Add WPA support in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn

I decided to try the upcoming Ubuntu 7.04 release, The Feisty Fawn. What I immediately noticed was that the new bcm43xx driver only supports the new 4.x release of the drivers. The problem though was that it is not very easy to find. The links in the README file did not work any longer.

It seems that Microsoft has this driver in their software catalog, so head over there and download it. The filename is Once you have it downloaded just extract it using cabextract.

Using bcm43xx-fwcutter to get the firmware itself, will enable you to use the bcm43xx driver. You will need to execute this in the directory where you extracted the cab.

sudo bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware bcmwl5.sys

Now if you load the bcm43xx module, you should hopefully be all set.

It seems like the driver caused my computer to crash on occasion, so be warned.

Not only did the driver crash, it didn’t support WPA for some reason, so I needed another approach. The bcm43xx driver just won’t cut it, so after a quick installation of ndiswrapper and setting the ndiswrapper driver all was better.

sudo echo “alias eth1 ndiswrapper” > /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper

Using the same 4.x driver as above, install it using.

$ sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
installing bcmwl5 …
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2

Run the following to verify that the driver works.

$ sudo ndiswrapper -l
installed drivers:
bcmwl5 driver installed, hardware (14E4:4324) present (alternate driver: bcm43xx)

Now just load the ndiswrapper driver and voila, instant access to WPA/WPA2 using network manager.