Ever since Fedora Core 6 was installed on my PowerBook, I can only access the Internet via ethernet port. It is a not a big problem at home, however if I want to access my university’s network or the Internet from there, the Wireless access is the only way. There is almost no where on campus or in the lab that I could hook the ethernet cable in. So everytime I want to access the network there, I have to boot into Mac OS X.

Tonight, I decided to dig into Internet resources and very fortunately (almost as always), I found the working solution. This thanks to a guy named Anshul who posted this how-to on his blog when he installed Fedora Core 5.

In Fedora Core 6, the version of the default kernel is 2.6.18. The BCM4306 module is already a part of this kernel, therefore the Airport Extreme (which uses Broadcom BCM4306 chip) is automatically detected (this can be verified with this command: $ cat /proc/modules | grep bcm43

). However we still need to install its driver/firmware.

  1. # yum install bcm43xx-fwcutter
  2. Download the firmware: # wget http://drinus.net/airport/wl_apsta.o
  3. # bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta.o
  4. # /sbin/modprobe bcm43xx
  5. # cp /usr/share/doc/bcm43xx-fwcutter-005/modprobe.bcm43xx /etc/modprobe.d/
  6. # system-config-network

Having completed the above steps, the Airport Extreme should be able to be activated and connected to the Wireless LAN with no encryption. My home wireless router use WPA as the encryption; I can’t afford to leave my Wireless router to be open due to security reasons. This brought a new issue to the Airport Extreme: it cannot connect to my network at all. Oh well, at least I can now connect to the university network.

As soon as I find the information regarding WPA setting on Linux, I’ll post it here. For anyone who is up for a challenge, you can search for this term “wpa_supplicant” in google. I’ll do that myself whenever time permits.