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.
I still can’t believe it. Let me copy the official announcement verbatim.
Broadcom would like to announce the initial release of a fully-open
Linux driver for it’s latest generation of 11n chipsets. The driver, while still a work in progress, is released as full source and uses the native mac80211 stack. It supports multiple current chips (BCM4313, BCM43224, BCM43225) as well as providing a framework for supporting additional chips in the future, including mac80211-aware embedded chips.
The README and TODO files included with the sources provide more details about the current feature set, known issues, and plans for improving the driver.
I’m at a loss for words. Except, uhm, Broadcom – couldn’t you guys’ve been a little faster with this? It would’ve saved us a lot of effort. Kthnxbye.