Thursday, 29 January 2009

Belkin Wireless Woe

I have made the not-very-difficult decision to close the Linux blog, since I've hardly posted on it. Instead, the odd Linux article may crop up here every now and then. Like the below. The idea of that blog originally was to share solutions problems I'd solved, and also have them handy in case I did something stupid like reformat my hard drive without copying my instructions for getting the wireless internet working. Which I did.

From now on, all content will appear on Pretty Birdies, you lucky people.

The following instructions relate to the Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g], but should work for a wide variety of chips. It is also Kubuntu specific, but I'll try and point out the bits that need modification for other distros:

The theory is that instead of trying to cut your own firmware with fwcutter, they've already done the hard work for you. All that's needed is to extract the tar to the /lib/firmware directory.
What they don't tell you is that the /lib/firmware directory will be write protected.

If you know your way around the command line here then you're laughing. If not, we're going to use the graphical version of 'sudo', which is the command that gives you superuser powers.

1. Download the tar.gz. file from the above website. You'll need a computer with internet access and a removable storage device (e.g. USB stick) to transfer it to your computer.

2. Copy the file to your desktop

3. Hit Alt+F2

4. Type 'sudo ark'. This will open Kubuntu's default archiving program (Ark) with superuser permissions. This will need to be changed to match your distro's normal archiver.

5. Click 'Open' and find the .tar.gz file

6. Click 'Extract to' and browse to the '/lib/firmware' directory. Extract the files.

You won't get much in the way of confirmation, but a quick browse to /lib/firmware in your file manager of choice should confirm that the 'b43' and 'b43legacy' folders are now present. Restart your session, and see if your card now detects your wireless network.

Pleased to say that mine now works like a charm. I hope I have managed to do some good and save someone else's sanity and supporting walls from serious dentage.

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