Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 240820
Kernel update causes bcm43xx driver to fail
Last modified: 2007-11-30 17:12:05 EST
Description of problem:
After updating my laptop to the 2.6.21-1.3163 kernel my wireless (Apple AirPort
Extreme) seemed to stop working. The driver still works fine booting into the
previous kernel. This is the error message I am getting:
bcm43xx_mac80211: YOUR FIRMWARE IS TOO OLD. Firmware from binary drivers older
than version 4.x is unsupported. You must upgrade your firmware files.
I tried upgrading the firmware, however that did not seem to solve the issue.
Is there a new version of bcm43xx_fwcutter to go with this that didn't get
updated or something?
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Definitely a problem with the bcm43xx driver (ppc AirPort Extreme) with the new
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Upgrade Kernel
Broken wireless driver.
A working wireless driver.
The current version of bcm43xx-fwcutter should be fine AFAIK. What driver did
you use to extract firmware? I recommend one from openwrt.org:
Please try extracting firmware from broadcom-wl-18.104.22.168/kmod/wl_apsta.o
extracted from the bzip2'ed tar file at the URL above. Then reboot
(or "modprobe -r bcm43xx-mac80211 ; modprobe bcm43xx-mac80211"). Does that
work better for you?
Thats seems to resolve the issue, thank you. I was under the impression that
you needed the firmware that matches your specific wireless card... I suppose
this is not the case. Is the firmware essentially the same for all cards then?
Sorry, forgot to say the firmware I was using. I was using the AppleAirPort2
firmware from the PPC version of Mac OSX, I was under the impression you needed
firmware that matched your card.
At least for bcm43xx, you can pretty much use firmware from any drivers that
support that card. So you could use firmware from a Windows driver if you
wanted, and it would still work - so long as it was firmware version 4.x or higher.
The bcm43xx README file (/usr/share/doc/bcm43xx-fwcutter-006/README) has a list
of various drivers you can get firmware from, and what version of the firmware
We might need to put something in the release notes about this.
As Will noted, the firmware is independent of the host platform (OS/CPU). And
while I imagine you _could_ write firmware that is specific to a given device,
so far Broadcom has not done so (at least afaik). So, any reasonably modern
driver's firmware should be usable on most or all current devices.
I'm going to close this as RAWHIDE. Will, please change that to a more
appropriate state as you see fit re: release notes or whatever.