Broadcom wifi drivers in F-14?

John W. Linville linville at
Wed Sep 15 13:09:58 UTC 2010

On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 06:39:48PM -0400, Ric Wheeler wrote:
>  On 09/14/2010 10:13 AM, John W. Linville wrote:
> >On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 12:31:44PM +0100, David Woodhouse wrote:
> >>On Tue, 2010-09-14 at 00:40 -0700, Jesse Keating wrote:
> >>>IIRC they require a firmware blob that has a license that we cannot 
> >>>distribute
> >>>unlike say the Intel firmwares. I could be wrong though.
> >>That's still true of the b43 firmware for older (pre-802.11n) devices,
> >>but the firmware to go with their new driver is now in
> >>linux-firmware.git.
> >>
> >>Their *original* offering of that new firmware had a stupid licence --
> >>you could only distribute it if you promised to indemnify and defend
> >>Broadcom from all related third-party lawsuits. They fixed that though,
> >>and I merged it.
> >Nevertheless, everyone I know that has reviewed the newly released
> >driver code is being treated for eye cancer.  I wouldn't expect to
> >see it in F-14.
> >
> >John
> Can we use the firmware that they have for the existing broadcom wireless 
> driver?

AIUI, they main technical reason that they were finally willing to
open-up was that they were able to add some regulatory enforcement code
in their firmware.  The added firmware functionality required more
firmware resources, and only the newer devices explicictly supported
by Broadcom's newly-released driver have enough firmware resources
to run it.

That said, I don't know if some future version of b43 might be
able to use this new firmware to support this new hardware or not.
But the current version of b43 will not support it anyway.

So I guess the above is a long way of saying 'no, sorry'... :-(

John W. Linville		The truth will set you free, but first it will
linville at			make you miserable. -- James A. Garfield

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