Thursday, March 22, 2012

CentOS 6.2 BCM4312 working wifi howto

Linux on laptops has come a LONG way over the years. I am happy to say that most Linux installs for laptops go with very little or no issues. Recently decided to install CentOS 6 (but I'm sure this applies to RHEL 6 or SL6) on an otherwise decent Dell D630 laptop. My only issue was wifi not working out of the box. The "issue" seems to be mostly about the BCM4312 802.11 card in the laptop. Here is the easy fix:

1. Get the "updated" el6 b43-firmware rpm from the Russian Fedora guys. (make sure it's the *el6* version)
wget ""

2. Install it (current version depreciates the b43-openfwwf package nicely)
yum install b43-firmware-

3. Wait several seconds and the wifi light comes on and wifi works!

I originally tried with the documented b43-fwcutter -w "$FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR" broadcom-wl-5.100.138/linux/wl_apsta.o but failed to extract the firmware needed.

I also looked into the kmod-compat-wireless but current information suggest, "RHEL6 packages are broken at present". Enjoy.

Here is all of the info from the BCM4312 card in question:

lspci | grep BCM
0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY (rev 01)

lspci -n | grep 14e4
0c:00.0 0280: 14e4:4315 (rev 01)

Original /var/log/messages indicated:
b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file "b43/ucode15.fw" not found
b43-phy0 ERROR: Firmware file "b43-open/ucode15.fw" not found
b43-phy0 ERROR: You must go to and download the correct firmware for this driver version. Please carefully read all instructions on this website.


  1. Have you looked at kmod-compat-wireless from ELRepo [1] ? A CentOS user reported a success story [2].


    1. I have not yet tried kmod-compat-wireless. But I certainly will the next chance I get. Thank you very much for pointing out this option! By the way, toracat, thank you for all of the hard work and dedication over the years! So many have benefited from your help.

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  3. Hey Thanks! You are AWESOME !!!

    It worked perfectly for RHEL 6.3 X86_64 on a DELL Inspiron 1564 with Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY. I removed b43-openfwwf package before installing the b43-firmware-

    Thanks again for your awesome blog.