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Old 25th August 2022
hd77 hd77 is offline
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Default wifi cards : solution to get them working?

hello

I have here several laptops with wifi card whom are working under linux, but not openbsd.
I was wondering, would it be possible to know if there are some openbsd devs whom accept to do some testing to allow those wifi cards to be working, by remotely processing coding new driver in ssh through ethernet/wired connection? a bit like for remote driver developpment, in case of it's not possible with the user, that the distance would not be a problem, and those wifi card be workign with openbsd..

it's a bit hard to accept that nvidia or broadcom chip are sometimes not usable at all with our lovely system, forcing us to use another one...
would a such project be possible?

thank you

I have there :
BCM43225

BCM43142 (flex20405)
https://bsd-hardware.info/?probe=3b77055bd4

AR9485 (hp-g7-2257sf)

RTL810xE // RTL8723BE (asus-x541u)

ar9565 (toshiba c55d-a13p) + QCA8172

ppps: even on haiku(ex-beos) those cards works :P

Last edited by hd77; 7th February 2024 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 26th August 2022
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Disclaimers: I am not a member of the OpenBSD Project and do not speak for it. This forum we are using is not affiliated with the OpenBSD Project, it merely has users like you and me as members. If you want to communicate directly with Project members -- the developers of OpenBSD -- you should use the appropriate Project mailing list.

-----

These are my opinions:

---
  • OpenBSD is a research OS supported by its volunteer developers, working on the OS as a hobby.
  • The OpenBSD Project will only add hardware support when and where there is a developer who has access to the hardware, an interest in using or supporting it, and sufficient time. In some cases, lack of information from the vendor may prevent or halt development.
  • Other OS Projects (including both commercial and freely distributed OSes) are willing to accept and integrate pre-compiled, binary drivers provided by hardware vendors, or the OS Projects are willing to have developers sign non-disclosure agreements to obtain proprietary interface information to conduct their own hardware driver development. The OpenBSD Project will neither accept external binary "blobs" into the OS nor will they sign any NDAs to obtain proprietary interface information.
I recommend using either supported hardware, or another OS.

---
Quote:
ppps: even on haiku(ex-beos) those cards works :P
Haiku uses FreeBSD's network drivers. They developed a "compatibility layer" for this purpose.
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Old 26th August 2022
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Last year I bought a cheap USB WiFi adapter from Action, a popular discount store here in the Netherlands.

The brand name: TP-Link
The model nr: TL-WN823N
Mode : 2.4GHz only, no 5.0GHz

Although I don't have a laptop anymore, I just got it to play with it on my desktop. The dmesg output:
Code:
urtwn0 at uhub0 port 9 configuration 1 interface 0 "Realtek 802.11n NIC" rev 2.10/2.00 addr 5
urtwn0: MAC/BB RTL8192EU, RF 6052 2T2R, address d0:37:45:65:36:6e
The needed firmware on OpenBSD 7.1:
Code:
-rw-r--r--  1 root  bin  31818 Apr 12 01:46 /etc/firmware/urtwn-rtl8192eu
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Old 26th August 2022
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A quick question. Some routers--for example, Linksys used to do this--have the network name hidden by default. I did find, a few years ago, no idea if it's true now, that if I left the network as hidden, OpenBSD couldn't find it, but if I unhid the network, there was no problem.

Again, this was a few years ago, and I have no idea if it's still the case (or if your networks are not hidden, in which case, apologies for wasting time.)
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Old 27th August 2022
jmccue jmccue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
The brand name: TP-Link
The model nr: TL-WN823N
Mode : 2.4GHz only, no 5.0GHz
I have a old Thinkpad R51e that would not connect to the ISP supplied router. But it does connect to a very old router I had. It works with OpenBSD 7.1 and is recognized by NetBSD.

So a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a USP Wireless Dongle, it works fine with the R51e. Like J65nko, it only connects using 2.4, but that is perfectly fine by me.

So there are now 2 Brands of that could help out the OP.

