Bug 296421 - kernel breaks bcm4306 b43; OK
kernel breaks bcm4306 b43; OK
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: kernel (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
low Severity medium
: ---
: ---
Assigned To: John W. Linville
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2007-09-19 10:28 EDT by Chris Schanzle
Modified: 2007-11-30 17:12 EST (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2007-10-01 14:19:55 EDT
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

Attachments (Terms of Use)
lsmod (3.25 KB, text/plain)
2007-09-19 23:08 EDT, Chris Schanzle
no flags Details
lsmod (3.10 KB, text/plain)
2007-09-19 23:08 EDT, Chris Schanzle
no flags Details
lsmod of (3.03 KB, text/plain)
2007-09-19 23:09 EDT, Chris Schanzle
no flags Details
bcm43xx-override (1.28 KB, text/plain)
2007-10-01 13:36 EDT, John W. Linville
no flags Details

  None (edit)
Description Chris Schanzle 2007-09-19 10:28:19 EDT
Description of problem:
booting kernel breaks bcm4306 using b43 driver; booting works fine.

Additional Info:

lspci | egrep BCM
02:03.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN
Controller (rev 02)

lspci -n
02:03.0 0280: 14e4:4320 (rev 02)

Nothing blacklisted, not using ndiswrapper

When is booted, b43 is loaded, but no messages are displayed (even
after 'rmmod b43; modprobe b43').  On the first invocation of this, I did get

kernel: ssb: Sonics Silicon Backplane found on PCI device 0000:02:03.0

Wild guess: PCI ID has been lost
Comment 1 Chuck Ebbert 2007-09-19 11:30:08 EDT
Can you test with kernel- from the updates-testing repository?
Comment 2 John W. Linville 2007-09-19 11:34:29 EDT
What firmware do you have?  Was it extracted with b43-fwcutter?  Or the older 
bcm43xx-fwcutter (note the name difference)?
Comment 3 Chris Schanzle 2007-09-19 13:56:13 EDT
I will test kernel- when I get home in about 7 hours.

I do not recall precisely which firmware cutter I used last, probably
bcm43xx-fwcutter, but I believe I downloaded the sources for b43-fwcutter too
when trying to initially get this card working.  In my notes I have:

sudo bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware/ broadcom-wl-

Which now seems to be in direct conflict with today's reading of
http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43, which is very clear about using
the new cutter (b43-fwcutter) on the new v4 driver.

But do note that no messages were displayed about the inability to load firmware.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions!
Comment 4 John W. Linville 2007-09-19 14:14:44 EDT
Actually, for F7 bcm43xx-fwcutter is correct.  The command line you cited 
above should be fine.
Comment 5 John W. Linville 2007-09-19 14:16:04 EDT
Hmmm...well, almost fine.  I presume you meant to have 80 instead of 00...

Comment 6 John W. Linville 2007-09-19 14:16:52 EDT
Also,  can you include the output of lsmod?
Comment 7 Chris Schanzle 2007-09-19 23:05:24 EDT
yes, it was broadcom-wl- - I must not have cut&pasted that one.

kernel- made no difference.

I downloaded the b43-fwcutter and ran:

sudo b43-fwcutter-008/b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware \

I have a new /lib/firmware/b43 directory well-populated.

No difference with any kernels.  E.g., 'iwconfig' showed no eth1 on >

lsmods of each kernel will be attached.
Comment 8 Chris Schanzle 2007-09-19 23:08:08 EDT
Created attachment 200401 [details]

Yes, nvidia is loaded, but this kernel's b43 works!  [will repeat w/o nvidia if
Comment 9 Chris Schanzle 2007-09-19 23:08:58 EDT
Created attachment 200411 [details]

(all of these run through sort for easier diffing)
Comment 10 Chris Schanzle 2007-09-19 23:09:32 EDT
Created attachment 200421 [details]
lsmod of
Comment 11 Konstantin Svist 2007-09-21 19:09:39 EDT
I also have a problem with .22.5
Did not try .22.6 yet

Other notes: in .22.4, the only way to make my adapter work is to extract
firmware using bcm43xx-fwcutter and then modprobe b43. Using bcm43xx module
doesn't work with bcm43xx-fwcutter; using b43-fwcutter doesn't work with b43 module.
I've asked guys over at bcm43xx project and they told me it must be something
messed up on Fedora side (and thus cannot help). According to them, b43 should
not work with bcm43xx-fwcutter.
I'm using their recommended firmware image

