Fedora 9 on Dell D430

I had a tough time getting a hold of this system. Dell sent it, but didn't update my dell account with the shipping information. The phone DHL didn't leave a slip indicating they tried to deliver the package. The dell phone system kept saying the system hadn't shipped. It would be updated with more info later.

Well, I finally got a hold of a person. The day that DHL had returned the system to Dell. Damn. Dell did its best to make it right, they sent a comparable system (it was an outlet special) overnight that day. So I got it the next day. Right, ready to install, got my DVD drive. Where does it plug in? There's a manual in this box over here about an enclosure. But there is no enclosure to be found. Dell is going to make that right, too. But two strikes.

I borrowed a drive enclosure from a co-worker. So I installed Fedora 9. Looks good so far, nice option to encrypt the whole drive from the install screen!

Here I am at the bain in the existence of linux users everywhere. Wireless firmware setup.

# lspci
0c:00.0 Network Controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11a/b/g (rev 01)

Ok, not too bad. Let's see what yum has to say about firmware.

# yum list "*bcm*"
Installed Packages
bcm43xx-fwcutter.i386 [rest of stuff excluded]

Interesting, what is this fwcutter?

#rpm -q --list bcm43xx-fwcutter
[bunch of files in /usr/share/doc and /usr/bin/bcm43xx-fwcutter]
... read the README ...

So basically, 5hiw bcm43xx-fwcutter will extract the firmware code from another file. The possible sources are listed in the README file. [goosechase?] Ok, I download from Dell's site. But that is an .exe and it doesn't work. Ok, so I go for OpenWRT.org's download. No good, that is version 4.x. This version of bcm43xx-fwcutter only works on 3.x firmware code. OK, let's see. Who do I trust? Ummmmmm.

So I install wine to try the dell .exe file. There's an up to date one, and an old one that I down load. I run "winecfg" -- next -- next -- finish, just like the real thing. Then wine "/.../R83097.exe". That really is next -- continue -- ..." But it doesn't unpack a bcmwl5.sys file. Ok, I'll try R102318.exe. There we go. "

# bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware /home/dude/.wine/Dell/R102318/bcmwl5.sys

... no love ...

Ok, so this is where it gets confusing. I look for bcm43xx in the kernel: lsmod | grep bcm. Nothing. Damn. Google, wherefore bcm43xx? Google says bcm43xx is deprecated. Yes, deprecated. Use b43. Damn, I remember now in NetworkManager that it used b43. Ok: lsmod| grep b43.

b43 123808 0

OK. Now we're talking. "yum list b43". No joke, b43-fwcutter!

So, I go back to the openwrt download, because b43 supports version 4. untar, b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta.o; modprobe b43; ifup wlan0; ##wlan config previously completed

#### Damn that was easy!!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I tried another method which I think killed the orig network manager and installed Wicd; the was supposed to be the big fix.

It opens up, gui, but doesn't find any wireless networks.

I didn't know that Linux was a full time job. :D

I'm hanging in there, slogging on, chipping away, plugging at it ...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This were it gets confusing!!!!

Blogger Crowleigh said...

I think that next time I'll experiment using http://rpmfusion.org/ . They are a repo that provides rpms for a lot of this stuff.


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