Thursday, November 26, 2009

Setting up Wireless LAN on Ubuntu 9.0.4 with BC4311 card

So I recently got a new HDD for my HP Pavilion dv6000t notebook, and partitioned it for a dul boot between Vista Home (I know) and Ubuntu 9.0.4.

I struggled for first one day to get the WLAN working, no luck. In fact I was overly confused by all the options (ndiswrapper, dapper etc.) on various forums. But the steps that got it working (I think) are:

- Figure out the device details for the wireless card on your notebook (use lspci command - mine was BroadCom BC4311)
- Get the matching firmware for it (for me I found it here. )
- Install the firmware by installing the .deb package
- Disable all other WLAN drivers (if any) as they will conflict with ndiswrapper
- Download and install ndiswrapper package as specified here
- Download the Windows driver files for the wireless card from your vendor's website (or find the .inf/.sys/.bin files on your computer if you know how to using device manager etc.)
-- I found mine online: SP32156A-BCom4311-5.00A, from Broadcom website
- Move the Windows driver files over to Ubuntu, keep them all in the same folder
- Change folder to where you just copied the driver files, and install the drivers: sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
-- This will wrap around the Windows driver and have your notebook access the wireless card on Linux
- Reboot the notebook.

Voila!! I start seeing all networks in the region, and successfully connected to my home network!

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