I have installed Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS Desktop (64-bit) on an external hard disk. I want to be able to use (plug and boot) this disk as a "Linux PC" on various hardware.

It boots fine both on my old iMac 7,1 and my MacBook Pro 12,1, but I have some WiFi problems.

In order to make the WiFi work on my iMac, I need to have bcmwl-kernel-source installed. But this way the WiFi won't work when I boot on the MacBook Pro.

In order to make the WiFi work on the MacBook Pro, I have to copy the firmware file brcmfmac43602-pcie.bin to /lib/firmware/brcm and delete the bcmwl-kernel-source. If I don't delete the bcmwl-kernel-source this solution won't work. But if I delete the bcmwl-kernel-source the WiFi won't work on the iMac.

Is there any way to make the WiFi function on both machines?

  • 2
    This is possible, but needs some testing. bcmwl-kernel-source blacklists brcmfmac module. You can remove it from blacklist and check. If that doesn't work well, you can write a script that will switch that setting. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '17 at 20:20
  • Thank you! Removing the brcmfmac from the blacklist did the trick! Now WiFi works fine on both machines. – Sotiris Karayannis Aug 9 '17 at 4:38

So, for the WiFi to work both on the iMac 7,1 and the MacBook Pro 12,1:

  1. Copy the firmware file brcmfmac43602-pcie.bin to /lib/firmware/brcm.
  2. Open the terminal and enter:

    $ cd /etc/modprobe.d

    $ sudo -H gedit blacklist-bcm43.conf

  3. Remove the brcmfmac module from the blacklist by entering a # before it:

    # blacklist brcmfmac

  4. Save changes and reboot.

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