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Thread: Open Source Firmware for b43

  1. #1
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    Open Source Firmware for b43

    Has anyone tried this out yet? It was developed by OpenFWWF to help replace the proprietary firmware that is currently being used by the b43 module. It currently works with open networks and WPA/WPA2. The firmware has been successfully tested with the following cards:
    4306 rev 03
    4311 rev 01
    4318
    4320
    They are currently looking for more people to test it out to see if it works with any of the b43 supported cards.

    If you are able to use the b43 module and would like to test it out, you may try this guide.

    bviktor also has a guide that he created that can be found here.

    If you do try it out, please let us know if it works or not and include the following information:
    Code:
    lspci -nnm|grep 14e4
    Last edited by Ayuthia; January 14th, 2010 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Updated guide link

  2. #2
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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    I have tested out the firmware on my HP laptop and it works with the open network and with WPA2.

    My lspci -nnm info:
    Code:
    03:00.0 "Network controller [0280]" "Broadcom Corporation [14e4]" "BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [4311]" -r01 "Hewlett-Packard Company [103c]" "BCM4311 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller [1363]"

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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    Ill try this solution this weekend. Thanks for the heads up.

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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    Posting using the openfwwf firmware for my bcm4306 rev 03 card. Using WPA2 encryption to boot!

    02:00.0 "Network controller [0280]" "Broadcom Corporation [14e4]" "BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller [4320]" -r03 "Linksys [1737]" "Device [4320]"


    Just a few points regarding the instructions:

    #1 - Bison needs to be installed as a dependency
    #2 - Please include instructions for upgrading from the git tree
    #3 - Please also include instructions on how to fall back to the previous closed source b43 firmware
    #4 - Anyway to prove that the opensource firmware is indeed the firmware I am currently using? Command line output or log output?

    I think those would be useful additions to your guide! Thanks.

    Anyway I can test the performance of this driver and make any reasonable comparison to the closed source b43 firmware.
    Last edited by kevdog; January 31st, 2009 at 06:46 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    The documentation has been updated to reflect your comments. As for verifying that you are using the open-source version, once the wireless card is up (via sudo ifconfig wlan0 up) you should see that dmesg will reflect that you are using the open source firmware:
    Code:
    b43-phy4: Loading OpenSource firmware version 410.31754 (Hardware crypto not supported)
    kevdog- Let me know if you don't see that info in dmesg. I am currently running in gentoo with debug compiled for the b43 module but I think that the message shows in Ubuntu also.

    The only tests that I have done is download files on the net and compare the speeds with the proprietary version. I have not seen any differences. I do plan to test out copying files over the network just to see if there are any issues.

    Thanks for letting me know what was missing in the guide, kevdog!

  6. #6
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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    this is great work! broadcom drivers have been an issue for many who come to ubuntu.
    my card
    Code:
    0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)
    my dmesg
    Code:
    b43-phy0: Loading OpenSource firmware version 351.11970 (Hardware crypto not supported)
    EDIT: also in the guide, i had to install flex to get b43-tools/assembler to make properly.
    Last edited by Boomhauer; January 31st, 2009 at 08:49 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    Here is what I got (any relevance to the old device firmware?):

    Code:
    [ 1560.498378] b43-phy1: Loading OpenSource firmware version 351.11970 (Hardware crypto not supported)
    [ 1560.498422] b43-phy1 warning: You are using an old firmware image. Support for old firmware will be removed in July 2008.
    [ 1560.498432] b43-phy1 warning: You must go to http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware and download the latest firmware (version 4).

  8. #8
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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    I have made the updates to add flex and changed the docs to reflect the 5.1 firmware instead of 5.0. As for the old firmware message that was with version 5.0. Version 5.1 reflects the newer firmware so "download the latest firmware" message goes away.

  9. #9
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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    Is there an svn or cvs version of the firmware available since this seems like the easiest method to update the firmware?

  10. #10
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    Re: Open Source Firmware for b43

    Quote Originally Posted by kevdog View Post
    Is there an svn or cvs version of the firmware available since this seems like the easiest method to update the firmware?
    This has been the only way that they have presented it. I can ask the developers of the firmware to see if they have any other methods like cvs/svn/bzr/git (All three letters!!).

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