I am dual booting arch linux on my mac mini 3,1. Am trying to get the WiFi to work and have hit a block.

Following these instructions. I have identified my card as BCM4321, which from the tables I read I can use the b43 driver/module (is a driver really just a module?) which is already in the kernel. I ran lsmod and sure enough can see that b43 is loaded. Checked iwconfig and can see wlan0 IEE 802 ect.

If I run ip link set wlan0 up (which i'm guessing turns on the card/wifi?) I'm notified about the need for some firmware. Ok so reading the instructions from the above website I need to get this firmware which I am pretty sure would solve the aforementioned issue, but my main problem is how do I get the firmware without physically connecting the mac to router via ethernet.

I have a laptop that I'm currently using with W7 and F16 on and a pendrive which currently has the arch installation media on it, I am hoping i can stick the firmware on a pendrive and load from there if so how?

Whilst writing this I have thought that I should just be able to wget the tarballs from here, put those on the pendrive and then try loading transferring them into arch, will still ask this question in case of failure :-)

1 Answer 1


I should just be able to wget the tarballs from http://linuxwireless.sipsolutions.net/en/users/Drivers/b43/ those on the pen drive and then try loading transferring them into arch

That is exactly what to do. Unfortunately, Broadcom does not provide distribution licensing for the firmware, so you have to download their full proprietary driver from their website, then extract the firmware from it. This can be done on any system. There are directions on the site you linked about how to do this. At one point, it has you download a different driver version depending on what kernel version you have. Archlinux systems usually have the latest kernel, but if you just installed from an installation medium, it may be older; do uname -a on the Arch system to find out what kernel version you have. Once you have it, place it in the /lib/firmware/ directory of your Arch system.

  • Don't know much about Arch, but looking at the PKGBUILD, this is also exactly what would happen if he had internet access and could thus use the AUR package.
    – sr_
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 12:46
  • Yes thanks have got that sorted was easier then I thought, had a slight issue auto-mounting but did it manually and alls good got it working with WEP, need to work how to correctly configure for WPA as this seems in part reliant on my router?
    – T I
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 13:59
  • @TomIngram You'll have to use wpa-supplicant (wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/WPA_supplicant). You should try and do as much as you can, and when you run into a problem, ask a new question. Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 20:42

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