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#1 2015-03-27 23:42:45

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

Netinstall with Broadcom b43xx firmware

The Debian nonfree-firmware iso includes the kernel modules for b43xx cards, but not the firmware.

From https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware#Firmwa … stallation

Debian wrote:

Firmware during the installation

In some cases the installer detects the need for non-free firmware and prompts the user to make the firmware available to the installer to complete the installation.

Before starting the installation process on hardware unfamiliar to you, a suggestion is to download the firmware tarball for your installation and unpack it into a directory named "firmware" in the root of a removable storage device. When the installer starts, it will automatically find the firmware files in the directory on the removable storage and, if needed, install the firmware for your hardware. The link to the firmware download for your Debian version is

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff … /firmware/

Broadcom firmware debs are present, but these contain installers, for which you need a working connection...go figure sad

So for your delight and delectation, here are 3 methods for doing a netinstall if your hardware includes the infamous b43xx, and you can't save yourself the hassle by using an ethernet connection big_smile

[I've tested all these using the firmware-jessie-DI-rc1-amd64-netinst.iso of 2015-01-12]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Method 1 - using the libraries from a working installation

So you want to try BunsenLabs Wally http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=38994 or similar, on the same laptop? You can use the firmware files you already have...

  1. Format a FAT system on a usb-stick, then mount it on eg /media

    $ sudo mkdir /media/firmware
    $ sudo cp -r /lib/firmware/b43 /media/firmware/
    $ sudo cp -r /media/firmware/{b43,b43-open}

    (the netinstall looks for b43-open/ as well for some reason)

    1. Boot with the firmware iso, start the graphical installer, and then immediately insert the usb stick with the firmware/

    2. At the "Detect Network Hardware" stage, choose to install the missing firmware from external media.

    3. Repeat "Load missing firmware from removable media" -> "Continue" a couple of times, and hopefully the hardware will be configured and you can enter the wifi connection details - success!

  2. Finish the install, reboot and "win a free internet"....
    Get the wireless card info - it will likely be "wlan0" or similar - then edit the interfaces file

    $ sudo ifconfig -a
    
    $ sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

    Edit the interfaces file so it looks like...

    # This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
    # and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).
    
    source /etc/network/interfaces.d/*
    
    # The loopback network interface
    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback
    
    # add these lines ->
    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet dhcp
    	wpa-ssid yourESSID
    	wpa-psk yourPASSWORD
    $ sudo ifup wlan0

Hopefully you now have a connection, so you can install the rest of your system smile

After installing eg NetworkManager/wicd, remove the lines you added to /etc/network/interfaces before rebooting. If you are only going to use a single wireless router, then leave the interface as it is, and don't bother to install a gui network manager wink

Method 2 - using a pre-downloaded "no_net_install" script...
Method 3 - load firmware during a netinstall

Last edited by damo (2015-03-28 00:08:38)


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#2 2015-03-27 23:43:50

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

Method 2 - using a pre-downloaded "no_net_install" script

(This method could also apply if you have installed from an iso, but the wireless card wasn't configured)

You haven't got access to installed firmware files, but can manage a very basic netinstall, even though the wireless hardware and network can't be configured. On a regular system with ethernet access you can apt-get firmware-b43-installer which heads off to lwfinger.com and fetches what you need, but without a connection it would be nice to install the stuff directly.

The no_net_install script extracts and installs the necessary firmware for you, without needing a connection.

Prepare the necessary resources before you start, and have them ready on removable media.Some other network-related packages are required as well

    1. b43-fwcutter is needed to extract the firmware, so get the deb (adjust the version as appropriate from
      packages.debian) using

      $ wget http://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/b43-fwcutter_019-1_amd64.deb
      ...or...
      $ sudo apt-get download b43-fwcutter
    2. wpa_supplicant and dependencies will be needed to access a wifi point using WPA security:

      $ sudo apt-get download wpasupplicant libnl-3-200 libnl-genl-3-200 libpcsclite1
    3. Copy the debs to the usb stick

    1. Get the firmware archive

      $ wget www.lwfinger.com/b43-firmware/no_net_install_bcm43xx_firmware.tar.bz2
    2. Extract and copy to the usb stick

  1. Run the netinstall until you have an installed but crippled system, then reboot. Install the required 5 packages from the usb stick.....

    $ sudo dpkg -i /path/to/deb1 /path/to/deb2 ....

    ...and follow the instructions in the README:

    	"This package consists of a script and the binary files to install
    	firmware for b43 and b43legacy on systems that do not have network
    	access in Linux.
    	
    	If you are reading this, you have already downloaded the source
    	file for this system, copied it to Linux, and unpacked the tarball.
    	
