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Ok, this is driving me crazy. I'm setting up an old Dell Precision M60 notebook, and I can't manage to enable support for its wireless device on debian squeeze.

What I tried:

lspci | grep -i wireless
    02:03.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02)

nice. I found this page on debianwiki: bcm43xx. First of all, let's check if the device is really supported.

lspci -vnn -d 14e4:
    02:03.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4320] (rev 02)
        Subsystem: Dell TrueMobile 1300 WLAN Mini-PCI Card [1028:0001]
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 32, IRQ 5
        Memory at fafec000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>
        Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge

so it's [14e4:4320] (rev 02). And yes, it's supported. Back to the debianwiki page

" For 802.11b-only devices (BCM4301) or 802.11b/g devices with the BCM4306 revision 2 chipset, install firmware-b43legacy-installer"

let's try:

sudo aptitude install firmware-b43legacy-installer 

..

 firmware-b43legacy-installer
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
A package failed to install.  Trying to recover:
Setting up firmware-b43legacy-installer (4.178.10.4-4) ...
Not supported card here (PCI id 14e4:165
14e4:4320)!
Use b43 firmware. This is just for the b43legacy driver.
Aborting.
dpkg: error processing firmware-b43legacy-installer (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
Errors were encountered while processing:
 firmware-b43legacy-installer
Setting up firmware-b43legacy-installer (4.178.10.4-4) ...
Not supported card here (PCI id 14e4:165
14e4:4320)!
Use b43 firmware. This is just for the b43legacy driver.
Aborting.
dpkg: error processing firmware-b43legacy-installer (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
configured to not write apport reports
                                      Errors were encountered while processing:
 firmware-b43legacy-installer
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
A package failed to install.  Trying to recover:
Setting up firmware-b43legacy-installer (4.178.10.4-4) ...
Not supported card here (PCI id 14e4:165
14e4:4320)!
Use b43 firmware. This is just for the b43legacy driver.
Aborting.
dpkg: error processing firmware-b43legacy-installer (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
Errors were encountered while processing:
 firmware-b43legacy-installer

What? Let's try with the firmware-b43-installer

aptitude install firmware-b43-installer

It works. But:

sudo iwconfig

    wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=0 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off

sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
    SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory

Again? I googled the error and it is related to the firmware, but i Installed it! I already checked in lib/firmware, there's a b43 folder with the .fw files

Any idea?

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1  
Did you remove the legacy installer explicitly? If you get the exact same error than it is caused by the legacy package not by firmware-b43-installer –  Ulrich Dangel Feb 28 '13 at 14:03
    
@UlrichDangel I removed all the installers and did again firmware-b43-installer. This time it worked! But the SIOCSIFFLAGS error is always here. btw thanks for your contribution! I edited the question –  randomUser Feb 28 '13 at 14:27
    
In my experience (initially Centrino, but several others over time), you can't use ifconfig reliably with WiFi, use the iw.... tools. –  vonbrand Feb 28 '13 at 14:36
    
@randomUser after you did this you have to either reboot or reload (unload and load) the module for your wireless card –  Ulrich Dangel Feb 28 '13 at 14:48
    
@UlrichDangel I rebooted, but unfortunatly nothing changed. –  randomUser Feb 28 '13 at 15:32

1 Answer 1

I'm glad that you were able to resolve the installation problem of the driver... It's often just a simple matter of working out the dependencies and/or orphaned packages.

The reason for your error is that the interface does not exist, from the perspective of ifconfig.

If you look closely at the output of iwconfig, you will notice, in the second line of output, that the interface is not associated with an access point. In order for a wireless 802.11 interface (a/b/g/n) to be of any use in managed mode (which is standard for client operations), the interface must be associated with some other end-point. Once a wireless network is associated with the interface, the wlan0 interface will be able to be addresses via ifconfig, ip, or your other favorite network management tool.

The only way to assign an address to a wireless interface which is not associated with another endpoint is to use the interface in as a host interface, such as an ad-hoc network or using the system as an access point for a wireless network.

share|improve this answer
    
jftr this is, based on my experience, wrong. Even though you aren't connected to a specifc AP you should see the wireless card in ifconfig and set it up even though it is not associated. –  Ulrich Dangel Feb 28 '13 at 15:25

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