Power Book Broadcom Wireless In Fedora Linux

March 31, 2008 – tagged as broadcom, linux, powerbook, wireless

Man do I hate Linux sometimes.

So I’ve got an old PowerBook G4 867Mhz that is just not keeping up with the latest Mac software. Rather than scrap it, I thought I’d see if I could give it a second life. I decided to try Fedora 8 as I’m very familiar with that OS. My wife only really uses this computer to surf the net and check email, so I figured a base install would be perfect. All went well until I got to the wireless card. It didn’t work out of the box so I started Googling only to find tons of incorrect information.

The most common was the application of a program called bcm43xx-fwcutter which is used to extract data from a proprietary driver and create useful drivers for Linux. Well, 99% of the information surrounding this kept leading me to the same error:

# /sbin/modprobe bcm43xx
FATAL: Module bcm43xx not found.

# sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory

After literally 2 days of trying variations of the bad info, I had a sudden flash of common sense: check dmesg to see what’s failing. I ran the following:

dmesg | tail -n 30

Buried in the output was a message telling me to go to linuxwireless and get new drivers. I followed the simple instructions there and bam, it works like a champ. Spread the good word!


This article is 10 years old and closed for new comments.

Elie • December 8, 2008

thank you so much for this simple, straight forward solution. I’ve been struggling myself with the wireless connection on my PowerBook G4 (1.5 GHz), and now it’s working perfectly.