Build for Broadcom wireless using Opensource driver

Hi Experts,

Broadcom launched their opensource version of driver for brcm80211 in 2010, that driver is still in production by a developer named gregkh on github, Here is the link to the article, and link to the git and the driver reside in the location "\staging-5.12\drivers\net\wireless\broadcom" after extracting the git. can you develop compile the driver for openwrt ???? cuz there are a lot of unfortunate broadcom users with no hopes of using their wireless at full potential. Kindly let me know.

Thanks and Regards,

brcm80211 contains two separate drivers, brcmsmac and brcmfmac, covering different wireless hardware/ chipset design - you generally don't talk about brcm80211, but the specific driver explicitly. Neither of these are staging drivers, nor developed by Greg, but rather full mainline drivers (for the most part) developed by Broadcom/ Cypress (Infineon).

brcmsmac is a softmac driver, covering a small range of devices - predominantly the BCM4331. Here the firmware is relatively small, more of the functionality is provided by the driver and executed on the host CPU. Broadcom only covered very few chipsets with this driver and pretty much immediately forgot about it after the initial merge - it does not support AP mode.

brcmfmac is a fullmac driver, most of the functionality is contained in the binary firmware uploaded by the driver. Broadcom does indeed do some continued maintenance on this driver, it generally works, but the firmware won't offer all features you might be looking for - but is can (and is) used for AP mode in routers compatible with this driver (most notably the Netgear r8000 with its BCM4366 wireless).

Quite a few Broadcom (softmac-) chipsets are not supported by either of these drivers, including their most popular AP chipset, the BCM4360 (or the older 802.11n chipsets, like the BCM4322). Some of them have some very, very basic support by b43 - but effectively they're not supported (who would be content with 54 MBit/s max on a 802.11ac router, aside from general stability issues with this very basic support).

So yes, the drivers exist - and they are being used on the devices sporting compatible brcmfmac chipsets (r8000, RPi- and sunxi SBCs, etc.), but the bulk of Broadcom routers/ APs remains effectively unsupported, with no hope for improvement.

For details you will find further information via the forum search.


@slh thanks for the detailed reply, Sadly I'm looking for the support of BCM4718 and BCM4322, Initially in version 17 I was able to make full use of the wifi, but now brcm-wl is not working for version 19 as well as version 17 of openwrt. I'm planning to try out the version 15, but I will miss all the great features in version 19. So If you could, somehow add support for the BCM4718 and BCM4322, I'll be awesome.

PS: I'm also trying to get answers from Broadcom, waiting for their reply. But I don't think they'll be able to help me out like you guys.

Broadcom won't talk to you, unless you're very literally ordering their chipsets in quantities of hundreds of thousands or millions (and even less about chipsets they consider obsolete).

Neither of those chipsets are supported by brcmsmac (and they're softmac hardware, so they wouldn't be supportable by brcmfmac either), only b43 has some very, very, very, very basic support for them (limited to non-HT speeds, so <<54 MBit/s). Given the age and general performance of these devices, the only reasonable choice for these is replacing them with properly supported contemporary hardware from QCA or Mediatek. It simply doesn't make sense to waste your time on these devices with no hope for improvements, if you can find better and fully supported devices starting around 5-10 EUR/ USD on the used markets.

Disclaimer: I do own a Linksys WRT610N v1 with two BCM4322 wireless cards, it never saw production usage because of that - although it feature-wise would have been my best router at its time.


@slh you're right about it, wrt610n v1 and v2 are really very stable routers I've ever used with openwrt except for the wlan, they work very great, btw thanks for your time, can you kindly list some of the routers that are fully supported and most stable with openwrt so I can purchase that one, also can I ask a question about Raspberry PI here, or should I create a new thread ? Thanks

The RPi (brcmfmac wireless) is a completely different topic, deserving its own thread.

Basically anything using the ath79 target is cheap and plenty, further up the chain are mt7621, ipq40xx and ipq806x; details depend on the individual devices, but that's a first approximation of fully supported devices ranging from 802.11n to 802.11ac/ wave2 (or even 802.11ax with mt7622b+mt7915e).


@slh I have question regarding usb eth adapter on RPi, I'll start new thread for that, Secondly, thanks for all your help and support, will be buying a fully supported router. Thanks

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