    	The only thing left to do is run the script using
    	
    		sudo ./install_bcm43xx_firmware_no_net
    	
    	The script will install the firmware. At this time, you should reboot
    	the system. When it comes back up, your b43 or b43legacy device should
    	be ready for configuration."
    • Set up the wireless access with Method(1)(3) above

    • You will also have to sort out your sources.list, which will be unconfigured and unusable atm.

Method 3 - load firmware during a netinstall

Last edited by damo (2015-03-28 00:00:07)


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#3 2015-03-27 23:44:50

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

Method 3 - install pre-downloaded firmware during a netinstall

However, we want downloaded firmware files available to install from a usb stick during a netinstall

    1. Get the b43 firmware archive

      $ wget www.lwfinger.com/b43-firmware/no_net_install_bcm43xx_firmware.tar.bz2
    2. Manually extract the relevant firmware files

      $ tar -xpf no_net_install_bcm43xx_firmware.tar.bz2

      This extracts a directory called bcm43xx_firmware, containing:

          broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
          install_bcm43xx_firmware_no_net  (installer script)
          wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o  (legacy b43)
          README  (see Method 2)

    3. Extract the archive

      $ tar -xpf bcm43xx_firmware/broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
    4. This gives access to the file we are looking for: wl_apsta.o

      $ mkdir firmware
  1. Get the legacy firmware (if you need it ) with:

    $ b43-fwcutter -w firmware/ bcm43xx_firmware/wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o

       
        Get the b43 firmware with:

    $ b43-fwcutter -w firmware/ bcm43xx_firmware/broadcom-wl-5.100.138/linux/wl_apsta.o 
  2. Copy the b43/ dir to b43-open/ (the netinstall looks for b43-open/ as well for some reason)

    $ cp -r firmware/{b43,b43-open}
    1. The "firmware" directory now contains 3 subdirs: b43/, b43-open/, b43legacy/, with all the .fw files.

    2. FAT format a usb stick, then copy the /firmware dir to it
          NB: the Debian installer requires that it MUST be in the root of the drive

    1. Boot with the firmware iso, start the graphical installer, and then immediately insert the usb stick with the /firmware

    2. The "Detect networking" may say that firmware is missing, and that it can be installed from the removable media.
      Select "Yes", and "Continue" TWICE. (I found the installer needed a couple of repeat attempts)

    Hopefully it configures eth0 and wlan0, and sets up the connection to the wireless router for the rest of the netinstall  smile
       
    (You DO know the ESSID and password/key of course!)

    Finish the installation, reboot and set up the wireless access with Method(1)(3) above

Last edited by damo (2015-03-28 10:39:49)


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#4 2015-03-28 02:06:47

tknomanzr
#! Die Hard
From: Heavener, OK
Registered: 2014-12-09
Posts: 777

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

Nice stuff damo!

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#5 2015-03-28 07:24:07

smacz
#! Junkie
Registered: 2014-12-09
Posts: 250

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

Thanks damo. I had to deal with this on my Jessie netinstall. It was very confusing and frustrating. This is very good to see. Hopefully it shows up on duckduckgo next time I have to do this.

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#6 2015-03-31 05:35:10

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

Nice work, damo.  You gave me an idea.  I should have broken down my Windows 7 Pro on Virtual Box how-to in separate posts.  Thing is, could I have done so quickly enough before someone responded?  Probably not, so not such a great idea after all.


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#7 2015-03-31 06:27:23

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

KrunchTime wrote:

Nice work, damo.  You gave me an idea.  I should have broken down my Windows 7 Pro on Virtual Box how-to in separate posts.  Thing is, could I have done so quickly enough before someone responded?  Probably not, so not such a great idea after all.

The trick is to make post #1 with just a heading, then immediately reply with post #2 etc. Then go back and edit the first and paste in the text smile

I do everything in a text file first, then C&P and use the preview for corrections.


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#8 2015-04-18 10:37:42

Lajner
New Member
Registered: 2014-07-14
Posts: 5

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

great tutorial, thank you and keep up good work

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#9 2015-07-22 00:08:29

smacz
#! Junkie
Registered: 2014-12-09
Posts: 250

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

Will the BunsenLabs ISO be unable to work OOTB with b43 chipsets then?

Obviously Waldorf had that functionality OOTB. Were the drivers pre-loaded in the ISO or was Wheezy just compatable with b43 and in Jessie they scrapped that?

I ask because I just ran across it in my latest (alpha2) install.

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#10 2015-07-22 02:16:42

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

Re: HowTo: Do a netinstall with a Broadcom b43xx wireless card

I understand that the iso will include the non-free-firmware - which is where the broadcom drivers are from. Non-free wasn't included in the netinstall method, to keep it as close to pure Debian as possible while testing.

The hope is to have BL to work OOTB as much as possible, like Crunchbang.

(I certainly hope it works with b43, because that is what I have!)


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