[Solved] WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

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emailhh
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[Solved] WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#1 by emailhh » 21 Oct 2017, 12:57

I recently had dozens of people with various laptops try to boot Porteus Kiosk 4.5. Most laptops were fine, but some of the more recent models seemed to run into problems with wifi. Unfortunately the test scenario did not enable me to gather debugging info. But e.g. a couple of recent Dells (one was XPS 15) and at least some Macbook Air showed a gateway not found -error. So perhaps the issues are related to some broadcom drivers (Macbook) and some killer drivers (XPS 15), both of which seem to be problematic on Linux.

On some Linux variants broadcom wifi is said to require some additional "non-free" (not open source?) drivers. What is the situation with Porteus Kiosk? Do the built-in drivers already contain such extra drivers? Or should/could the image be customized in order to add them?

As far as killer is concerned, I wonder how the situation with Porteus Kiosk relates to Ubuntu. On Ubuntu the killer wifi might start to work after using an updated linux-firmware: https://askubuntu.com/questions/794218/ ... untu-16-04. So perhaps this would apply also to Porteus Kiosk?
Last edited by emailhh on 25 Oct 2017, 17:06, edited 1 time in total.

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#2 by fanthom » 22 Oct 2017, 15:58

"On some Linux variants broadcom wifi is said to require some additional "non-free" (not open source?) drivers. What is the situation with Porteus Kiosk? Do the built-in drivers already contain such extra drivers?"
No

"Or should/could the image be customized in order to add them?"
Yes - you can do this yourself (you would have to recreate kiosk kernel sources first and then compile broadcom-sta against them):
http://porteus-kiosk.org/kiosk-customization.html

or we could do this for you through 'customized builds' service:
http://porteus-kiosk.org/builds.html

"As far as killer is concerned, I wonder how the situation with Porteus Kiosk relates to Ubuntu. On Ubuntu the killer wifi might start to work after using an updated linux-firmware: https://askubuntu.com/questions/794218/ ... untu-16-04. So perhaps this would apply also to Porteus Kiosk?"
Yes - adding more firmware could solve some wifi issues.

Thanks
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#3 by emailhh » 23 Oct 2017, 10:43

So it involves also recompiling the kernel?

How does the note "NOTE: Porteus Kiosk 4.0.0 and later switched to 64bit architecture. For these versions you must place your libraries and relevant files (e.g. wifi firmware) in /lib64 and /usr/lib64 folders rather than /lib, /usr/lib otherwise system may not work correctly." relate to this? Does this mean that I should recompile the kernel and place the firmware to /lib64 or /usr/lib64?

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#4 by fanthom » 23 Oct 2017, 12:30

"So it involves also recompiling the kernel?"
Some broadcom wifi chipsets are supported by opensource drivers (included in our system by default) and some requires proprietary driver.
To make things more complicated: opensource drivers conflict with proprietary ones.
You would need to have 2 kiosk ISOs supporting each wifi type (one with opensource drivers , second one with proprietary).

Also - you dont need to replace kernel in kiosk ISO. You need to compile the kernel using kiosk config (ask support@porteus-kiosk.org for it) in order to create full kernel sources. Once done you can compile broadcom-sta against these sources (if you compile it against other ones then broadcom driver wont work with kiosk kernel).

"Does this mean that I should recompile the kernel and place the firmware to /lib64 or /usr/lib64?"
Please unsquash 000-kernel.xzm and you'll find correct paths.
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#5 by emailhh » 23 Oct 2017, 18:16

Ah yes, I misread your previous message: it talked about compiling broadcom-sta against the kernel sources and not the other way around... I would like to try this, so I sent you an email about the kiosk config.

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#6 by emailhh » 24 Oct 2017, 11:09

Thank's for the kiosk config! I now have the kernel sources and broadcom-sta sources, but was a little confused about how to actually "compile broadcom-sta against these sources". Well, I did get the compilation to start after first compiling the kernel sources (I am not sure if some required files under lib/modules were present without compiling), but then ran into problems related to changes in the Linux kernel. The original broadcom-sta sources are not compatible with newer 4.x kernels, where some interfaces have changed... But luckily I found a patched version from Debian repositories (https://packages.debian.org/sid/broadcom-sta-source) and was at least superficially able to compile without errors. Now I just need to test whether the compiled firmware actually works...

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#7 by fanthom » 24 Oct 2017, 14:59

Just symlink:

Code: Select all

/lib/modules/`uname -r`/build
/lib/modules/`uname -r`/source
/usr/src/linux
to kiosk sources and compile the driver.
After 'make install' run modinfo against wl.ko and confirm it was compiled for kiosk kernel (4.12.10).

Thanks
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#8 by emailhh » 24 Oct 2017, 15:07

Modinfo returned. e.g. a line "vermagic: 4.12.10-kiosk SMP preempt mod_unload" for wl.ko, so perhaps it is ok...

I would have just last two quick questions to help things go smoothly:
1) Where do I put wl.ko? Does it go under lib64/modules/4.12.10-kiosk/kernel/net/wireless, that seems to contain other wireless-related ko-files?

2) Since broadcom-sta conflicts with the other broadcom drivers, do I need to do something (e.g. add b43 etc to modprobe's blacklist) to remove the others? Or was e.g. the config already such that they were not included to begin with?

Thanks for your help, really appreciate it!

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#9 by fanthom » 24 Oct 2017, 15:46

1) Yes. Login to kiosk through ssh then run 'modprobe wl'. If it loads then everything is ok.
2) You need to blacklist 'b43' and 'ssb' opensource drivers in your custom module.
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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WIFI-problems on some recent laptops?

Post#10 by emailhh » 25 Oct 2017, 15:54

Today I finally got the wifi to work on a very recent Macbook Air :Yahoo!: . So something I changed in the iso did seem to have an effect. Right now I am not sure if it was the broadcom-sta drivers that made the difference, or the fact that I also added a whole bunch of seemingly wireless related firmware from the latest ubuntu kernel firmware package to the customized iso. In any case the result seemed to be a positive one, so thanks a lot for your very kind and speedy help! :good:

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