Making BCM43142 Wireless Chipset Work on Debian

So I couldn’t get WiFi to work on my SolydK installation. It does come with a nifty tool called ‘Device Driver Manager’, but even that couldn’t find a driver for my wireless chipset — the Broadcom BCM43142. Some other Broadcom drivers sure are available in the Debian repos, but this one isn’t. So I did the only sensible thing to do: searched the Web. And here’s the solution.

Note: I assume that you know the basics of apt-get and cd commands.

What’s your chipset?

Open the terminal and run
$ lspci | grep BCM
and check if the output contains BCM43142. If it does, this post is for you.

Get the driver

  1. Run
    $ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic build-essential dkms broadcom-sta-modules
    If it freaks out with the first package, just skip that one.
  2. Download this deb package.
  3. cd into the directory containing the package.
  4. Install it using
    $ sudo dpkg -i wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb
  5. Activate it.
    $ sudo modprobe wl
  6. Done. It should work now.

What’s inside?

I haven’t checked, but there’s one thing I know: the person who has provided the deb package, has tweaked a copy of the driver package found inside an Ubuntu installation.


51 thoughts on “Making BCM43142 Wireless Chipset Work on Debian”

  1. The driver is now part of the regular Ubuntu release. I installed Ubuntu 13.10 on my Lenovo laptop which contains the BCM43142 and it works.


  2. Does not work on Dell Inspiron 5525…. Maybe I make some mistakes in the steps.
    It took me over 3days in fixing the wireless device, but now I still find nothing… and I found a 32bit version of this deb driver but it doesn’t work so much…


    1. Sorry to hear that, but even I don’t know the insides of this. I only wrote about how I solved it. Hope I could help but can’t. 😦


    2. Actually, the site from where I got the 64-bit file, also used to have the 32-bit one, but currently, it is down. And even I don’t have a copy with me. I’m sorry.


  3. and when i try to run sudo modeprob wl ….than one error occured….FATAL:Module not found…………………………plz help me sir…..i try so much for this problem but no one solution is working i think this solution is right but in my linux many problem occured when i try this solution.
    plz help me


    1. Hi i am having ubuntu 12.10 64 bit with dell vostro 2520 laptop
      modprob wl give FATAL: Module not found please help


    2. Ubuntu? Did you try System Settings > Additional Drivers?

      If that didn’t work, try this:
      sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source
      and then do a
      sudo modprobe wl

      Tell me what happens.


  4. thanx for reply ….sir…i’m using kali linux 1.0.5(debian based distro)…plz help me……i’m faced so many issue like gdbus.error during installation of any .deb file….including suggested file in this post can you help me ….???


  5. i downloaded the deb file “wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb” from the above link and saved in /root
    after i did cd /root
    and used the command “sudo dpkg -i wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb” it gives me a error:

    root@MindStorm:~# cd /root
    root@MindStorm:~# sudo dpkg -i wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb
    dpkg: error processing wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb (–install):
    package architecture (amd64) does not match system (i386)
    Errors were encountered while processing:

    please help out with it i am new to linux thank you in advanced.


    1. I tried to update and install prerequisites:

      root@MindStorm:~# sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic build-essential dkms
      Reading package lists... Done
      Building dependency tree
      Reading state information... Done
      Package dkms is not available, but is referred to by another package.
      This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
      is only available from another source

      Package linux-headers-generic is not available, but is referred to by another package.
      This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
      is only available from another source

      E: Package 'linux-headers-generic' has no installation candidate
      E: Package 'dkms' has no installation candidate

      What should i do i also downloaded the i386 deb package
      but can’t install it.
      please reply waiting for your reply eagerly


    2. Try this:
      apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

      I don’t know about dkms, but you could try this: Install aptitude and try aptitude install instead of apt-get install. Aptitude is smarter and will provide you solutions for this kind of errors.

      On a related note, whenever you wish to include any long output or source code (>5 lines) in a comment, please use a tool like Codepad to paste it, and then just provide a link in the comment. Otherwise, the comment will automatically be marked as spam on WordPress, and the author might not notice it.


