You are here

Missing your Wireless Drivers?

Well I might have just the thing...

The attached firmware is ready to use with Ubuntu Hardy 8.04, Intrepid 8.10, and Jaunty 9.04 (i386 and amd64), and probably many other operating systems. It is particularly useful when no internet access is available to use apt-get or the Restricted Drivers Manager.

These files are for the b43 and b43legacy drivers, (aka bcm43xx). You will need these files if you get:

ERROR: Firmware file "b43/ucode5.fw" not found or load failed.

Installation Instructions

Extract the contents of the zip file into /lib/firmware/ - thats all there is to it, the rest should "just work". Fwcutter is NOT required to use this - these files have already been extracted.

Note: I provide these firmware files in good faith, however there is ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT from Broadcom, since while it's identical firmware to that provided on their download site, it's been seperated from the Windows driver and installer to make them easier to use on Linux

NOTICE: There is a newer version of the firmware than this, and for some models of wireless card this significantly improves range and reliability when in a place with hundreds of wireless devices nearby, for example a city

Additional: I heard some people are having trouble installing this, so these instructions give step by step instructions:

Open your home folder by clicking "places > Home Folder"
Make a folder called "wireless" (File > create folder), and tell it to extract to that folder. (you can drag and drop from the zip file to the new "wireless folder") After that, you should see "b43" and "b43legacy" in there.

Now the next step is to move them to the right location. To do this, you need to open up the terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and then type this exactly (or copy and paste the text):

sudo cp -r ~/wireless/* /lib/firmware/

then press enter. You'll be asked for your password to authorise the copy. If it doesn't give any errors then all was successful. You can delete the "wireless" folder, and reboot your computer to make the driver active.


thanks for putting up the files, at the moment, I have no way of using fw-cutter.


hi there,
any idea where the newer firmware could be downloaded from?


Not sure if you're still looking, or for future seekers who have found this post, but the newest ones can be found here:


It's working with dell d520 and mandriva 2010...

I tried fwcutter, ndiswrapper and a couple of manual edits to a fresh default install of Debian 5.02. Nothing worked until this simple fix, then pow! Everything connected perfectly. THANK YOU!

-Dell Inspiron 8200 2.4Ghz Intel M w/speedstep
-Broadcom 4311 internal card

This has been plaguing me for two weeks (as a hobby, but still maddening.)

Thank you so much. You can probably add Karmic Koala also to your list, I started installing Karmic Alpha 4 from scratch and ended up not having my wireless working. Your files just helped.

I tried all day to get the fw cutter to work. When I was finally going to give up, I reached this page. I can sleep happily now. Thanks.

You saved my life. Thanks for publishing things like these.

I struggled these days a lot trying to make work an infamous BCM4311 module within Slackware 13. I use the instructions from for broadcom-wl- but they don't work for me (not even without encryption).

But then, somewhere in the internet I found your site and make my day!
Replace the other firmware and voila, it works.

This works on a Dell Inspiron 530 with Ubunto 8.10. Thanks for posting!


Thanks to your great advice, I now have my GF's acer aspire 3000 wifi going. thank you for providing those files!

Who knows how many hair pulling hours you just saved me.

it's work thank you

Thank you so much.... By any chance do you have the newer firmware ?

thank you. this is great.
works with Suse11.2 and broadcom 802.11b/g

Thanks a lot!
This instruction works wonderful with my Broadcom card 4318 on Mandriva 2010.
Thanks! :-)

Same situation with Stan Laurel in the labyrinth (The Flying Deuces): finally ariived we are ready for "AtollK - Linux"

Hi there,

thank you, worked for me on a Dell D520. This is by far the easiest solution ! cheers !

Install 10.04 on D610 was a dream. Even my Novatel Wireless Broadband USB worked and connected 'out fo the box.' Only issue was my WLAN card and even that no problem thanks to your website.

Thank you,

I can not extract any of these files to the target folder you mentioned due to lack of permission. what should I do then??

Thanx a lot!!!

Been trying to get the Broadcom 4311 working on Ubuntu 10.04 for a day now. This was so easy! Thanks!

I'm really thankfull with you...
It worked perfectly for me and you saved me a lot of time and work.

Greetings from Rosario, Argentina

Thanx a lot! These instructions works excellent on Acer TravelMate 5320, BCM4311 and Ubuntu 10.4 LTE.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.