Broadcom Wireless BCM43224 on Thinkpad, Ubuntu 11.10

I have a new ThinkPad. It’s nice and shiny. It comes with Windows 7, so I installed Ubuntu 11.10.

The snazzy Broadcom Corporation BCM43224 802.11a/b/g/n [14e4:0576] wireless card did not work out of the box in Ubuntu. This is odd, because Broadcom provides open source drivers and Ubuntu has built them and packaged them very nicely.

I checked that the wireless worked in Windows, then searched the Internet for solutions. Everywhere that I looked, I found potential solutions. The trouble is, none of them worked for my laptop.

Then finally, I found the answer: my Lenovo ThinkPad doesn’t have an Acer wireless card. It thinks that it does.

So, to make everything work, I added the following lines to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf:

blacklist acer-wmi
blacklist b43
blacklist ssb
blacklist bcma 

I don’t know how many of these lines were necessary, but I know for certain that the acer-wmi kernel module needs to be disabled. You will need to reboot the computer so that these changes will be applied (or manually turn off the modules listed above using rmmod).

In my investigations, I also rebuilt the Broadcom drivers according to these instructions and applying this patch. This may or may not have contributed to getting things working.

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