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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Running Opensuse (Tumbleweed) on a Dell XPS 13

I don't have a XPS 13 but I do have a XPS 15.

Installing Opensuse on it was not too hard really but my friend does have a 13" and the biggest problem is that the Wireless card won't work.

The problem is that the drivers included on Opensuse don't work with the Broadcomm 4352 that's on the machine.

The are some pre-requisites to make this work:
  • You need another machine with Opensuse and the same kernel (or at least, close enough)
  • You need to get the source RPM for the broadcom 43xx cards
  • You need the kernel source and what not (gcc, kernel-devel, etc)

Getting the driver source

You can get that RPM Here: Packman mirror

The file should be around 2.9MB

Preparing Linux for compiling the source

~ sudo zypper install kernel-devel
~ sudo zypper install kernel-headers
~ sudo zypper install gcc

Make sure that the kernel source are for the kernel you have on the machine.

~ uname -a
Linux linux-c0wc 4.4.0-3-default #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Jan 28 08:15:06 UTC 2016 (9f68b90) x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

~ ll /usr/src

You should have a directory here named: linux-4.4.0-3

Extract the source RPM:

~ rpm -ivh broadcom-wl-

Apply the patches

~ cd ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES/
~ mkdir hybrid_wl
~ cd hybrid_wl
~ tar -xzf ../hybrid-v35_64-nodebug-pcoem-6_30_223_248.tar.gz
~ patch -p1 < ../broadcom-wl-4.2.patch
~ patch -p1 < ../broadcom-wl-6_30_223_248-disable-timestamps.patch
~ patch -p1 < ../broadcom-wl-6_30_223_248-linux-4.x.patch

Build it

~ make

 You should end up with a result like this:

Copy the wl.ko onto your trusty USB stick and mount it onto the XPS 13.

Then, install the driver according to the broadcomm document (here)

I'm copying parts of it here to make it a little simpler.

~ sudo su

# lsmod | grep "brcmsmac\|b43\|ssb\|bcma\|wl"
If any of these are installed, remove them:
# rmmod b43
# rmmod brcmsmac
# rmmod ssb
# rmmod bcma
# rmmod wl
To blacklist these drivers and prevent them from loading in the future: (this step is important since after reboot, if you haven't done this, the original modules will be loaded and your WiFi still won't work)
# echo "blacklist ssb" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
# echo "blacklist bcma" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
# echo "blacklist b43" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
# echo "blacklist brcmsmac" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
Insmod the driver.

# insmod wl.ko

wl.ko is now operational. It may take several seconds for the Network
Manager to notice a new network driver has been installed and show the
surrounding wireless networks.

You can also reboot and once you launch the Network Manager, you should see the different networks.

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