[Clarified] No 4312 wireless firmw for Squeeze installer

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[Clarified] No 4312 wireless firmw for Squeeze installer

Postby holocene » 2011-02-21 23:33

Hi,

I am attempting to iron out a detail that has been bugging me a long time.

Question: Does the procedure of providing the firmware during install actually work? Note: I am NOT asking how to install the firmware POST install.

What I have done to attempt to resolve:

1. Searched forums with no luck on this specific question.
2. Google was likewise uninformative.

Steps performed:

During the wheezy install, from cd (cd1 testing amd64, appx 680MB), it prompts for firmware, which it identifies as ucode15.fw. (This is only part of the file name, as I did not write the entire bit down during the install.)

Reading the doc at http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/ch06s04.html.en leads me to http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/firmware/testing/20110207/http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/firmware/testing/20110207/.

I downloaded the file http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/firmware/testing/20110207/firmware.tar.gz, and untar'ed it on my msdos formatted flash drive.

During the wheezy install (using the cd1 identified above), with flash drive in the laptop, the installer prompts for the ucode15.fw driver, but evidently does not find it. Looking in the untar'ed files, I could not find it either.

So, assuming the file is not there, where is the file that the installer is asking for? Locating this file will allow me to put it on flash drive and re-attempt install. That is my only question.


I have searched debian.org packages for something like ucode15 but suspect the hits are for Intel, not broadcom. Correct me, otherwise.

Thanks a bunch
Steve.

My environment is wheezy amd64 laptop

this is what lshw has to say:
Code: Select all
description: Wireless interface
                product: BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY
                vendor: Broadcom Corporation
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:0c:00.0
                logical name: eth2
                version: 01
                serial: 00:22:5f:b3:2d:93
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
Last edited by holocene on 2011-03-01 01:07, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby holocene » 2011-02-25 05:39

The install dialog prompts for this file:

Code: Select all
b43/ucode15.fw b43-open/ucode15.fw


I must be blind. Can anyone locate this file?

Otherwise, I think the install dialog needs clarification, or better doc.

The wiki does spell out a working procedure for post install.

Best Regards
Steve.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby dotlj » 2011-02-25 09:19

Hi Steve,

You've done a lot of work and almost got everything. You've got the completely free Installation image and the non-free firmware.
The problem is the installer tells you the exact name of the module that you need, for your non-free wireless to work, not the package name.
I installed one Squeeze, it told me that I needed rtk8186d-2 or something. When I tried aptitude install rtk8186d-2 or whatever, it then told me there was no such package but there was a firmware-realtek package which included what I asked for. I installed firmware-realtek and fixed.

You probably need firmware-linux, wireless-tools, wpasupplicant and see the http://wiki.debian.org/bcm43xx
which describes in more detail the package you will need for your specific card. See also http://wiki.debian.org/WiFi
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby TobiSGD » 2011-02-25 11:07

Your Broadcom device (same as in my laptop) needs firmware that has a license that doesn't allow it for Debian (or any other distribution, AFAIK) to have it in their repositories, or in the firmware-tarball.
Broadcom just isn't Linux-friendly.
Simplest way to install the needed firmware is to get a wired connection and install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer, it will download the needed firmware and install it to your system. After that it should be no problem to get your wireless working.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby holocene » 2011-02-25 19:58

Bugs, Tobi, and Dot

Really appreciate the responses!! This is a great forum.

The main purpose of this thread: I've been relating my mostly good Debian experience in my local LUG, where others have noted that Debian is a harder install due to the "absence" of non-free firmware. I wanted to show that Debian does provide an install solution, even if it is a little less convenient. But so far, I can't find the prompted files, so I have a problem countering their complaint.

I will check out the indicated links asap. I think the link to the non-free net install image is especially promising. (This all concerns that step early in the install, where missing firmware drivers are prompted for. I've read where others have got their hardware working by supplying the asked for files. But not me. :( I did get it working using the wiki though. )

I am coming to the conclusion that, for many, proceeding with a cd1 Debian install without a wired connection, is problematic. For myself, I have wired and wireless but others I've worked with, only have a wireless connection. In my experience, the cd1 install does result in a gnome install without wicd or any other gui net config facility that I could tell. It seems like even after I plugged ethernet in, I was unable to get to the wired net.

I saw this story today, about the Kernel development, directly relating to the b43 chipset; here is an excerpt, complete story here: http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Kernel-Log-Coming-in-2-6-38-Part-3-Network-drivers-and-infrastructure-1197480.html
In the b43 driver, the developers have further modified the code to support various Broadcom 802.11n Wi-Fi chips; this code had already been extended, but not completed, in 2.6.37. The support is now said to be functional (for instance 1, 2, 3, 4). At the same time, the b43-specific configuration option for 802.11n support has been renamed and is no longer marked as "broken". Things are similar with the Rt2x00 drivers for Ralink's series RT30xx chips: initially rudimentary and available as an added option, the support for model RT3090, RT3091 and RT3092 PCI / PCIe chips and for model RT3070, RT3071 and RT3072 USB chips has now become a regular component of the rt2800pci and rt2800usb drivers.


Everyone have a good day.
steve.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby emariz » 2011-02-25 20:10

holocene wrote:The main purpose of this thread: I've been relating my mostly good Debian experience in my local LUG, where others have noted that Debian is a harder install due to the "absence" of non-free firmware. I wanted to show that Debian does provide an install solution, even if it is a little less convenient. But so far, I can't find the prompted files, so I have a problem countering their complaint.