Brand: EDIMAX
Model: N150 - EW-7811Un V2

dmesg:
Code:
urtwn0 at uhub3 port 2 configuration 1 interface 0 "Realtek Edimax N150 Adapter" rev 2.00/0.00 addr 3
urtwn0: MAC/BB RTL8188EU, RF 6052 1T1R
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Last edited by jmccue; 27th August 2022 at 12:52 AM. Reason: clarified
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Old 27th August 2022
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A hidden network isn't. Hidden. It just doesn't broadcast its SSID in its beacon frames.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beacon_frame
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Old 10th September 2022
hd77 hd77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
---
Haiku uses FreeBSD's network drivers. They developed a "compatibility layer" for this purpose.
hey.
wouldnt it be possible to get inspired or just take those opensource drivers for openbsd too?
would be very great to have like a common tree for all hw drivers for OSS purposes...
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Old 10th September 2022
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Please read my response in comment #2 above, where this question has been answered. OpenBSD requires that everything they use be "open".
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Old 19th December 2022
hd77 hd77 is offline
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hi

is there a way to "test" by force using some A broadcom card drivers while laptop is a B broadcom card driver, even if it doesnt works so good, to have an idea if the A-chipset shares some features/working method with the B-chipset?

in a way, to bruteforce-test all broadcom wifi drivers of openbsd, on the others broadcom wifi devices? Maybe some good surprises could happen?

thanks
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Old 19th December 2022
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All drivers -- every single one -- used by this OS are included part of the monolithic kernel, all built from source code. Drivers from one OS are not "plug and play" into another OS. So, even if another OS's driver has source code publicly available, with acceptable licensing, there is no such thing as "forcing" a driver built for another OS into this OS's kernel.

If you'd like to experiment and prove or disprove this, yourself...well...

Instructions for obtaining the source code and building the kernel yourself can be found in the release(8) man page, with further guidance available to you in the "Building the System from Source" chapter of the OpenBSD FAQ. You may modify your local copy of the source code as you wish.
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Old 19th December 2022
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https://www.7signal.com/news/blog/co...fi-performance

More interesting beacon information....
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Old 19th December 2022
hd77 hd77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
All drivers -- every single one -- used by this OS are included part of the monolithic kernel, all built from source code. Drivers from one OS are not "plug and play" into another OS. So, even if another OS's driver has source code publicly available, with acceptable licensing, there is no such thing as "forcing" a driver built for another OS into this OS's kernel.

If you'd like to experiment and prove or disprove this, yourself...well...

Instructions for obtaining the source code and building the kernel yourself can be found in the release(8) man page, with further guidance available to you in the "Building the System from Source" chapter of the OpenBSD FAQ. You may modify your local copy of the source code as you wish.
thank you for your answer

well, in the idea, it was not regarding different systems
it was for example if bcm model A works well ; but not model B
maybe by forcing the minimum features of driver A on the B model, maybe just connecting wifi without big things (means wifi N, etc..) would be working? or not at all? just to get the basics : the connexion where it's a bit "something" to get a wifi usb dongle while a broadcom wifi chip is already inside of the laptop
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Old 19th December 2022
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It has not been mentioned, but another option is to replace the wifi card. For many laptops,a couple of phillps screws will remove a panel for access. Replacement wifi cards are cheap.

One thing to be aware of is that some manufacturers, particulary HP and Lenovo, "whitelist' hardware. My HP Stream 14 was available with realtek or intel wireless and the realtek card that mine came with was not going to be supported in OpenBSD anytime soon. I found an HP intel 7265 wireless card on the web for $7. rtwn(4) and iwm(4) will tell you which cards to search for.

One last consideration, OpenBSD managed to get permission from Realtek to distribute Realtek wireless firmware in the install images. You can do a netinstall out of the box. Intel does not allow their firmware to be packaged in installation media. There are four ways, off the top of my head, around this if your laptop does not have an ethernet port.
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Old 20th December 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrollld View Post
..well, in the idea, it was not regarding different systems
it was for example if bcm model A works well ; but not model B
maybe by forcing the minimum features of driver A on the B model...
The way that a driver informs the OS that it manages a particular device is to list the device in the source. As an example, only, the Broadcom and Cypress IEEE 802.11a/ac/b/g/n wireless network device driver, bwfm(4), contains this list of supported devices in its bwfm_pci_devices[] structure:
Code:
static const struct pci_matchid bwfm_pci_devices[] = {
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4350 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4356 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM43602 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4371 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4378 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4387 },
};
You could modify this list to add the BCM43325, build and test a kernel with it, and see what happens with your laptop that has the BCM43325 NIC. That type of simple local modification might work. It might not. It might cause a kernel panic.

The very last chipset added to this list was the BCM4387. Adding that chipset required an entire new integrated circuit command. The driver itself had a minimal change but the Broadcom IC support routines had significant changes to support the chipset. Here's the commit to add that chipset: https://github.com/openbsd/src/commi...427759701c36e7
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Old 20th December 2022
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Head_on_a_Stick Head_on_a_Stick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrollld View Post
it's a bit hard to accept that [...] broadcom chip are sometimes not usable at all with our lovely system
I think it's a really good sign — the devs recognise that those devices are of such poor quality that they're not worth supporting.

