Broadcom Ethernet card not working with new kernels - intermittently being registered as two different devices

Greg Freemyer greg.freemyer at
Fri Apr 1 13:59:45 EDT 2011

On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 1:31 PM, julie Sullivan <kernelmail.jms at> wrote:
> Hi list,
> Celejar (see message copied below) has been having problems with his
> Broadcom BCM4401-B0 Ethernet card not working on very recent kernels -
> it seems to be sporadically registered either as the correct device or
> as a completely different Broadcom device on a different subsystem and
> IRQ.
> He has emailed various mailing lists and, more recently, linux-kernel,
> netdev, devel.linuxdriverproject and the b44 driver maintainer but so
> far without any response.
> I would need to do a _lot_ of swotting up on device registration
> semantics to even know where to start looking, so can anyone here
> help? Any ideas?
> NOTE: _please do_ cc him as I don't think he is subscribed to kernelnewbies.
> Cheers
> Julie

I don't know that specific hardware, but maybe this can help

Broadcom is a mess.

This might help, but its a little older

There are at least 4 totally different drivers that support some
broadcom hardware.

- The new native kernel driver (as of 2.6.37 I think)

- The old b43 / b44 drivers (GPL)

- The STA driver (not GPL)

- The NDISWRAPPER approach (uses the windows driver via linux, I think)

I've got one laptop that works with b43, but not with STA.

And one that works with STA, but not b43.

I haven't used the new kernel driver at all yet, nor have I had to
fall all the way back to NDISWRAPPER.

Good Luck

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