Bug 240343 - bcm43xx doesn't drive my hardware starting from kernel 3149
bcm43xx doesn't drive my hardware starting from kernel 3149
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: kernel (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: John W. Linville
Brian Brock
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2007-05-16 12:42 EDT by Dino Sangoi
Modified: 2007-11-30 17:12 EST (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2007-08-21 13:46:05 EDT
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

Attachments (Terms of Use)
lspci -vvv (16.27 KB, text/plain)
2007-05-16 12:45 EDT, Dino Sangoi
no flags Details
dmesg for kernel-2.6.21-1.3142.fc7 (the last working kernel) (23.92 KB, text/plain)
2007-05-16 12:46 EDT, Dino Sangoi
no flags Details
dmesg for kernel-2.6.21-1.3149.fc7 (not working) (21.54 KB, text/plain)
2007-05-16 12:47 EDT, Dino Sangoi
no flags Details
dmesg for kernel-2.6.21-1.3149.fc7 with bcm43xx-mac80211 (26.61 KB, text/plain)
2007-05-16 15:26 EDT, Dino Sangoi
no flags Details

  None (edit)
Description Dino Sangoi 2007-05-16 12:42:55 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20070417 Fedora/ Firefox/

Description of problem:
On my HP nx6125, the wireless card (bcm4318, see lspci output attached) doens't work with kernel-2.6.21-1.3149.fc7, while it used to work until kernel-2.6.21-1.3142.fc7 (in fact, I'm writing this using the wireless connection   with 3142 kernel)
Note that I'm using bcm43xx module, not bcm43xx-mac80211: by default fedora tries to use the latter, but when bcm43xx-mac80211 is loaded, I can associate with the AP, but pinging it doesn't work for a minute or so, after a while ICMP packets start to flow, but anything bigger is still blocked.

So I have blacklisted bcm43xx-mac80211 and put "options bcm43xx fwpostfix=.3" in modprobe.conf (I have a firmware version 3 for the bcm43xx module, and firmware version 4 for bcm43xx-mac80211). This way all used to work, until kernel 3149.

I noticed that a lot of pci ids bound bot to bcm43xx and bcm43xx-mac80211 until 3142, on 3149 are bound only to bcm32xx-mac80211, so it seems that the table containing the IDs of devices to be driven by bcm43xx got timmed.

I have tried again bcm43xx-mac80211 on kernel 3149, just to be sure, and still doesn't works.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. boot with kernel-2.6.21-1.3149.fc7 on a HP nx6125
2. notice that wireless doesnt' works anymore.

Actual Results:
wireless doesn;t works. In fact, I don't even have a 'eth1' device.

Expected Results:
All should work as does with kernel-2.6.21-1.3142.fc7

Additional info:
lspci and dmesgs for 3142 and 3149 attached.
Comment 1 Dino Sangoi 2007-05-16 12:45:08 EDT
Created attachment 154843 [details]
lspci -vvv
Comment 2 Dino Sangoi 2007-05-16 12:46:04 EDT
Created attachment 154845 [details]
dmesg for kernel-2.6.21-1.3142.fc7 (the last working kernel)
Comment 3 Dino Sangoi 2007-05-16 12:47:28 EDT
Created attachment 154846 [details]
dmesg for kernel-2.6.21-1.3149.fc7 (not working)
Comment 4 John W. Linville 2007-05-16 13:28:11 EDT
PCI IDs were removed intentionally to avoid conflicts between the old and new 
(i.e. mac80211) bcm43xx drivers.  Unfortunately, the bcm4318 is a problem 
child -- FWIW, the new driver works find on my 4318 devices.

You might try this (as root):

   echo "14e4 4318" > /sys/bus/pci/drivers/bcm43xx/new_id

Does that cause the bcm43xx driver to take ownership of the device and 
register eth1?

Either way, please also post at least dmesg output from using the 
bcm43xx-mac80211 driver instead of bcm43xx.  It may help.
Comment 5 Dino Sangoi 2007-05-16 15:26:33 EDT
Created attachment 154862 [details]
dmesg for kernel-2.6.21-1.3149.fc7 with bcm43xx-mac80211

Hi John,

Thanks, the "echo" command makes bcm43xx use the device (now I'm writing this
on 3149 kernel and bcm43xx driver, using that command).

I understand that bcm43xx-mac80211 is the new driver and you are pushing it,
sadly it doesn't works for me :-/

Anyways, I'm willing to help to make this driver work on my laptop.

So I tried bcm43xx-mac80211 again: I removed the blacklist entry, and rebooted.

after booting I have bcm43xx-mac80211 loaded, eth1 is configured, but pinging
my AP doesn't works (I get tons of 'From icmp_seq=36 Destination
Host Unreachable'). 'iwlist scan' shows my AP, and from dmesg (you will see it
attached) it seems associated.
When icmp_seq becomes greater than 200, I stopped ping, did a 'ifdown eth1;
rmmod `lsmod | fgrep bcm | cut -c-20`', and then 'modprobe bcm43xx-mac80211',
waited a couple of seconds, and did a 'ifup eth1', restarted ping, and for a
while I got 'Destination Host Unreachable', but after a while ping started to
So I tried opening firefox, and typing 'www.google.com': it took more than 4
minutes to load the full page, and never finished loading the image with the
colored 'google' logo.

Note that I work as a C programmer, and even if I almost never did kernel
hacking, I'm able to rebuild a kernel from sources and stick some debug code or
do some simple tweaking, if you tell me what to do.