Do those Broadcom cards actually work reliably in Haiku? I've lost count of the number of support threads I've seen about Broadcom in Linux. It's the only manufacturer to have an entire ArchWiki page devoted to it's wireless devices.
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Old 21st December 2022
hd77 hd77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Head_on_a_Stick View Post
I think it's a really good sign — the devs recognise that those devices are of such poor quality that they're not worth supporting.

Do those Broadcom cards actually work reliably in Haiku? I've lost count of the number of support threads I've seen about Broadcom in Linux. It's the only manufacturer to have an entire ArchWiki page devoted to it's wireless devices.

I dont know why : they're innovative? or maybe just fast enough for big manufacturers. But anyway, they're massively adapted, as I knew the existence of atheros or intel doing wifi chips, far years away after using broadcom, because.. they're really widespread sold. It's not my choice, and in a way I dont think common people look really at this, nor the manufacturer or screen display. But in a way, they're so frequently found in laptop and others electronics components that they have the choice of doing what they want. It's just with linux and bsd, looks like broadcom dont care. But I never had so many issues with linux/haiku using broadcom. Sometimes it could be complicated but most of the time, it works, and that's a really useful thing :x

thank you
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Old 7th February 2024
hd77 hd77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
The way that a driver informs the OS that it manages a particular device is to list the device in the source. As an example, only, the Broadcom and Cypress IEEE 802.11a/ac/b/g/n wireless network device driver, bwfm(4), contains this list of supported devices in its bwfm_pci_devices[] structure:
Code:
static const struct pci_matchid bwfm_pci_devices[] = {
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4350 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4356 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM43602 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4371 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4378 },
        { PCI_VENDOR_BROADCOM, PCI_PRODUCT_BROADCOM_BCM4387 },
};
You could modify this list to add the BCM43325, build and test a kernel with it, and see what happens with your laptop that has the BCM43325 NIC. That type of simple local modification might work. It might not. It might cause a kernel panic.

The very last chipset added to this list was the BCM4387. Adding that chipset required an entire new integrated circuit command. The driver itself had a minimal change but the Broadcom IC support routines had significant changes to support the chipset. Here's the commit to add that chipset: https://github.com/openbsd/src/commi...427759701c36e7
is it possible to help me to do that kind of compilation, especially for broadcom chipset? (im thinking about the BCM43142, RTL810xE and RTL8723BE.. maybe by xmpp for some compilation tests? (im unskilled in that)
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Old 8th February 2024
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The OpenBSD FAQ has guidance for building the system from source, and the release(8) man page has step-by-step instructions for building and installing a new kernel. I recommend building and installing an unmodified kernel, first, so that you get a feel for the process, before you begin modifying any driver source code.

In the event you build and install a kernel which that you discover is unusable, you can boot your prior known-good kernel, /obsd, from the boot> prompt, with `boot > obsd`.

I'm not an XMPP user. Please ask if anything in the FAQ or the man page is unclear.
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Old 8th February 2024
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Here is a link that can be accessed in the Networking Section of the OpenBSD FAQ:
https://man.openbsd.org/?query=wireless&apropos=1

These are the chipsets that currently have drivers in the OpenBSD kernel and from the above link, you can access the man page for each.

A quick summary based on the pages and my experience.

Intel supplies chip pinouts and linux source for their chipsets. If you want N (5Ghz) or AX speeds, Intel is the only game in town. Unfortunately, they are harder to install as Intel does not allow the firmware to be distributed on the install media. In my experience the iwm(4) is reliable. The FAQ has information on bootstrapping the firmware package into the install media:
https://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#WifiOnly

Alternatively, you can install using a supported usb wireless dongle. The project obtained Realtek's blessing to supply Realtek firmware on the install media and as @JNK65ko mentioned, these are cheap and readily available. I keep an old Ralink RT2501 usb dongle for this purpose as it does not require firmware. With a working network connection, the system will automatically install the firmware for the intel card.

If you really want to run OpenBSD, I would swap out the wifi card on one of the laptops. It can be done in under 10 minutes and does not preclude you from using Linux, FreeBSD or Windows on the laptop.

You can usually find videos on what is involved. Here is one for your HP G7
HP G7 wifi


Asus 541
Asus Vivio 541


Toshiba C55
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tFBaZKbJrw

While you have it open, you can consider adding more RAM and a solid state drive.

Last edited by shep; 8th February 2024 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 8th February 2024
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You'll find it much easier & quicker just to buy a compatible USB wifi device...

I've found that most TP-Link wifi that I have bought work as urtwn.
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