While it is true that a Debian instalaltion might require more steps to complete, your current problem is caused by your hardware and your resources (the lack of a wired connection) and not by the Debian installer.
The firmware is not included in that package. The latter is a script that downloads the firmware and installs it. If you pay attention, you'll notice that the package is in the contrib area and not in the non-free one; precisely because it doesn't include the firmware.
You could ask a user of the same device to send you the firmware. Better yet, you could use a wired connection during installation, as recommended in the manual.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby TobiSGD » 2011-02-25 20:40

holocene wrote:The main purpose of this thread: I've been relating my mostly good Debian experience in my local LUG, where others have noted that Debian is a harder install due to the "absence" of non-free firmware. I wanted to show that Debian does provide an install solution, even if it is a little less convenient. But so far, I can't find the prompted files, so I have a problem countering their complaint.
The issue with firmware for Broadcom cards is not a Debian-only problem, until now I can not remember one Distro that had the firmware pre-installed, or integrated in the installer. If I had known that before, I had never bought a laptop with a Broadcom device (and in future I know that I won't).
Gladly, Broadcom is, AFAIK, the only manufacturer for wireless devices with such a restrictive license, so for most laptops with cards from a different manufacturer the installer-CD with integrated firmware should work.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby holocene » 2011-02-26 00:44

You could ask a user of the same device to send you the firmware. Better yet, you could use a wired connection during installation, as recommended in the manual.


emariz,

Would you know what file name I should be looking for, on an install of this chipset?

Sorry if this should be obvious. I really want to show that I can supply something to the install prompt that works.

Steve.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby emariz » 2011-02-26 08:49

holocene wrote:Would you know what file name I should be looking for, on an install of this chipset?

The installer states the file names. Firmware files are in /lib/firmware.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby holocene » 2011-02-26 15:51

Well, the files that the installer provided:

b43/ucode15.fw b43-open/ucode15.fw

are not on a laptop with the 4312 chip. Because the files the installer requested could not be located, these were installed afterwards: http://wiki.debian.org/wl#Squeeze

I am confused because of what you said before:
The firmware is not included in that package. The latter is a script that downloads the firmware and installs it. If you pay attention, you'll notice that the package is in the contrib area and not in the non-free one; precisely because it doesn't include the firmware.
You could ask a user of the same device to send you the firmware. Better yet, you could use a wired connection during installation, as recommended in the manual.


The only files mentioned by the installer are those above.

What am I missing in all this?

Trying not to be dense,
Steve
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby bugsbunny » 2011-02-26 23:30

Right - they were installed afterwards and should be found in /lib/firmware/
Those are the files that he's saying you can request from somebody else.

There is no install setup, in any linux distro, that will include that piece of firmware. See b43 - Linux Wireless

Broadcom should be fine with any future chipsets they come out with since they've recently seen the light, but that does no good for all those people with existing chipsets.
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Re: Nailing down procedure: firmware on initial Wheezy insta

Postby holocene » 2011-03-01 00:47

bugsbunny wrote:Right - they were installed afterwards and should be found in /lib/firmware/
Those are the files that he's saying you can request from somebody else.

There is no install setup, in any linux distro, that will include that piece of firmware. See b43 - Linux Wireless

Broadcom should be fine with any future chipsets they come out with since they've recently seen the light, but that does no good for all those people with existing chipsets.


Bugs

Appreciate the response on this issue. I know it is getting old.

Ok. So no Linux distro can install the 4312 driver on installation, at this time. That is what I was afraid of. I did try the latest Wheezy net install w/firmware but that resulted is exactly the same as the free net install.

BTW, there are no files in /lib/firmware.

The post install procedure that works is at http://wiki.debian.org/wl#Squeeze

Moving on!
Thanks
Steve.
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Re: [Clarified] No 4312 wireless firmw for Squeeze installer

Postby bugsbunny » 2011-03-01 16:25

The reason there's nothing in /lib/firmware is because of which driver is being used. You're using a broadcom proprietary driver and the firmware is built-in to there. See b43 - Linux Wirelessbwhy_is_there_now_broadcom-wl.

If you were using the b43 driver you would need separate firmware. That would be this method: bcm43xx - Debian Wiki
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Re: [Clarified] No 4312 wireless firmw for Squeeze installer

Postby taiyal » 2012-03-24 17:17

Here is how to install the Broadcom 43xx drivers during Debian installation, using b43-fwcutter [on a pre-existing debian-based machine]
[or at least, it worked for me on a dell inspiron 1525]

First, open a terminal and enter a writable temporary directory, then:

$ wget http://mirror2.openwrt.org/sources/broa ... .5.tar.bz2
$ tar xvjpf broadcom-wl-4.150.10.5.tar.bz2
$ cd broadcom-wl-4.150.10.5/driver/
$ b43-fwcutter -w . wl_apsta_mimo.o

Then you will have a directory in that folder called "b43". This will contain the firmware files the Debian installer needs to setup your 43xx as wlan0.

Copy this directory in full to a flash drive, then plug that flash drive into the machine where you are installing Debian. It will read the firmware files and set up wlan0 for you, at which point you can choose between the wireless or the ethernet for continuing installation.

Some caveats:
I am doing this with a debian testing ISO in expert text-based mode, so I don't know how things might change on other setups.
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