I just installed Arch, and I noticed that my wifi range is very poor. I have to be about 10 feet away from the router for it to work. I also noticed that when I boot, I get this message:

Support for cores revisions 0x17 and 0x18 disabled by module param allhwsupport=0. Try b43.allhwsupport=1

I am completely new to Linux and I have no idea what this means. I would assume that I would re-install or update my drivers, but I have no idea how to do that. I looked for about 3 hours on the Arch wiki, but no where on there does it say how to actually update the drivers. It's as if it's assumed that I know how to do it. I am using a Broadcom chip, and I would like to know if it's a simple problem, or how I can update or reinstall the drivers via the terminal. Is it done with pacman? I have no idea.


It seems that support for that particular chip or firmware version is still not very stable.

The message is telling you to pass an option to the b43 kernel module to activate support for your chip version. This may improve things or not. To do so, create a file /etc/modprobe.d/local-b43.conf containing the lines

# Activate experimental support for some hardware revisions
options b43 allhwsupport=1

To make the settings come into effect, turn off networking and unload then reload the module with the commands

rmmod b43
modprobe b43

Run these commands as root, i.e. with su or sudo.

Aside: Arch is a distribution for people who like a hands-on approach. If you prefer things to be done automatically, it may not be the best distribution for you.

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  • i wish i had seen this before switching back to ubuntu – riyoken Oct 21 '13 at 3:31
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    well, I have the same issue on ubuntu – Sergey Chupov Aug 29 '14 at 12:50
  • @Gilles : Will this solution work on Ubuntu 14.04? – crisron Jan 23 '15 at 4:51
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    @crisron Yes, the resolution is independent of the distribution. If you find that a piece of hardware requires an option, you might submit a bug report against the installer to request that this option is added automatically. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 23 '15 at 7:03
  • in debian testing must install firmware-b43-installer package after created config file. – alireza Mar 21 '15 at 21:20

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