Getting bwn driver working on a Dell Latitude D520

I run FreeBSD on a Dell Latitude D520 laptop. One issue in installing it is that the wireless doesn’t work out of the box, so you have to install firmware for it. In this machine’s case, the needed firmware is in the net/bwn-firmware-kmod port. So you have to connect with the Ethernet port long enough to get that installed, or pull it in some other way, like a flash drive.

After installing the port, though, it still wasn’t working. It installs three files in /boot/modules:

  • bwn_v4_lp_ucode.ko
  • bwn_v4_n_ucode.ko
  • bwn_v4_ucode.ko

But looking at the dmesg errors, it was searching for a file called bwn_v4_ucode5.ko. So I had to do this to get it working:

cp /boot/modules/bwn_v4_ucode.ko /boot/modules/bwn_v4_ucode5.ko

I don’t know why the discrepancy, but this gets mine running, so I haven’t dug into it further. It seems like laptops vary greatly, even within the same model number sometimes, so you never know. I figured I’d put it on public record, in case anyone else gets the same error message and goes hunting for a solution.