadcom STA driver as an option.

Yesterday got asked by a friend to remove Ubuntu from his 5-year-old laptop. It’s a 64bit, 1Gb Ram machine, with an Nvidia graphics card and Broadcom wireless.

I was pretty certain that the 64bit Linux Mint 12 would just work out of the box, even though i’ve had problems with the Broadcom firmware on other machines (wireless cutting out and needing to be restarted)
The install went fine, and I went straight to the “Restricted Drivers manager” for Nvidia and Broadcom. The STA driver was recommended so I installed it. Only to find it would work.

My laptop at home works ok with the older B43 module, so I went the traditional route and installed that instead.


sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer b43-fwcutter

Then unload both modules:

sudo modprobe -r b43 wl

Now reload the B43 module:

sudo modprobe b43

If when you reboot, the B43 module doesn’t get loaded:, just add it to “modules”:

sudo vim /etc/modules

and add b43 at the end of the list. Now it’ll load at boot.

The STA module may also load at boot, so just blacklist it by adding it to the blacklist:

sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

and it like this:

blacklist wl

Now reboot, and you’ll have Broadcom 4311 wireless working.


18 thoughts on “Broadcom BCM4311 problem on Debian, Mint, Ubuntu

  1. After searching for a few days I came across this and it works! Only problem now is that I'm not exactly sure how to keep it working after I reboot. Exactly what do I have to type into the terminal to solve this? I know you mentioned it but I'm extremely new to this and am not sure what you mean. Thanks!

  2. Rich, when I type into the terminal sudo vim /etc/modules I receive a response of sudo: vim: command not found . It seemed as if I wasn't supposed to type that in verbatim. Any ideas? Thanks again

  3. Nice one mate, thanks. I struggled with 2 or 3 other suggested methods before hitting yours, which worked first time no problems.

  4. Hi. I tried this and it completed the first step. then i got errors on the 2 nd. wireless got turned on. but ethernet went off and i could not find it in iwconfig.

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