[Solved] Broadcom wirelesdriver doesn't work on Macbook Air.

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TheDoctor
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[Solved] Broadcom wirelesdriver doesn't work on Macbook Air.

Post#1 by TheDoctor » 12 May 2013, 17:22

Porteus v2.0 works quite well on Macbooks, but while developing a few of us ran into problems getting the wireless chipset of a Macbook Air functioning. The model ID of the chipset is Broadcom BCM43224, and the PCI ID is 14e4:4353. None of the Broadcom drivers we tried worked with the chipset - most of them resulted in the network interface not being created. The b43 driver in particular should have worked but did not.

We fixed it by reconfiguring the kernel for Proteus v2.0 to turn on the CONFIG_B43_BCMA_EXTRA option. We then recompiled the kernel and added the following modules to our overlay module (000-byzantium.xzm):
  • net/rfkill/rfkill.ko
  • net/wireless/cfg80211.ko
  • drivers/ssb/ssb/ko
  • drivers/bcma/bcma.ko
  • drivers/char/hw_random/rng-core.ko
  • drivers/net/mac80211/mac80211.ko
  • drivers/net/wireless/b43/b43.ko
  • drivers/pcmcia/pcmcia.ko
  • drivers/pcmcia/pcmcia_core.ko
After remastering the Porteus .iso image and booting the Macbook Air in question from it, we discovered that the wireless interface began functioning normally. We have tested the remastered .iso image on our other test machines and have noted no functional conflicts.

Here is the ticket and comment chain surrounding the problem and solution: https://github.com/Byzantium/Byzantium/issues/195

In future releases of Porteus Linux, we advise and humbly request enabling that configuration option when compiling the kernel for maximum hardware compatibility.

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Re: [Solved] Broadcom wirelesdriver doesn't work on Macbook

Post#2 by fanthom » 12 May 2013, 18:47

according to http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43, the 14e4:4353 chipset is supported by brcmsmac driver and not b43.
could you confirm that brcmsmac for sure does not work with 14e4:4353? please mind that brcm firmware must be added prior to testing (missing in 000-kernel.xzm by default).

asking cause CONFIG_B43_BCMA_EXTRA contains a code (developed by Rafal Milecki aka Zajec) which overlaps with brcmsmac driver and Greg KH is going to remove it in the future anyway.
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Re: [Solved] Broadcom wirelesdriver doesn't work on Macbook

Post#3 by TheDoctor » 16 May 2013, 00:39

fanthom wrote:according to http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43, the 14e4:4353 chipset is supported by brcmsmac driver and not b43.
could you confirm that brcmsmac for sure does not work with 14e4:4353? please mind that brcm firmware must be added prior to testing (missing in 000-kernel.xzm by default).
I can confirm that the brcmsmac driver did not work. When we loaded it by hand, no network interface was created on the system. I can also confirm that the brcm firmware was present in the test system; just to be certain, I installed it by hand and it did not function as expected.
fanthom wrote:asking cause CONFIG_B43_BCMA_EXTRA contains a code (developed by Rafal Milecki aka Zajec) which overlaps with brcmsmac driver and Greg KH is going to remove it in the future anyway.
Oh, pants.

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Re: [Solved] Broadcom wirelesdriver doesn't work on Macbook

Post#4 by fanthom » 18 May 2013, 14:06

ok - CONFIG_B43_BCMA_EXTRA will be added by default to kernel config in next release.

thanks for letting us know about this issue.
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