My lspci:
00:09.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN
Controller (rev 02)

This is a mini-PCI card in HP laptop
Comment 12 Konstantin Svist 2007-09-21 20:23:59 EDT
No offense, but why is this low priority?
Any way it can be elevated?
Can I do something to fix the stuff, or at least help diagnosing/debugging it?
Comment 13 John W. Linville 2007-09-28 10:07:17 EDT
bcm43xx-fwcutter is the proper tool to use for F-7 kernels.  F-7 kernels have 
a patch to continue using the older firmware format.  The idea was to prevent 
breaking setups that were already working.

Please try the kernels here:


They are very up-to-date w.r.t. the b43 driver.  Does the issue persist for 
Comment 14 Chris Schanzle 2007-10-01 10:04:49 EDT
Yes, problems persist.

I do not think this is firmware issue.  I renamed /lib/firmware, 'modprobe -r
b43', messages said:
Oct  1 09:44:12 localhost kernel: ACPI: PCI interrupt for device 0000:02:03.0

'modprobe b43' logged just these two lines (repeat: /lib/firmware does not exist):

Oct  1 09:44:20 localhost kernel: ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:02:03.0[A] -> Link
[LNKD] -> GSI 11 (level, low) -> IRQ 11
Oct  1 09:44:20 localhost kernel: ssb: Sonics Silicon Backplane found on PCI
device 0000:02:03.0

That's it.  No complaints about unable to load firmware.

With an empty /lib/firmware directory, running 'bcm43xx-fwcutter -w
/lib/firmware broadcom-wl-' made
kernel- happy.
Comment 15 John W. Linville 2007-10-01 10:39:42 EDT
Can you attach (or copy & paste) the output 
of 'cat /sys/bus/ssb/devices/ssb0\:0/uevent'?

I suspect you may have an usupported wireless core...
Comment 16 Chris Schanzle 2007-10-01 11:16:53 EDT
# cat /sys/bus/ssb/devices/ssb0\:0/uevent 
Comment 17 John W. Linville 2007-10-01 13:35:29 EDT
OK, so you have a device that is not supported by the b43 driver.  It should 
be supported by the b43legacy driver, but we do not have b43legacy enabled in 
F7.  So, you should be using the bcm43xx driver.  This requires a little 

First, you need different firmware for that driver.  Download this file:


Then extract the firmware from it:

   bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta-

Next you will need to take the file called "bcm43xx-override" (attached in 
next comment) and save it in /etc/modprobe.d before rebooting.  You may also 
want to remove any "alias wlan0" lines from /etc/modprobe.conf and possibly 
add "alias eth1 bcm43xx".

After rebooting, does wireless work better for you?
Comment 18 John W. Linville 2007-10-01 13:36:07 EDT
Created attachment 212481 [details]
Comment 19 Chris Schanzle 2007-10-01 14:04:47 EDT
Yes, the above works - thanks.

I commented out an existing 'alias eth1 b43' from modprobe.conf and got success
without the suggested 'alias eth1 bcm43xx'.

What's a mortal user to do with changes like this mid-life in a release?


Could you reference more info about bcm43xx versus b43legacy drivers?
Comment 20 John W. Linville 2007-10-01 14:19:55 EDT
So are you saying that bcm43xx-mac80211 was working for you in the past?  When 
that driver became b43, the expectation was that anything that worked with 
that driver would work with b43 and that anything that didn't work with b43 
already required use of the bcm43xx driver.

As for the b43legacy driver, it is essentially the port of the bcm43xx driver 
to the new mac80211 infrastructure.  If/when you move the Fedora 8 you will 
have to use the b43legacy driver for your current hardware.  The b43 and 
b43legacy drivers in Fedora 8 both use the new firmware format, so if/when you 
move to Fedora 8 you will also need to re-extract the firmware using the 
b43-fwcutter utiltity.

Hth!  Closing as RAWHIDE, as that should load the correct (i.e. b43legacy) 
driver automatically.
Comment 21 Chris Schanzle 2007-10-01 14:33:32 EDT
Per comment #1, I'm saying the b43 driver was working for me with
kernel- and it stopped working for newer kernel releases.  I
consider that a regression without warning.

Thanks for the driver explanation and a heads-up on F8 driver to use!

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