Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi
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  1. #1
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    Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    I get the feeling that those maintaining the packages have no interest in sorting out the problems with laptops with a Broadcom wifi chip.
    The only "solution" so far is to downgrade the kernel to 4.16.x or less and linux-firmware to 2017x..., after which you have to make sure you don't upgrade either the kernel or linux-firmware.
    This solution doesn't work for Fedora 28, since there aren't any versions of the kernel or linux-firmware for F28 that meet these criteria.

    The laptop I have is to be sure not brand-new but all the hardware still works, so it doesn't make sense to me to get rid of it. One of the things that was touted about Linux in the past was that it worked even on old hardware, but this philosophy has apparently gone by the wayside.

    From what I can tell, the issue comes down to a failure at the point where normally the boot process should turn on the wireless part of the chip, since whenever the wireless works the indicator light for wifi comes on in the middle of the boot process. akmods and broadcom-wl generate a kernel module as expected, with no errors with 'modprobe wl'.

  2. #2
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    Re: Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg P
    I get the feeling that those maintaining the packages have no interest in sorting out the problems with laptops with a Broadcom wifi chip.
    The only "solution" so far is to downgrade the kernel to 4.16.x or less and linux-firmware to 2017x..., after which you have to make sure you don't upgrade either the kernel or linux-firmware.
    This solution doesn't work for Fedora 28, since there aren't any versions of the kernel or linux-firmware for F28 that meet these criteria.

    The laptop I have is to be sure not brand-new but all the hardware still works, so it doesn't make sense to me to get rid of it. One of the things that was touted about Linux in the past was that it worked even on old hardware, but this philosophy has apparently gone by the wayside.

    From what I can tell, the issue comes down to a failure at the point where normally the boot process should turn on the wireless part of the chip, since whenever the wireless works the indicator light for wifi comes on in the middle of the boot process. akmods and broadcom-wl generate a kernel module as expected, with no errors with 'modprobe wl'.
    feel free to take up your concerns with the broadcom module maintainers over at rpmfusion. broadcom drivers aren't packaged as part of the fedora project because they are closed source third-party code. this in turn sometimes leads to kernel mismatches since rpmfusion is community maintained and reliant on the goodwill and free time of maintainers to continue to be able to deliver it as a free service to other users such as yourself.

    https://bugzilla.rpmfusion.org/

  3. #3
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    Re: Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    Quote Originally Posted by antikythera
    feel free to take up your concerns with the broadcom module maintainers over at rpmfusion. broadcom drivers aren't packaged as part of the fedora project because they are closed source third-party code. this in turn sometimes leads to kernel mismatches since rpmfusion is community maintained and reliant on the goodwill and free time of maintainers to continue to be able to deliver it as a free service to other users such as yourself.

    https://bugzilla.rpmfusion.org/
    This is precisely what I refer to -- "not our problem, go away". The broadcom.wl package isn't broken from what I can tell. It still works. What's broken are the newer kernels and linux-firmware.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    I get the feeling that those maintaining the packages have no interest in sorting out the problems with laptops with a Broadcom wifi chip.
    Why do you think someone contributing their time to forwarding the capabilities of an "opensource" solution should spend time resolving the issues of a device which does not support the concept of opensouce? If Broadcom chooses to maintain "closed source" driver, then they are assuming the responsibility to maintain that driver.

    No one should expect the kernel developers to suspend development to avoid impacting those who don't see value in participating in the process.

    Ok, having gotten that off my chest, perhaps this info may help.

    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/broadcom_wireless
    Laptop: Toshiba / Intel B960 2.20Ghz x2/ 4GB/ 320GB SataII/ Intel HD/ fc29.x86_64
    Tower: GigaByte (970A) / AMD FX 8320 3.5Ghz x8/ 16GB/ 9TB Sata III/ AMD 6770HD/ fc29.x86_64
    Bookshelf: Shuttle DS61 (H61)/ i3-3225 3.3Ghz x2/ 16GB/ 320GB Sata II/ Intel HD 4000/ fc27.x86_64
    Embedded: BeagleBone Blk / ARM AM3358 1 GHz x1/ 512MB/ 2GB eMMC/ PowerVR SGX530/ fc27.armv7hl

  5. #5
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    Re: Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg P
    This is precisely what I refer to -- "not our problem, go away".
    not at all what I said. I merely pointed you in the direction of the people that do have some semblance of a connection with them. I guess this thread helped you to get your frustrations out though

    additionally the newer kernels and firmware packages from kernel.org aren't broken, the third-party broadcom modules need re-basing to compile properly for them. whether this can still be achieved from the very much outdated closed source code the rpmfusion guys have available to them is another matter altogether.

    no closed source device can be guaranteed to work forever unfortunately, if anyone is to blame here it is broadcom for being pig awkward.

    moved to the rants section

  6. #6
    tempest766 Guest

    Re: Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    wireless in Linux will always be a hack because the HAL (hardware access layer) to most of the wifi chips is proprietary. For chips that work, it has either been reverse engineered thru brute force trial and error, or manufacturers decided to throw Linux a bone by providing just enough information to program their older chips. Since wireless if FCC regulated the equipment manufacturers use that as "justification" to NOT release the HAL details. If they did so, then there would be little to stop the end user from tweaking power levels or other protocol details and violate FCC compliance rules. There used to be a NDIS wrapper project that allowed windoze drivers to work in Linux but I haven't seen anything about it in years and years.

  7. #7
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    Re: Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    My broadcom card works flawlessly with the latest Fedora Kernel and the rpmfusion drivers...

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Fedora 27/28 and Broadcom wifi

    Upgrade to Fedora 29 and install the broadcom sta rpm. This worked for me.

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