Fix BCM4311/4312/4321/4322 Wireless in openSUSE 11.1 and earlier


  1. Emm..would like to thank you for this article! You saved my day!

  2. worked like a charm.. thank you so much.. saved me a lot of trouble

  3. when i modprobe wl i get this message after doing all the above correctly

    FATAL: Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/ Invalid module format

  4. Author

    Did you ensure that you unticked those drivers for the custom kernels (pae, xen etc). Was there any dependency errors during install? what is your platform (opensuse 11.1, x86 or x86_64??)

  5. Hi

    1) openSUSE 11.1 x86_64, conflict while installed (sorry, on russian):

    #### YaST2 conflicts list – generated 2008-12-22 20:31:59 ####
    ничто не предоставляет kernel(debug:arch_x86_kernel) = 9e1e0d2501d87640, необходимый для

    [x] не устанавливать

    #### YaST2 conflicts list END ###

    e.g. “” not instaled ?

    2)modprobe wl:
    FATAL: Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/ Invalid module format

    Wifi don’t work…

  6. Author

    Go thro the process and this time, additionally, untick the “wl” driver for DEBUG as well. Seems there is a conflict on it and that should help.

  7. Hi guys
    I’ve found this guide and i would like to ask one question:
    I’ve a Ferrari 4005 Wlmi with a broadcom wireless card.
    Since opensuse 10.3 I’ve always used windows drivers with ndiswrapper because linux drivers didn’t work for me.
    With opensuse 11.1 I’ve tried “install_bcm43xx_firmware” command first (before trying the ndiswrapper workaround) and everything went ok at the first try, so I am using the wireless card with linux drivers without ndiswrapper.
    Now I’ve read here that broadcom released official linux drivers and I would like to know whether it is better for me to switch to the official drivers or to keep up with the current configuration. Is there any particular benefit using the official drivers?


  8. Author

    It is always better to run the native drivers and ndiswrapper is basically a helper to get a windows driver work on a linux system. Also, performance seems to be a significant difference between running a ndiswrapper driver and a native driver (as I’ve seen on forums)

  9. ok but my question was a bit different. Sorry for not being clear enough.
    I am not using ndiswrapper on my 11.1 installation and I do not want to use ndiswrapper anymore. I want to use native drivers.
    What I want to know is:
    is it better to use the “install_bcm43xx_firmware” method or to follow the steps described in the above guide?

    (or is it exactly the same?)


  10. Hi… I also get the “Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/ Invalid module format” ERROR.

    I had it working successfully (from this same webpage) on opensuse 10.3. I remember I left all boxes checked that time. I have since installed 11.1, and for whatever reason… it doesn’t seem to install.

    I know the following are possible reasons, but I don’t know linux well enough to troubleshoot.

    – Under 11.1, Prior to attempting installation as root, I tried to install this ymp as a normal user.

    – I also tried to install the driver using this method: “” … I forget if I was root or not but it didn’t work.

    Any ideas??


  11. Ok, for those of you with the “Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/blah/blah/blah/wl.ko): Invalid module format” ERROR, it turns out that the fix for me was just to install everything (check all boxes).

    I don’t know why this fixes it, but oh well.


  12. Ok is get the same error when i tried this. As admin says, i unchecked the wl driver as well 🙁

    FATAL: Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/ Invalid module format

    Couple of things i tried:

    Yast freezes up when i check everything.

    It says dependencies when i check some more…. (just a hit or a miss effort, no reason). Any help?


  13. where is it the command line is supposed to be installed? is it the root terminal? if so it didn’t work.
    openSUSE11_1:~ # modprobe wl

  14. FATAL: Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/ Invalid module format

  15. anyone follow up on this?

  16. I get the same error message as well with openSUSE 11.1 (i586).

    Does one have to remove ndiswrapper before installing this driver ?

  17. I wrote before that it worked when I checked all boxes, which it did, but since then I’ve had to reinstall suse ( 11.1 ) again and this time it didn’t work and gave the same error (error inserting …./wl.ko)… so it seems inconsistent and I still don’t know the solution.

  18. Author

    @bitrate: Yes you have to remove all your ndiswrapper configs.

  19. Author

    adam: can you post any errors while installing?? Also, there is a newer version of the driver is available. Use the same URL. Delete your old YMP file and download again and check if it helps!

  20. I updated to the newer Broadcom drivers on Packman and removed ndiswrapper. Everything works great now.

    “modprobe wl” produces no error although Network Manager is still a bit fussy.

  21. hey all,

    I’m trying to get my wireless to work on my ASUS F5R with BCM4311 but when i install just broadcom wl i get: “FATAL: Module wl not found” When i install ‘broadcom-wl-kmp-default’ too i get: “FATAL: Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/” and when i try to install ‘broadcom-wl-kmp-xenpae’ too, I thought maybe that would help because of the pae part in the notification, i get “xenpae → installation partially succesful” and after modprobe i get: “FATAL: Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/ Invalid module format” I tryed all this on a completely clean install. Can anybody help? I’m just a beginner in linux so don’t know how to troubleshoot this (I’ll try google though)

  22. Thanks a lot for this tutorial. Could you please guide how to share a internet connection through wireless in Suse?

  23. Um, there may be a bug, or something that’s changed.

    * The YPM script above *installed the pae kernel on me*. I had selected only “brodacom-wl” and “broadcom-default.”

    * I’m unclear. I suspect that at least some of the 43xx devices need the “firmware” installed to function, which won’t be there on a clean install.

    Today, about two hours ago (11:00 pacific time on the 11th) I followed the instructions above.

    * The package list shown via YPM was different from above.

