brcmsmac does not support power saving; use wl driver for better laptop power saving

Broadcom provides three drivers for their Wi-Fi chipsets :

brcmsmac : Open source kernel driver

wl : Proprietary Broadcom STA driver

The open source kernel driver can not manage power saving. wl driver must be used instead.

For Debian-based distro, you need to install broadcom-sta-dkms package :

root@localhost:~#apt-get install broadcom-sta-dkms

This will install the wl driver. Make sure that all the other Broadcom drivers (b44, b43legacy, b43, brcm80211, brcmsmac, ssb) are blacklisted.

While being installed, the broadcom-sta-dkms creates a blacklist file : /etc/modprobe.d/broadcom-sta-dkms.conf

root@localhost:~#cat /etc/modprobe.d/broadcom-sta-dkms.conf

blacklist b44

blacklist b43legacy

blacklist b43

blacklist brcmsmac

blacklist ssb


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