Update 03/27/2015 – According to a recent GHacks article, the Broadcom wireless drivers exist on the Mint installation media.If correct, that would be an easier solution and certainly worth trying.
The information here applies to the B43 driver, specifically for the 4311 PCI-ID/Chip ID, but the driver/firmware solution described be similar for other Broadcom PC-IDs also using the B43 driver (see list below) and running on Debian/Ubuntu or derivative distros; however, keep in mind that derivative doesn’t imply compatibility in all cases.
For further information about B43/B43 legacy wireless devices and driver/firmware solutions see
Regardless of the PCI-ID, always check the distro’s documentation and user forums for the most up-to-date information.
Broadcom wireless solutions change constantly and often vary from distro to distro.
The system used for this guide was an with Mint 16 (Mate) freshly installed to the hard drive.
The built-in wireless device was based on the BCM 4311 chipset.
No other options existed at the time for connecting to the Internet except for wireless, which wouldn’t work after the OS installation.
In the past, wireless connectivity issues in Linux for devices using the popular Broadcom chipset were a common problem that often turned into a difficult, confusing and time-consuming task.
Considerable time and effort was often spent performing multiple trial-and-error driver installations, command-line troubleshooting, reading and evaluating technical documentation, and following suggestions from other users to get wireless working.
Although some Linux distros support Broadcom wireless out-of-the-box or provide options within the OS to install the correct drivers/firmware, most do not because of a variety of ongoing development, proprietary and support issues.
When users search the Web for answers, this often results in page after page of possible solutions and troubleshooting suggestions, many which may be out-of-date and therefore may no longer work.