    * I selected only the broadcom-wl and broadcom-default packages

    * Running the install **downloaded and installed the pae kernel & supporting packages** (I noticed this well into the final “installing” window and let it proceed. I’m reluctant to abort something that’s mucking with Kernels.)

    * Inspection via YAST -> Software Managment -> search “kernel” shows that I now have kernel-pae, kernel-pae-base, kernel-pae-extra

    * I now have two “pae” options in GRUB, (the other is “failsafe”) with the standard “pae” selected as default. (Pae and standard kernel both boot successfully into KDE).

    * I *also* have the same problem & error message reported above when executing “modprobe wl”

    Reading elsewhere, it seems to me that (some?) of the broadcom adapters need the “firmware” installed to run. In any event, installing the firmware package (from now gets me positive LED (in the standard Kernel).

    System is a clean (format the partitions) install of OpenSuSE 11.1 done about 10 days ago, with default Kernel (On my own, I don’t mess with alternative kernels.) KDE, NVIDIA driver and all security patches.

  24. For me it worked and now I am back from Ubuntu, Fedora again to Opensuse.

  25. Can anyone get monitor mode working with these drivers ?

  26. I got the same error

    FATAL: Error inserting wl (/lib/modules/whatever/wl.ko): Invalid module format

    But then I checked my kernel (searched for kernel in the software management app) and saw that I didn’t have default kernel but the pae kernel. So I should have selected the pae module instead of the default module.

    I installed the pae module and it worked.I selected only:
    broadcom-wl and broadcom-wl-kmp-pae

  27. Ok, so I have the pae kernel, too.
    Only why do I not have the pae module in the installer? I see only broadcom-wl and broadcom-wl-debug.


  28. Go to the software installer page from yast and search for broadcom. You should be able to see all sortd of kernel modules.

  29. Thanks a lot, it works 100 %
    hp pavilion entertainment PC, dv2500

  30. I have a Dell 1525 and loaded 64-bit Suse. I then came to this page to get the driver for the 4312 card and did the one-click load.

    The screens I am presented with are not the same as above. The installer does say that the driver is loaded but when I enter modprobe wl I get a fatal error saying the module does not exist. iwconfig shows nothing. I got a bunch of packages downloaded because the screens are different and I did not have a chance to change them.

    Now what? No wireless…


  31. Thanks, it worked for me on a second try. Beware to remove the b43-fwcutter and have installed only the following: (i) broadcom-wl, (ii) broadcom-wl-kmp-default, and (iii) broadcom-wl-kmp-debug. One more thing, for those who doesn’t know: ~# in the command line means ‘root’. Cheers!

  32. Thankyou so much!!!

    The guide on OpenSuse just missed out the loading of the module into the kernel.


  33. didn’t work as I expected, but it does what i need. Thanks for the autoinstaller.

  34. btw .
    Systematical system rebooting can lead to the desired result.

  35. Well, after the Kernel update this week (from SUSE via Auto Update) my Broadcom on-board wifi started working.

    Feeling brave, I went into YAST & removed the PAE Kernel and a couple other PAE modules that had been installed. Wireless is operating clean, now, and the PAE removal also touched up GRUB – bonus.

    Thanks for the script. If I the time works out, I’ll play around with the install on my experimental partition to maybe understand what happened the first time.

  36. Thank you for the info. Works great on HP dv4t, C2D T5800, 2Gb RAM, Broadcom BCM4312, openSUSE 11.1, 32-bit, kern

  37. thanks for this post… life saver!

  38. When entering “modprobe wl” I got “FATAL: Module wl not found”. This was fixed by installing broadcom-wl-kmp-trace. I also removed broadcom-wl-kmp-debug, broadcom-wl-kmp-default and b43-fwcutter. Thanks for the article.

  39. i loose my network in panels, what should i do?
    coz if i turn my wireless i cant manage its

    thanks before

  40. Had similar problem, but found that the driver for my wireless pci ( Belkin F5D7001) only has driver for 32 bit. I have 64 bit set up, so it looks like Im off to the store for a new card. Anyone got any tips for the new card?

  41. I would recommend to check your kernel type and version first:

    SuSE:~# uname -a

    I had to retry an select PAE package. It worked fine. Thanks for this guide! you just helped a newbie.

  42. Thanks. This post has been a lifesaver. However, I still have one problem. The wireless connection can be setup after running modprobe and I can successfully connect. However, when I restart the machine, then network doesn’t work and I have to do modprobe again and rebuild the wireless settings. Any clues as to how I can get it to remember the settings.

  43. Follow-up…it is now working on restart. Not sure how it got fixed but happy anyway. Just for reference, my system is an HP dv6406nr notebook running Vista and Suse 11.1. Has BCM4311 wireless device. It only works with the pae kernel.

  44. It should work with the non-PAE kernel as well.

    I also put the command modprobe wl in my /etc/init.d/boot.local file. This ensures my wireless card is detected on startup.

  45. Thanks my friend…

  46. Hi Rocky,

    Well, those commands are available from root, but not (by default) from a user account. So you’ll need a root shell to run them in.

    OTOH, those commands are used mostly for diagnostics. I’d try the one-click install on this web page first. With that done, fire up network manager. You should see networks being found after a short time. I tend to turn on notifications for “New Wireless Network Found” and “Network Disabled” when I’m diagnosing things. If I know there are networks around and there’s nothing being found, something’s missing.

    If you don’t see wireless activity after installing with the one-click above and rebooting, you probably need the Broadcom firmware / driver. That goes in pretty clean as a package install. I don’t recall the step by step at the moment.

    Hope this helps.

  47. This is a life saver. Just an FYI though. I see in the pick where your SSID should be you have crossed out. You may want to do the same for when you type “iwconfig” after connecting to the network. I wouldn’t know why you would, but just to stay consistent lol.

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