Broadcom wireless drivers available?

Asked by Tim McNamara

Hi all,

Am testing Sugar on a Stick on an old Compaq laptop, the Presario V3000. Sugar cannot use the machine's wireless adapter.

What is the procedure for adding support for proprietary drivers in Sugar? This is really relevant to Sugar on a Stick, because it's really about interoperability with the largest amount of hardware as possible. Kids shouldn't be disadvantaged because their parents got a machine that doesn't support free & open source software.

I know free software lovers will hate me for asking this, but is it possible to have a dialogue (like Ubuntu's) that allows proprietary drivers to be applied to the kernel?

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Tim McNamara
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Tim McNamara (tim-clicks) said :

<timClicks> hi all, are there any docs on how to install proprietary drivers into sugar on a stick?
<mtd> timClicks: search for the same question but with "fedora" instead of "sugar on a stick"
<timClicks> mtd: i was tempted to do that, but wondered whether this was already incorporated into soas
<timClicks> under the assumption that portability is really highly valued
<mtd> timClicks: well, it's tricky because your question can be taken many ways and many of those ways would presuppose SoaS is more than just one/two guys re-packaging Fedora.
<timClicks> :)
<timClicks> mtd: i know what you
<timClicks> you're saying
<mtd> timClicks: another way of answering you might be: "soas doesn't do anything - in terms of drivers - that Fedora doesn't do"
<timClicks> mtd: gotcha
<timClicks> mtd: I'm wondering whether this is something I could help out with
<mtd> timClicks: I wish that answer was more clear - it's not a silly question.
<mtd> timClicks: it's just a great marketing success :)
<mtd> timClicks: I'm sure you could...what do you have in mind?
<timClicks> mtd: have you seen how ubuntu handles this?
<timClicks> mtd: create an option in the "control panel" for 'hardware drivers'
<mtd> timClicks: please help me understand what "this" really means first :)
<mtd> timClicks: RPMs? kernel modules?
<mtd> timClicks: .so files?
<mtd> timClicks: sorry, don't worry about the "first" bit.
<mtd> timClicks: please carry on :)
<timClicks> mtd: i'm pretty sure it'll be .deb w/ debian/control that compiles kernel modules
<mtd> timClicks: ok
<timClicks> mtd: basically, it's a gui that allows users to add prop. kernel modules with one click
<timClicks> mtd: ubuntu defaults to free software, however it detects that you're not able to use some of the hardware features
<mtd> timClicks: do you think users would actually use that? Or would they just expect everything to work (implying we should ship as many weird drivers as we could)
<timClicks> mtd: generally - graphics & wireless
<timClicks> mtd: that's a tough Q, my preference would be for bloat
<mtd> timClicks: I wonder how it does that detection.
<timClicks> mtd: so that kids could take soas anywhere
<mtd> timClicks: that sounds interesting.
<mtd> timClicks: well see that's even harder :)
* timClicks grins
<mtd> timClicks: cause now you're implying enhancements to the boot stage.
<mtd> timClicks: IIUC
<mtd> timClicks: and that's a hard nut to crack.

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Sebastian Dziallas (sdziallas) said :


sorry for the late reply. Well, looking through more questions, it looks like this is a popular request. I'm not sure whether we're able to satisfy it, due to the legal issues. Ubuntu's way of doing it might be worth looking at, though. In the meantime, RPM Fusion ( provides packages for various wireless hardware adapters, such as the Broadcom one. Depending on which SoaS version you're using (Strawberry equals Fedora 11 here), you can select the fitting release packages on their web site and install the appropriate stuff. For having a GUI to install such things... well, this requires some coding and modification for Sugar, I guess. ;-)

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Tim McNamara (tim-clicks) said :


Thanks for your note. Will create a ticket at and create a FAQ.

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Tim McNamara (tim-clicks) said :

Tim McNamara suggests this article as an answer to your question:
FAQ #746: “Wireless isn't working properly”.