Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th May 2008 20:37 UTC, submitted by AdamW
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Two Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring reviews came out in the last couple of days. ZDNet notes that "Mandriva Linux is popular with developers and enthusiasts, and there's a thriving community ready and able to help with problems" and concludes that "overall we liked what we saw. Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring may not be the best distro for the newcomer moving over from Windows, but if you're used to the way Linux works and want to try something different, give it a try". Linux.com praised the hardware support and the Control Center, and declared that "despite a few minor glitches, after several weeks of testing the two Mandriva flavors, I have finally come across a distro that gives you the best of the GNU/Linux and proprietary worlds in terms of ease of use, range of software, and stability on hardware that ranges from old Celerons to newer multi-core machines".
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Great help from Adam
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 20:59 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

I kind of figured out on my own how to make the broadcom wireless card work, but thanks largely to Adam Williamson's help (he made a bunch of really good suggestions that sent me in the right direction).

So, just to pass this on to all Linux users (not just Mandriva, because it applies to all distros with the Broadcom wireless card):

1. The native kernel driver did not work, and is know to only work in rare cases.

2. Thus, ndiswrapper, using the Windows driver, is preferred.

3. In /etc/modprobe.conf, you need the following:
alias pci:xxxxxx(whatever the numbers for the PCI)xxx ndiswrapper

alias eth0 ndiswrapper (whatever interface your system is assigning to the wireless card to, in my case it was eth0)

blacklist bcm43xx

4. The bcmwl6 Windows does not work, bcmwl5 does. You might have to do a separate download if it's not on CD or your Windows partition.

Those are the tips that worked for me.

BTW - I couldn't get the broadcom working with Ubuntu Hardy (but could with Gutsy). Broadcom cards are hard in general.

Now my Mandriva is 100% perfect. The Broadcom card was the final piece of the puzzle.

This is thanks to the excellence of Mandriva, and Adam's excellent help.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Great help from Adam
by AdamW on Fri 30th May 2008 21:04 in reply to "Great help from Adam"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a note on the above: drakconnect (Mandriva's network configuration tool) actually handles all the modprobe.conf configuration in most cases. It seems it didn't in JeffS's, but there's probably a reason for that anomaly; it is actually written to create the correct aliases in modprobe.conf when setting up ndiswrapper. So before trying to do it manually, do it the easy way - get a known-good Windows driver (usually the one called bcmwl5) and just use drakconnect, tell it you want to use ndiswrapper, and feed it the Windows driver when it asks. Only go to the manual option if it doesn't work right.

Jeff, the native driver does actually work for quite a lot of Broadcom chips now. The reason it wasn't working for you is that you gave it a version 4.x Windows driver to extract firmware from; bcm43xx needs a version 3.x Windows driver. (of course, it's never easy to tell which is which, just to keep you on your toes). If you'd fed it http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o - which is the known-good 3.x version of the Windows driver - it would probably have been okay. However, in my own testing, ndiswrapper is generally more reliable and faster than bcm43xx, so I use it even when bcm43xx works.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Great help from Adam
by JeffS on Fri 30th May 2008 22:09 in reply to "RE: Great help from Adam"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

I read too that the V4 of the firmware didn't work, but V3.

So there we have it. If you use the native kernel driver for bcm43xx, use V3 of the firmware.

If you use ndiswrapper, use bcmwl5.inf, not bcmwl6.inf.

I think my whole problem in this ordeal was that I had used V4 of the firmware with the native kernel driver, and bcmwl6 with ndiswrapper.

Thanks again Adam.

Reply Parent Score: 2