iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby joejohnston3 » 2018-11-26 17:35

Hello All,

I am having slow WiFi issues and am hoping for some assistance. I will post my specs but here is a little background. I have really been wanting to use MX Linux as my daily driver but have been using KDE Neon due to its WiFi speed. When I run a speed test with Neon I get 60+mbps down and 10+ up. When I run the same on MX Linux I get 3-18mbps depending on which driver I load and use. This is way under the performance I should be getting and wanted to see if there was a setting or driver issue that could get me to the Neon speeds. Thank you in advance for the input and time.

System: Host: mx-imac Kernel: 4.15.0-1-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3
Distro: MX-17.1_x64 Horizon March 14, 2018
Machine: Device: desktop System: Apple product: iMac8 1 v: 1.0 serial: N/A
Mobo: Apple model: Mac-F226BEC8 v: PVT serial: N/A
UEFI: Apple v: IM81.88Z.00C1.B00.0802091538 date: 02/09/08
CPU: Dual core Intel Core2 Duo E8135 (-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
clock speeds: max: 2400 MHz 1: 1627 MHz 2: 1572 MHz
Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RV610/M74 [Mobility Radeon HD 2400 XT]
Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.2 )
drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
Resolution: 1680x1050@60.00hz
OpenGL: renderer: Gallium 0.4 on AMD RV610 (DRM 2.50.0 / 4.15.0-1-amd64, LLVM 3.9.1)
version: 3.3 Mesa 13.0.6
Audio: Card Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.15.0-1-amd64
Network: Card-1: Broadcom Limited BCM4321 802.11a/b/g/n driver: b43-pci-bridge
IF: wlan0 state: up mac: 00:22:41:fb:44:d6
Card-2: Marvell 88E8058 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: sky2
IF: eth0 state: down mac: 00:22:41:30:84:cd
Drives: HDD Total Size: 250.1GB (2.9% used)
ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD2500AAJS size: 250.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 226G used: 5.0G (3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.15GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda3
Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 50.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 55.0
Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 1194
Info: Processes: 202 Uptime: 16 min Memory: 1077.6/3945.4MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.3.54

FYI, here is the driver that works well in KDE Neon;

https://i.imgur.com/KZs1DKa.jpg
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-11-26 17:58

joejohnston3 wrote:Network: Card-1: Broadcom Limited BCM4321 802.11a/b/g/n driver: b43-pci-bridge

Try the wl driver instead:

https://wiki.debian.org/wl

MX Linux may have a tool to automate that task and fortunately for you one of the developers is a member here so hopefully they may be able to advise you further.

Is there any reason you didn't ask on their forums?

MX Linux has a very active community :)

EDIT: just seen you picture link, the message is about firmware (rather than drivers) but I think MX should already have that included.
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby stevepusser » 2018-11-26 18:01

Though MX Linux is Debian-based, this question should actually be on the MX Linux forums. https://forum.mxlinux.org

MX does ship with prebuilt "wl" kernel modules plus broadcom-sta-dkms to rebuild it for new kernels, plus a GUI for managing the different Broadcom driver options.

See you there!

Stevo (MX Linux Developer)

If you install inxi on Neon and run "inxi -N", the output will show what driver is actually working well there. If it's the same kernel driver, it might have been improved in the kernel version that Neon is using, and you can try newer kernels in MX, too.
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby joejohnston3 » 2018-11-26 19:05

Hello All,

I actually started there and had not gotten any replies and decided to try here as a backup. Thank you both for the input and I will give it a try.

Joe
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby stevepusser » 2018-11-26 22:16

Oops, I must have missed your post there. Do you have a link to it?

I think we merged the Broadcom stuff into the Network Assistant in MX tools. I don't see any choices for Broadcom when I run it because I don't have any of their hardware (which was a consideration when I picked out the laptop I'm using).
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Flightgear 2018.2.2, 4.19.5 kernel, wine-staging 4.0~rc1, Pale Moon 28.2.2, Mesa 18.2.6, Midori 7.0
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby joejohnston3 » 2018-11-26 22:36

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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby joejohnston3 » 2018-11-26 23:30

So, here is the output from Neon;

Network: Card-1: Broadcom Limited BCM4321 802.11a/b/g/n driver: wl
Card-2: Marvell 88E8058 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: sky2
Now, I have had trouble trying to get the WL driver loaded and working in my MX Linux. Is there a trick to getting the b43 driver unloaded and the wl activated?
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby joejohnston3 » 2018-11-27 00:08

So, how do I get the wl driver working instead if the b43? I am hoping this is the answer but as the screenshot shows below, the b43 stays loaded with the wl and I cannot unload it as it freezes. :(

https://i.imgur.com/sRF6LDP.png
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby 4D696B65 » 2018-11-27 00:12

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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby stevepusser » 2018-11-27 00:32

joejohnston3 wrote:So, how do I get the wl driver working instead if the b43? I am hoping this is the answer but as the screenshot shows below, the b43 stays loaded with the wl and I cannot unload it as it freezes. :(

https://i.imgur.com/sRF6LDP.png


Yes, you have to remove wl from the blacklist if it's on there, and then blacklist the b43, etc. drivers that are being loaded. The MX Network Assistant will let you do this in a GUI, on the "Linux Drivers" tab.

Let's take this to the MX forum, I also answered your post from yesterday.
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Flightgear 2018.2.2, 4.19.5 kernel, wine-staging 4.0~rc1, Pale Moon 28.2.2, Mesa 18.2.6, Midori 7.0
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby joejohnston3 » 2018-11-27 02:33

Thank you for the input but it always freezes when trying to unload/remove the b43 driver. I am not sure how to remove the b43 loaded driver since the only option is unblacklist driver and unload and unload only freezes up the network manager.
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-11-27 06:04

joejohnston3 wrote:it always freezes when trying to unload/remove the b43 driver

You can change the blacklists manually (without a GUI) by editing the file at /etc/modprobe.conf or the files under /etc/modprobe.conf.d/

See the wiki page linked earlier for more on this.
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Re: iMac Broadcom WiFi driver issue

Postby joejohnston3 » 2018-11-27 14:56

Thank you for this information!
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