When you first came to Linux you may have been blessed with a perfectly supported, flawlessly working Wi-Fi dongle from the get go. Sadly many more weren’t. This was down, in part, to the prevalence of several  hardware companies who provided the ‘chipset’s for these Wi-Fi dongles, Linux support was non-existent.

This lead to many ‘would-be’ Linux users fast becoming ‘would-be’ rather doing something else…

Broadcom – one of the notorious aforementioned companies – today announced the release of a fully-open source Linux driver for their latest generation of .11n chipsets.

This is amazing.

From the perspective of an end user whose own trials with Wi-Fi in Ubuntu several years back were hampered by one of these blasted Broadcom chipsets, I am really pleased to see some official recognition from Broadcom towards Linux users.

Applause must also surely go to the  nerds and nerdettes who have toiled away on the open-source drivers so many of us use today – despite having had next-to-no documentation to work from whatsoever.

Back to Broadcom who had this to say in their announcement to the Linux-Wireless mailing list : –

The driver, while still a work in progress, is released as full source and uses the native mac80211 stack.   It supports multiple current chips (BCM4313, BCM43224, BCM43225) as well as providing a framework for supporting additional chips in the future, including mac80211-aware embedded chips.

The driver is currently available in staging-next git tree, available at:


in the drivers/staging/brcm80211 directory.

Via | Phoronix