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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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

That's cool if true, but unfortunately, it still means you'll need to haul the machine to another room and connect it to another monitor, mouse and keyboard just to download the updated kernel. And then move it back to where it belongs and set it up yet again.

Unless a future version (Debian 6.0.1?) contains this updated kernel on disc, if what you're saying is true... if so, awesome, that means the next point-release of "Squeeze" will be fully Broadcom-aware.

But I don't know... I saw how Debian treated a completely broken package (Pidgin) when Yahoo! changed their protocol; they effectively said "it's not a security issue, so we're not fixing it." Well, yeah, I guess if you can't even connect to the damn service, then it must not be a security issue, eh? Never mind that the fact that the Yahoo! Instant Messenger service completely refused to work rendered Pidgin completely broken for anyone who used the service. That's why I'd be surprised if Debian supports this new driver now, after the freeze.

Edit: Nevermind, I completely misread the second paragraph quoted. Sounds like it's just the way I expected. [I'm drinking, so admittedly I'm not paying complete attention... heh.]

Edited 2010-09-10 06:59 UTC

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