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Lenovo E145: Wireless network


The wireless network adapter on Lenovo E145 laptops is not supported out of the box on Debian. Though you can see the PCI device (using lspci), you do not have a wireless interface (as checked with ifconfig -a, for example).

This guide also shows how you can install the driver on a new kernel before booting to it. This may be very necessary if you only have wireless internet access, because some packages need to be downloaded while building the driver. There is a bug in the Debian support which needs to be worked around to get this working.


The Broadcom Corporation BCM43228 network card needs a non-free driver. Using module-assistant a package is created and installed containing a kernel module that supports this card.


You are running Debian wheezy or later. You have a Lenovo E145 or a similar laptop or other computer with a Broadcom wireless card that is supported by the broadcom-sta driver.


Check the preparations and first and next build the module for the currently running kernel or for a new one.


First, make sure you have module-assistant installed:

apt-get install module-assistant

All other packages will automatically be downloaded by module-assistant.

Building and installing for the current running kernel

To build and install the driver for the current kernel (you need internet access through some other interface):

module-assistant a-i broadcom-sta

This will download all needed support packages as well as the driver source itself, build it and install it.

To actually start using this driver you have to load the module:

modprobe wl

Building and installing for a new kernel

First, you should determine the version of the new kernel. This is the version that is encoded into the package name. For example, if you have linux-image-3.2.0-4-amd64 version 3.2.60-1+deb7u3, the version string you are going to need is 3.2.0-4-amd64.

To build and install the driver for this kernel (you have to specify the version twice to work around Debian bug 763550):

KVER=3.2.0-4-amd64 module-assistant -l 3.2.0-4-amd64 a-i broadcom-sta

Of course, substitute the actual version as needed. This will download all needed support packages as well as the driver source itself, build it and install it.

Technical_article | by Dr. Radut