[CentOS] Problems with Broadcom 4312 wireless

Wed Jul 29 00:09:05 UTC 2009
Ned Slider <ned at unixmail.co.uk>

Milos Blazevic wrote:
>> Message: 27
>> Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 00:31:53 +0100
>> From: Ned Slider <ned at unixmail.co.uk>
>> Subject: Re: [CentOS] Problems with Broadcom 4312 wireless
>> To: CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org>
>> Message-ID: <4A6E38E9.1010709 at unixmail.co.uk>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>> Milos Blazevic wrote:
>>>> Hello David,
>>>> In brief, I've solved this problem on my Dell Inspiron 1525 (with 
>>>> Broadcom 4312 wireless card), so I figured letting You know would be 
>>>> nice, 'cause it didn't seem like the issue is resolved.
>>>> Visit this link:
>>>> http://jomcode.com/fadhil/?p=59
>>>> and in addition check out the comment on the same page by Andre Kiepe to 
>>>> have the modules load on boot.
>>>> Best Regards,
>>>> Milos.
>> I'm not overly familiar with broadcom wireless (always tried to avoid 
>> it), but we can probably package wl.ko as a kABI-tracking kmod for el5 
>> over at ELRepo.org if you're interested? This would remove the need to 
>> recompile the driver from source for every kernel update, not to mention 
>> provide a user friendly RPM package for yum.
>> Also, does this driver require firmware, and if so where does one obtain 
>> that?
> Sure I'm insterested in compiling the driver to RPM and making it 
> available to others.

I was suggesting that I could package it and make it available to the 
community through elrepo.org (a third party repo that specialises in 
backporting drivers for improved hardware support in RHEL/CentOS 5).

> I've tested the driver today (by connecting to the available access 
> point) briefly and it didn't display any problems in functioning.
> Now, according to the news clipping from computerworld.com, by 
> installing this, one would still use the proprietary Broadcom firmware, 
> which, I suppose, comes along with the driver released by Broadcom at:
> http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php

I don't see the firmware or know where to get it from, hence why I 
asked. Once I know where to get the required firmware for this driver, 
we can package that too and make it a dependency of the driver package.

> Also, according to the Broadcom's README, all other "firmware kernel 
> modules" have to be removed (or blacklisted) from kernel before 
> installing this.

The blacklisting is probably best done from within the driver package 
and simple enough to do.

The main issue I have with this atm is that I've just read the Broadcom 
license for the binary blob of this driver and I don't much like the 
sound of 2.3(b) below:

2.3.	Restriction on Distribution.  Licensee shall only distribute the 
Software (a) under the terms of this Agreement and a copy of this 
Agreement accompanies such distribution, and (b) agrees to defend and 
indemnify Broadcom and its licensors from and against any damages, 
costs, liabilities, settlement amounts and/or expenses (including 
attorneys' fees) incurred in connection with any claim, lawsuit or 
action by any third party that arises or results from the use or 
distribution of any and all Software by the Licensee except as 
contemplated herein.

Anyone care to comment on that?