BWI(4) FreeBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual BWI(4)


bwiBroadcom BCM43xx IEEE 802.11b/g wireless network driver


To compile this driver into the kernel, place the following lines in your kernel configuration file:

device bwi
device wlan
device wlan_amrr
device firmware

Alternatively, to load the driver as a module at boot time, place the following line in loader.conf(5):



The bwi driver provides support for Broadcom BCM43xx based PCI/CardBus network adapters.

It supports station and monitor mode operation. Only one virtual interface may be configured at any time. For more information on configuring this device, see ifconfig(8).

This driver requires firmware to be loaded before it will work. The ports/net/bwi-firmware-kmod port needs to be installed before ifconfig(8) will work.


The bwi driver supports Broadcom BCM43xx based wireless devices, including:
Card Chip Bus Standard
Apple Airport Extreme BCM4306 PCI b/g
Apple Airport Extreme BCM4318 PCI b/g
ASUS WL-138g BCM4318 PCI b/g
Buffalo WLI-CB-G54S BCM4318 CardBus b/g
Buffalo WLI-PCI-G54S BCM4306 PCI b/g
Compaq R4035 onboard BCM4306 PCI b/g
Dell Wireless 1390 BCM4311 Mini PCI b/g
Dell Wireless 1470 BCM4318 Mini PCI b/g
Dell Truemobile 1300 r2 BCM4306 Mini PCI b/g
Dell Truemobile 1400 BCM4309 Mini PCI b/g
HP nx6125 BCM4319 PCI b/g
Linksys WPC54G Ver 3 BCM4318 CardBus b/g
Linksys WPC54GS Ver 2 BCM4318 CardBus b/g
TRENDnet TEW-401PCplus BCM4306 CardBus b/g
US Robotics 5411 BCM4318 CardBus b/g

The bwi driver uses the older v3 version of Broadcom's firmware. While this older firmware does support most BCM43xx parts, the bwn(4) driver works better for the newer chips it supports. You must use the bwi driver if you are using older Broadcom chipsets (BCM4301, BCM4303 and BCM4306 rev 2). The v4 version of the firmware that bwn(4) uses does not support these chips.


Join an existing BSS network (i.e., connect to an access point):

ifconfig wlan create wlandev bwi0 inet \ 
    netmask 0xffffff00

Join a specific BSS network with network name “ my_net”:

ifconfig wlan create wlandev bwi0 ssid my_net up

Join a specific BSS network with 64-bit WEP encryption:

ifconfig wlan create wlandev bwi0 ssid my_net \ 
        wepmode on wepkey 0x1234567890 weptxkey 1 up


The bwi driver first appeared in FreeBSD 8.0.


The bwi driver was written for DragonFly BSD by Sepherosa Ziehau and subsequently ported to FreeBSD.


Some card based on the BCM4306 and BCM4309 chips do not work properly on channel 1, 2 and 3.
February 6, 2011 FreeBSD