I'm struggling to get my wireless card detected as wlan0 on a new Debian install (3.16.0-4-amd64).

The wireless PCI device is visible as follows.

$ lspci -knn | grep Net -A2
04:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM43602 802.11ac Wireless LAN SoC [14e4:43ba] (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Apple Inc. Device [106b:0152]
05:00.0 Multimedia controller [0480]: Broadcom Corporation 720p FaceTime HD Camera [14e4:1570]
0b:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57762 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe [14e4:1682]
    Subsystem: Apple Inc. Device [106b:00f6]
    Kernel driver in use: tg3

With the help of this tip online, I placed a download of brcmfmac43602 in /lib/firmware/brcm. I've since restarted and attempted to add the module to with modprobe brcmfmac.

Still, I'm unable to see the network interface, as displayed below.

$ ip link show
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN mode DEFAULT group default 
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 98:5a:eb:c6:cf:4d brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

Any pointers on what I may have overlooked would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    wiki.debian.org/brcm80211 – jordanm Apr 17 '16 at 5:07
  • I've followed a similar process with the exception of using brcmfmac instead of brcmsmac and the behavior above persists. I have attempted to use brcmsmac to see if the outcome changes, but it does not. – Josh Rosso Apr 24 '16 at 20:47

According to wireless.wiki brcmfmac is supported in the kernel 3.17 and later.

Chipset PCI Device ID   Notes

BCM43602    14e4:43ba   Supported in 3.17+
  • After upgrading to 3.19.8, I see the same behavior after adding brcmfmac with modprobe brcmfmac. ip link show still yields no wireless device. – Josh Rosso Apr 24 '16 at 20:45
  • Add the non-free repo to your sources.list and type sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree – GAD3R Apr 24 '16 at 22:25

Honestly, I did fight many times with broadcom wireless cards, under linux and windows and those cards are crap.

  • card not detected correctly
  • network SSID randomly visible
  • impossible to connect on some access points for unknown reasons
  • connected on AP but no traffic possible

And this with all possible kernels, drivers, tools, tricks and all.

Ethernet adapters from Broadcom are fine but stay away from wireless. If you have the possibility to change your device, put an intel card in there and everything will be fine.


Usually Debian is good enough to get this stuff working without the need to go and manually install files from the internet. I've learned that manually placing files in these critical directories and using modprobe tend to lead to unmanageable situations.

Your broadcom device probably requires proprietary firmware which isn't installed on Debian systems by default.

Try appending non-free to each line in your /etc/apt/sources.list. With linux kernel 3.16 you're probably on jessie so you'll have something like this:

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian jessie main non-free


apt-get update
apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree

If this doesn't work, it could mean that your card is super-new and wasn't supported when jessie was released back in 2015. In this case, backports may help you out. These bring newer firmware into Debian's stable release.

In that case, add jessie-backports to your sources by creating this content in a new file: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list:

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian jessie-backports main non-free

Then install firmware from non-free:

apt-get update
apt-get install -t jessie-backports firmware-linux-nonfree

Note that I'm not sure that jessie-backports gets much attention anymore. jessie was marked as an obsolete stable release in 2017 when stretch was released and so I suspect that if your card is newer than 2017 this won't fix it. If you still have problems, I suggest upgrading your debian to the latest stable release (which is pretty much buster at this moment).

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