Comment 6 John W. Linville 2007-05-24 13:15:22 EDT
Please try the latest kernel available from here:


There are some important bcm43xx-mac80211 updates in there.  Do those kernels 
work any better for you?
Comment 7 Dino Sangoi 2007-05-24 15:00:08 EDT
I have tried kernel 2.6.21-1.3194.fc7 from davej's repository, and sadly it
doesn't make bcm43xx-mac80211 any better. Everything behaves as with previous
kernels (I have tried almost any kernel in the 'development' repository).

BTW I have also tried changing firmware version: before I had version 4.40
extracted from the HP drivers for my laptop. So I tried also downloading
http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-, but also
this attempt was unsuccessful.

A can post the dmesg with the latest kernel if you want to take a look, but from
a quick look it doesn't seems different from the 3149.
Comment 8 John W. Linville 2007-06-07 16:39:03 EDT
You might try the "bcm43xx-old-config" script attached to the message here:


Does that (i.e. using bcm43xx instead of bcm43xx-mac80211) resolve the issue 
for you?
Comment 9 Dino Sangoi 2007-06-13 15:29:59 EDT
Yes, it works, I;m using something like that since you suggested it on comment  #4.

In short, this is what happens on my laptop:
- bcm43xx-mac80211 never worked.
- bcm43xx works from almost when it was first included in mainline (well, the
first versions barely worked, but from 2.6.19 works well, with some problems
when the signal strength was low, but lately the driver improved a lot on this area)
- right know I have 'blacklist bcm43xx-43xx' in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and
'modprobe bcm43xx fwpostfix=.3
echo "14e4 4318" > /sys/bus/pci/drivers/bcm43xx/new_id' on /etc/rc.local, to
make it work.

Let me know if I can try something else to make bcm43xx-mac80211 work (now I'm
running 2.6.21-1.3224.fc7 from davej repository after a clean F7 install from
DVD, and still doesn't work).
Comment 10 Dino Sangoi 2007-07-07 07:45:42 EDT
Well, doing some random tests I found something that you may find interesting: I
tried switching my access point (a Linksys WAG200G) to "B-only" mode. this way
the bcm43xx-mac80211 driver seem to work well. So I suppose the problems are in
BTW, if I leave the computer on trying to ping the router (configured as
AutoSelect-mode) with bcm43xx-mac80211, after an hour or so, I can connect to
internet via wireless, but the connection is unstable: for example, trying to
download a FC7 iso image with wget, the download rate changes wildly, and
sometimes drops to zero, and the only way to restore the download is to stop
wget and rerun it.

As I use the wireless connection mostly for internet, I can even leave the
router configured as B-only: sadly my other wireless card (a Linksys WUSB54G
version 4, using the rt2500usb driver) doesn't work at all with the router in
B-mode (and even inG-mode making it work requires a lot of work, but this is
another issue :-))

I couldn't find a way to tell bcm43xx-mac80211 to work as 'B-only', every time I
try something like:

iwconfig eth1 rate 11Mb/s

I get:
Error for wireless request "Set Bit Rate" (8B20) :
    SET failed on device eth1 ; Operation not supported.

Now I see that if I do an 'iwconfig eth1' with bcm43xx I get:

eth1      IEEE 802.11b/g  ESSID:"CASA"  Nickname:"sixtyfour.casa.net"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency=2.422 GHz  Access Point: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   
          Bit Rate=24 Mb/s   Tx-Power=18 dBm   
          RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xx   Security mode:open
          Link Quality=51/100  Signal level=-66 dBm  Noise level=-72 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

while using bcm43xx-mac80211:

eth1      IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:"CASA"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.422 GHz  Access Point: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   
          Bit Rate=11 Mb/s   
          Retry min limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr=2346 B   
          Encryption key:xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xx
          Link Quality=32/100  Signal level=-62 dBm  Noise level=-72 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

maybe is only a cosmetic difference, but for bcm43xx it says 'IEEE 802.11b/g',
but for bcm43xx-mac80211 i get 'IEEE 802.11g'.
Comment 11 John W. Linville 2007-07-30 15:29:12 EDT
There have been a lot of updates to the bcm43xx-mac80211 driver in recent 
rawhide kernels.  Is this still a problem with those kernels?
Comment 12 Dino Sangoi 2007-08-11 10:45:16 EDT
Well, sadly, with new kernels (I have tried 2.6.23-0.61.rc1.git9.fc8 on F7 and
on F8T1) it's even worse: I can't get it to work. As I said, setting my access
point to 'B-only' mode, bcm43xx-mac80211 used to work with older kernels. As
usual, the driver bcm43xx works.
As always, 'iwlist scan' works, I can configure the interface with 'iwconfig'
and bring it up with 'ifconfig', but trying to ping my AP fails.

But I have also found that even kernel doesn't work anymore. The
last working kernel is (I got it from davej repository).
Doing a diff between .36 and .41 kernels show a lot of changes in bcm43xx-mac80211.

I can try to bisect it from wireless git it you feel it could be useful.
Comment 13 Dino Sangoi 2007-08-15 14:20:30 EDT
Well, I have finally some good news to report: after upgrading today my rawhide
installation, the new kernel (2.6.23-0.105.rc3.fc8, yes, on this kernel
bcm43xx-mac80211 got renamed to b43) seems to work. I have tried with my AP
configured for 80211b only and for mixed mode, and I had no problems.

This is the first time I can post a comment to bugzilla using the new driver!

I tried running the previous kernel ( 2.6.23-0.104.rc3.fc8), and after a lot of
reboots, I can confirm that every time I tried the old (.104) kernel
bcm43xx-mac80211 is broken, while every time I used the new kernel (.105) b43 works.

I hope the difference is not only a simple rename... :-)

Anyways, I will keep testing newer kernels, and come back if something goes bad.

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