Source RPMs for Broadcom drivers

Please note: The current Broadcom closed-source Linux drivers when built according to the instructions provided here have provided functional wireless capability to some users, but have failed for other users.

Broadcom Corp. provides closed-source IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n Linux drivers for use with Broadcom's BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4313, BCM4321, BCM4322, BCM4352, BCM43142, BCM43224, BCM43225, BCM43227 and BCM43228 wireless chipsets. We (ELRepo) cannot create and redistribute binary RPMS for these drivers due to the Broadcom licensing restrictions (i.e., liability issues). However, we do make available no-source SRPMS (.nosrc.rpm) which contain the framework required to build the binaries, but lack the proprietary code and are not subject to Broadcom's licensing restrictions.

These no-source SRPMS can be used by the end user to build kABI-compatible binary drivers for local use. These kABI-compatible binaries should be usable after future kernel updates, so there is no need to recompile them for each new kernel. Please note that the nosrc.rpm package does not build kmod-wl for kernel-xen and kmod-wl cannot be built on a system running kernel-xen.

To build a kmod-wl binary, you will need to (1) configure a build tree, (2) download the wl-kmod*nosrc.rpm for your EL release, (3) download the closed-source tarball from Broadcom for your architecture (i.e., 32-bit vs 64-bit) into the build tree and (4) initiate the kmod-wl build. For convenience, the kernel development package for the running kernel will be used in the build process, as opposed to our normal policy of building against an older kernel development package.

The kmod-wl package can be built on any system running the same EL release/architecture as the target system. If you are building on the target system and lack network connectivity, then the downloads can be made onto a USB flash drive and copied onto your system.

Below are the detailed instructions on how to build the binary packages. If you are already familiar with using rpmbuild to build packages, then this process should only take you 5-10 minutes to complete.

Build and install kmod-wl for EL5/6/7 (Note: This page is currently being modified and instructions may be incomplete)

1) Install needed tools/packages:

   1a) EL5:

     # yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

     # yum install redhat-lsb

     * Install appropriate kernel*devel

       - For 32-bit:     # yum install kernel-devel-$(uname -r|sed 's/PAE//') kernel-PAE-devel-$(uname -r|sed 's/PAE//')

       - For 64-bit:     # yum install kernel-devel-$(uname -r)

   1b) EL6:

     # yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

     # yum install redhat-lsb kernel-abi-whitelists

     # yum install kernel-devel-$(uname -r)

       EL6 Note: Due to a bug in redhat-rpm-config-9.0.3-42.el6, a modification is required to fix the
       kabi-whitelist target in /usr/lib/rpm/redhat/find-requires.ksyms before you build kmod-wl.

       Please run as root (as a single copy/paste):

       [[ $(rpm -q redhat-rpm-config|grep 9.0.3-42|wc -l) -gt 0 ]] && sed -i \
       's@/lib/modules/kabi/kabi_whitelist@/lib/modules/kabi-current/kabi_whitelist@g' \

   1c) EL7:

     # yum group install 'Development Tools'

     # yum install redhat-lsb kernel-abi-whitelists

     # yum install kernel-devel-$(uname -r)

       EL7 Note: Due to a bug in redhat-rpm-config-9.1.0-63.el7, a modification is required to fix the
       kabi-whitelist target in /usr/lib/rpm/redhat/find-requires.ksyms before you build kmod-wl.

       Please run as root (as a single copy/paste):

       [[ $(rpm -q redhat-rpm-config|grep 9.1.0-63|wc -l) -gt 0 ]] && sed -i \
       's@/lib/modules/kabi/kabi_whitelist@/lib/modules/kabi-rhel70/kabi_whitelist@g' \

2) As a regular user (not as root), configure a build tree and minimal .rpmmacros:

   $ mkdir -p ~/rpmbuild/{BUILD,RPMS,SPECS,SOURCES,SRPMS}

   $ echo -e "%_topdir $(echo $HOME)/rpmbuild\n%dist .el$(lsb_release -s -r|cut -d"." -f1).local" >> ~/.rpmmacros

3) Download wl-kmod*nosrc.rpm

4) Download the Broadcom driver matching your architecture (i.e., 32-bit vs 64-bit):

   from:   http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php (external link)

   to:      ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES/

5) Build kmod-wl as a regular user (not as root):

   $ rpmbuild --rebuild --target=`uname -m` --define 'packager <your-name>' /<path-to-nosrc.rpm>/wl-kmod*nosrc.rpm
   Wrote: /home/<user>/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/kmod-wl-<version>.x86_64.rpm
   + exit 0

     (Note: The rpmbuild option --target=`uname -m` is only required for EL5 32-bit builds.)

   Note: The above build may not yield a fully functional binary driver for certain older Broadcom hardware under EL 6.

   If an EL 6 driver built using the above instructions does not appear to be fully functional, then try building it using the Wireless Extensions API:

   $ rpmbuild --rebuild --define 'packager <your-name>' --define 'apiwext 1' /<path-to-nosrc.rpm>/wl-kmod*el6.elrepo.nosrc.rpm

   Assuming you have already installed a faulty kmod-wl, then be sure to uninstall it (i.e., # rpm -e kmod-wl) before installing the new kmod-wl.

6) If ndiswrapper is installed and is no longer needed, then remove it:

     # yum remove \*ndiswrapper\*

7) Install kmod-wl:

   # rpm -Uvh /path-to-rpm/kmod-wl*rpm


   # yum --nogpgcheck localinstall /path-to-rpm/kmod-wl*rpm

8) Reboot or to start wireless now:

   8a) EL5:

     * Works immediately after installation without intervention

   8b) EL6:

     # modprobe -r b43 b43legacy ssb wl lib80211
     # modprobe -r bcma (Note: needed for EL 6.4 and later)
     # modprobe lib80211_crypt_tkip
     # modprobe wl

9) Store kmod-wl*rpm for safe keeping

10) Optional - Remove the build tree:

   $ rm -rf ~/rpmbuild

Page last modified on Wednesday 23 of July, 2014 05:18:06 MDT