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Thread: BCM43

  1. #1
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    Default BCM43

    Hi,

    I know how to install firmware to get BCM43 working with Opensuse; I've had to do it with 11.0 and 11.1 (also I haven't used a single Linux distro where this has just worked).

    But I was wondering if it will work with 11.2?

    Also, why doesn't it work, without installing firmware?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I just wanted to know.

    Thanks,
    Barry.

  2. #2

    Default Re: BCM43

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Nichols View Post
    But I was wondering if it will work with 11.2?
    Why shouldn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Nichols View Post
    Also, why doesn't it work, without installing firmware?
    Simple answer, because the firmware is needed to operate the device correctly.

    If somebody were able to write a driver without the need of a firmware (yes, such drivers exist for other cards/chipsets), it would have been tried (or even done) already, nobody likes binary blobs if they can be avoided.

    There is a project which aims at implementing a free firmware:

    OpenFWWF - Open FirmWare for WiFi networks

  3. #3
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    Default Re: BCM43

    Quote Originally Posted by Akoellh View Post
    Why shouldn't it?
    I meant work without installing firmware.

  4. #4

    Default Re: BCM43

    Then the answer is

    "Why should it?"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: BCM43

    Because I have always had to install firmware, with every previous opensuse.

  6. #6

    Default Re: BCM43

    So?

    Then why should it be different with 11.2 and the same driver?

    (And yes, now the question is becoming a little stupid.)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: BCM43

    A little? I would say very.

    I was just asking a simple question, I don't know what improvements have been made for wireless in 11.2.

    Why should it is: I expect there to be changes, hopefully improvements in 11.2. If I knew everything about it I wouldn't be asking anything.

    You could be a little more helpful in sharing your knowledge, instead of asking my why I asked anything.

  8. #8

    Default Re: BCM43

    Read my first answer, everything in there.

    I don't _know_ a lot of details about this driver, but as it is still the same driver, it will still have the same basic structure and requirements.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: BCM43

    Barry Nichols wrote:
    > A little? I would say very.
    >
    > I was just asking a simple question, I don't know what improvements
    > have been made for wireless in 11.2.
    >
    > Why should it is: I expect there to be changes, hopefully improvements
    > in 11.2. If I knew everything about it I wouldn't be asking anything.
    >
    > You could be a little more helpful in sharing your knowledge, instead
    > of asking my why I asked anything.


    If I were to rephrase your question, it would be "Why doesn't my
    computer work without an Operating System?". That sounds rather
    stupid, doesn't it?

    That is exactly the question you are asking about the BCM43xx devices.
    Firmware is the OS for the on-board processor. All wireless devices
    need firmware. Sometimes the manufacturer encodes it in ROM, but many
    load it into volatile RAM so that it is easy to change. That is what
    Broadcom does. The drivers written by Broadcom embed the firmware into
    the host driver, which loads it on startup. Why doesn't b43 do that?
    The reason is that the firmware is copyrighted by Broadcom, and they
    do not allow others to copy it. The only way we get their firmware is
    by downloading one of those Broadcom-written drivers and running a
    separate program (fwcutter) to extract the firmware from that driver.

    If the OpenFWWF project gets code for all the devices, then we will be
    able to forgo Broadcom's code, but that might be a long time in the
    future. They have running code for only one version of the firmware;
    whereas Broadcom distributes 16 different versions!

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