CentOS users might have problems with WLAN on their laptops especially with BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN chipsets. These can be solved by installing proprietary Linux driver by Broadcom.
- Laptop: Dell Vostro 1400
- Operating systems tested: CentOS 5.3, 5.4 (32 bit)
- WLAN device: Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card
- WLAN chipset: BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN
By default CentOS installs WLAN hardware and associates it with internal b43 module. It fails to work with this network card (even WLAN LED won’t light up), so we need an original driver supplied by the hardware vendor. Luckily, Broadcom provides such.
Let’s download a package for appropriate architecture (in my case it’s 32 bit). Due to licencing issues CentOS community can not make a RPM package for your convenience, so we’ll have to compile and load driver ourselves. Let’s start.
Create a directory tree broadcom/driver under your home directory (e. g. ~/broadcom/driver) and unpack downloaded archive. You should then see these files and directories: