Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Sep 2010 17:40 UTC, submitted by kragil
Linux Ahem. I just had to write that all-caps headline. Broadcom's wireless chips - used by just about everybody in this industry - have been a major pain in the bum for Linux users, because the company did not release open source drivers. Workarounds had to be created, lots of pain was had in the process, but now, Broadcom has finally seen the light: they have open sourced their wireless Linux drivers.
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...both in Windows and Linux. In Windows, sure, it works... at first. But for some reason, the drivers decide to completely stop working at random and need some fiddling or a reinstall; either way, it's plenty of wasted time, and I've seen some weird things happen in Windows with wireless drivers (ie. complete inability to remember what password I just entered two seconds ago for a wireless connection). Linux? Good luck. Either it doesn't work or... it doesn't work. If you're lucky enough to have a wire going to the machine, some distros have the ability to easily download the drivers... but that defeats the point of wireless in the first place, doesn't it? Having to use a wired connection to download wireless drivers?

This is a major win here. I've tried buying wireless chips that are Linux-friendly, but when I do some snooping around, I always find out that the particular revision/version of the chip is the dreaded Broadcom. Just one question... does anyone know if this includes devices that use firmware that must be uploaded to the chip? Is that firmware part of the "drivers" or is it still locked down by copyright?

Too bad this didn't happen sooner, like before Debian froze Squeeze...

Edited 2010-09-10 03:37 UTC

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