Getting the wireless to work on a Dell Latitude D600 under ubuntu or debian is a pain.


The network manager under gnome says ‘firmware missing or not installed’.
and “sudo dmesg | grep ERROR” returns a message like

b43legacy-phy3 ERROR: Firmware file "b43legacy/ucode4.fw" not found or load failed.
b43legacy-phy3 ERROR: You must go to and download the correct firmware (version 3).


Go here: and download the ‘b43legacy’

sudo su
cd ~

Install the b43-fwcutter utility.

apt-get install b43-fwcutter

Use the utility to extract the firmware.

b43-fwcutter ./wl_apsta-

This will create a directory in the current directory with the firmware files. It will be called “b43legacy”.

Move the folder into your /lib/firmware directory and reboot and you should find the firmware needed by your wireless card.

mv ./b43legacy /lib/firmware/

And enjoy wifi goodness on your linux powered laptop.

June 2024 Update:

We’ve got proper packages now for the b43 drivers.

Fedora users should have a look at

ubuntu users should look at


4 responses to “Firmware file “b43legacy/ucode4.fw” not found or load failed.”

  1. obix Avatar

    Dude you ROCK!!!! I’ve spent the past four hours reading every ‘how to…’ and ‘well what you need to do is…’ all of them beating around the bush, what I needed was exactly what you posted here, thanks, this was very much appreciated! I’m trying to get ZMLarch (Arch Linux) on a BCM4320 which is b43legacy… I think this did it, (just have to polish out all the scratches I made here in there in the system ;o) )

  2. obix Avatar

    P.S… IT WORKS!

  3. Ollie Avatar

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, Derak or whoever you are.
    I am running Linux Mint 13 on a H-P nx9010 with a
    BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller ver. 02.
    After struggling for several days running in circles around
    the Net trying different things to get my wireless working,
    I found your easy, 4-step, direct-to-the-point fix and it
    worked perfectly for me on the first try.

  4. Stéphane Lavergne Avatar
    Stéphane Lavergne

    Just another big THANK YOU here. :) I had given up on using my old Dell Latitude D800 because of a faulty TP-Link USB-WiFi dongle until I found your post which allowed me to ressuscitate my old PCMCIA card, which also is much more stable. :)

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