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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"Debian has apparently re-instated support for backports.

Yeah, I heard about that. But doesn't that mean that, still, the backports repository must be added manually and anything in it needs to be installed manually as well?

What I meant is, it would be nice if this would have happened sooner so Debian could have put it directly in the distribution. In other words, no need to have an ethernet cable connected to the machine to download bc43-fwcutter or whatever it is, it would just work after installing the OS. AFAIK, backports doesn't work that way. It's 100% manual.


Once the driver is accepted into the mainline kernel, you will automatically get the driver when you update the kernel.

Debian versions such as squeeze do not update the kernel version (only the minor version). The only means to get a new driver is to have it available as a kernel loadable module via a backport to the earlier kernel version. Even then you have to suppress (blacklist) whatever module is being loaded now for wireless, and explicitly load the new backported driver module. Happily this can all be achieved through editing configuration files in /etc

Edited 2010-09-10 05:46 UTC

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