  6. thank you so much for providing such information. i have tried a lot for installing that drivers but i was not succeed because of information which you provided i installed that.


  7. I have a problem. When I tried to install wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb I can see next error:
    root@debian:/home/roger/Descargas# dpkg -i wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb
    (Leyendo la base de datos … 84780 ficheros o directorios instalados actualmente.)
    Preparing to unpack wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb …
    Unpacking wireless-bcm43142-dkms ( …
    Configurando wireless-bcm43142-dkms ( …
    Loading new wireless-bcm43142- DKMS files…
    Building only for 3.14-2-amd64
    Building initial module for 3.14-2-amd64
    Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 3.14-2-amd64 (x86_64)
    Consult /var/lib/dkms/wireless-bcm43142/ for more information.


  8. Podemos, this package does not work with kernel 3.14-2-amd64 (x86_64). You need a patch this driver:

    This method (4th in forum) worked for me to 3.14-2-amd64 (x86_64) but not for newer one. You can also use broadcom original linux driver from their website – but it is the same, you need compile it and not to use kernel more than 3.14. Their support is too slow if you want to use rolling updates or bleeding edge distros this piece of shit wifi card is not good idea. Or you can use aptitude hold kernel and kernel headers like me. I think the best method is to grab 20-30 Eur and buy a new wifi card with better support. Look on that, will be november and their drivers are from august. They add support to kernel
    3.11 they wrote in readme.

    Nice. Or If somebody wants old and stable distro like debian stable and derivates is no problem. But I need a newer stuff and dont want to wait, I will buy new card, with driver already build in the kernel.
    This card also does not support injection mode to use aircrack, mac spoofing, etc..
    (If somebody wants to now)


  9. Please Help:
    root@yalmaz:~/Desktop# sudo dpkg -i wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb
    (Reading database … 317328 files and directories currently installed.)
    Preparing to replace wireless-bcm43142-dkms (using wireless-bcm43142-dkms_6.20.55.19-1_amd64.deb) …
    Unpacking replacement wireless-bcm43142-dkms …
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of wireless-bcm43142-dkms:
    wireless-bcm43142-dkms depends on dkms (>=; however:
    Package dkms is not installed.

    dpkg: error processing wireless-bcm43142-dkms (–install):
    dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
    Errors were encountered while processing:


  10. No i have dkms installed. Although i forgot how i solved this problem but last week i was messing with wireless drivers and again there is no wireless in my Kali. Please Help


  11. I Have recently installed duel boot window7 with KALI 2.0. my wifi is not working in kali Linux also wifi icon is not showing in system. could you please suggest for this.


    1. i have a similar issue. it’s look like we need to do changes with that kernel from kali, my version is 4.2.0 and then wifi module does not work. i’ve tried a lot ofchanges and packages, but it’s still die,but, i’ve tried with jessie version package, and looks like finally works, but only my system show data, no funtionally works.


  12. Thanks, works in debian 8 jessie. Laptop Sony Vaio SVF15328CXW.
    greetings from caracas, Venezuela
    Spanish: Gracias, funciona excelente en debian 8 jessie. En una laptop Sony Vaio SVF15328CXW.
    saludos desde caracas, Venezuela.


  13. I get this error:
    package architecture (amd64) does not match system (i386)
    Errors were encountered while processing:
    What can i do? Where can i download the right package for me? 😦


  14. Thank you very much for the quick reply, I didn’t found that file anywhere lol. Now the problem is that i don’t have internet access on the distro so I can’t install the first packages with apt-get… this has been a pain. Im going to search on how to install offline or maybe install in my other laptop. But thanks 🙂


  15. Hello i have debian 8 on usb and wlan doesnt show… when i put the usb on ohter netbook its appear but cant connect to wifi.. i have bcm 43142 version netbooks asus …


    1. one notebook (asus)with bcm 43142 version doesnt show wifi


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    2021 UPDATE you can skip linux-headers-generic… correct headers will load as a dependancy.
    change broadcom-sta-modules to broadcom-sta-dkms
    pkg download/install not needed


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