How to enable WiFi on a MacBook Pro in Fedora

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I’ve recently given Fedora a spin on my MacBook Pro (2011 vintage). While it installed fine, the WiFi card inside it was not recognised by default. From what I understand there is a Linux driver for the card, but the software around it is so restrictive that the driver cannot be included in the official Fedora repositories.

Thankfully they are available from the RPM Fusion (non-free) repo. We need to install that first (I’m installing the free and non-free repos):

sudo dnf install https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

Next we’ll install that fabled Broadcom driver and all its dependencies (just over 100MB):

sudo dnf install broadcom-wl

And that’s it! Next thing we know we can connect to our nearest WiFi network.

Note that in CentOS 8 this procedure does not work at all. Although the drivers install with the RPM Fusion repos, no WiFi adapter is recognised.

Known (deal-breaking) Issues

While the solution works directly after installation, a simple restart seems to stop the driver from working. I’ve tried what feels like 50 solutions, none of which appear to be working. Removing the broadcom-wl and re-installing it does indeed re-enable the driver and bring the WiFI back (proving that it works in principle), but I have no idea how to enable the driver on a system restart.

If you can shed any light on this, please let me know below.

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