Problem with bcm43xx-fwcutter

19 Jun 2007
Posted by stylesen

I hear from most of the people from my current company about problems with bcm43xx-fwcutter which is a package added in the Debian and Ubuntu repositories which will help in enabling Broadcom wireless cards. This package downloads some files from some googlepages website and installs it in your machine.

The common problem faced when using bcm43xx-fwcutter with bcm4318 and bcm4310 wireless cards, instead of ndiswrapper is, after sometime your wireless network card becomes inactive. This is basically because of an option in this wireless hardware, when the network card is inactive, ie., there is no transfer of data for some specific amount of time, these cards go to sleep mode when we use the bcm43xx-fwcutter. In order to bring them back you need to do an ifdown and ifup of the wireless interface. This problem does not happen when you use ndiswrapper and configure your wireless network.

So I would like to recommend ndiswrapper (though it takes some extra steps) based wireless card configuration specifically for bcm4310 and bcm4318 cards (other bcm cards I havent tried with) in order to avoid this confusion :) You can refer to my previous how-tos in order to know aobut the configuration steps for ndiswrapper based wireless access.