[HOWTO] Broadcom wifi under Porteus

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[HOWTO] Broadcom wifi under Porteus

Postby fanthom » 01 Mar 2012, 23:54

As you probably know, Broadcom wifi chipsets are the most problematic in the linux world.
Starting with the Porteus-1.2 release we are going to provide 5 drivers which should cover all broadcom wifi cards.
There will be broadcom-sta driver placed in 000-kernel.xzm along with b43-legacy, b43, brcmsmac and brcmfmac drivers. The last three are blacklisted by default as are overlapping with broadcom-sta which supports the majority of wifi NIC's. Unfortunately some chipsets are not working properly with broadcom-sta so b43 and brcm* drivers comes to the rescue.
Here is an example of a wifi card that is not working with the broadcom-sta driver:
Code: Select all
lspci -knn
0c:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)
Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card [1028:0007]
Kernel modules: wl, ssb


Code: Select all
dmesg
[    5.878844] wl: module license 'unspecified' taints kernel.
[    5.878849] Disabling lock debugging due to kernel taint
[    5.892862] wl 0000:0c:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17
[    5.892872] wl 0000:0c:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
[    5.895866] eth%d: 5.100.82.112 driver failed with code 21


Here is an example of a card that is working correctly with broadcom-sta:
Code: Select all
lspci -knn
0c:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY [14e4:4315] (rev 01)
Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1395 WLAN Mini-Card [1028:000b]
Kernel driver in use: wl
Kernel modules: wl, ssb


Code: Select all
dmesg
[    6.916353] wl: module license 'unspecified' taints kernel.
[    6.916357] Disabling lock debugging due to kernel taint
[    6.928402] wl 0000:0c:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17
[    6.928416] wl 0000:0c:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
[    6.990065] lib80211_crypt: registered algorithm 'TKIP'
[    6.990369] eth1: Broadcom BCM4315 802.11 Hybrid Wireless Controller 5.100.82.112


As you can see "Dell Wireless 1390" is unlucky while "Dell Wireless 1395" works just fine.

What to do if your NIC is not working with the broadcom-sta driver?
The solution is quite simple as Porteus comes with other drivers which should do the job. The only thing which must be done is to blacklist 'wl' driver (our broadcom-sta) and unblacklist the rest.
Please create a file (plain text) at /mnt/sdXY/porteus/rootcopy/etc/modprobe.d/broadcom_blacklist.conf with following content:
Code: Select all
blacklist wl

This file will override the original one from 000-kernel.xzm and the b43 or brcm* driver will take priority over 'wl'.
By default Porteus ships only with open-source firmware for b43 driver which supports limited number of chipsets. You can still extract non-free firmware for b43 driver with the help of b43-fwcutter as described in this HOWTO:
link

here is sample dmesg output when broadcom chipset is served by the b43 driver:
Code: Select all
dmesg | grep b43
[    8.070964] b43-pci-bridge 0000:0c:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17
[    8.070975] b43-pci-bridge 0000:0c:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
[    8.326540] b43-phy0: Broadcom 4311 WLAN found (core revision 10)
[    8.444650] Registered led device: b43-phy0::tx
[    8.444670] Registered led device: b43-phy0::rx
[    8.444691] Registered led device: b43-phy0::radio
[   11.554040] b43-phy0: Loading firmware version 666.2 (2011-02-23 01:15:07)


brcmsmac and brcmfmac uses open source firmware which is a part of 'kernel-firmware' package (/lib/firmware/brcm) which can be downloaded from respective slackware repository and need to be copied to the /lib/firmware folder.

Hopefully all broadcom problems will finally be gone in Porteus-1.2 and up.
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.
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Re: [HOWTO] Broadcom wifi under Porteus

Postby khalid77 » 23 Aug 2013, 23:31

Dear Fanthom,

thanks for your post.
I am a linux noob and having difficulty in creating the text file in the location specified.

what name should i give the file ? is it b43-blacklist.conf ? or should it be in a folder with that name?

many thanks for your help.
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Re: [HOWTO] Broadcom wifi under Porteus

Postby francois » 24 Aug 2013, 02:57

Welcome khalid77.

Fanthom proposed as file name:
/mnt/sdXY/porteus/rootcopy/etc/modprobe.d/b43_blacklist.conf

Thus b43_blacklist.conf is the name of the file at the exact location of your porteus rootcopy folder, more precisely on /mnt/sdXY/porteus/rootcopy/etc/modprobe.d

In fact, the name is not that important from what I understand as much as you end it by .conf and place it meticulously in the right folder.

Ask more questions if you do not find it. But I imagine that you will get it working.

What is your broadcom driver?
Voltaire: Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.
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Re: [HOWTO] Broadcom wifi under Porteus

Postby khalid77 » 25 Aug 2013, 19:06

Dear Francois,

Thanks for your directions , thats what i was guessing.

I have created the file in the exact specified path . but still porteus is not recognising my wifi card.

when i su lspci this is what i get for network :
04:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11a/b/g (rev 01)

I dont know if my card is supported by this method. Prior to that Porteus didnt recognise it out of the box and even after updating the kernel.

your help is greatly appreciated.
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Re: [HOWTO] Broadcom wifi under Porteus

Postby fanthom » 25 Aug 2013, 19:48

@khalid77
please dump full 'Porteus System Info' report and upload to pastebin.com then link here.
please also post an output of 'cat /etc/modprobe.d/b43_blacklist.conf' command.

thanks
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.
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Re: [HOWTO] Broadcom wifi under Porteus

Postby khalid77 » 26 Aug 2013, 20:37

Dear Fanthom & Francois,

Thanks for your post. I figured the problem was trying to install bcom sta wireless drivers from debian repositories first and then trying your solution around the problem.

after a clean install of porteus , i have tried your solution and its working like a charm.

many thanks for your support.
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