bcmwl fails to blacklist brcm80211 so is never used

Bug #747002 reported by Daniel van Vugt on 2011-04-01
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
bcmwl (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

In Additional Drivers, install "Broadcom STA wireless driver". This installs the "wl" kernel module.

However in natty beta 1 I notice the wl module is not being used at all in network manager Connection Information. Instead it is using module "brcm80211".

It seems that bcmwl-kernel-source should blacklist module brcm80211 but doesn't. It already blacklists b43 et al in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcm43.conf. I think bcmwl-kernel-source should also be blacklisting brcm80211 somewhere in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist*.conf

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: bcmwl-kernel-source
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.38-7.39-generic 2.6.38
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-7-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: wl nvidia
Architecture: amd64
Date: Fri Apr 1 13:52:55 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Beta amd64 (20110330)
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: bcmwl
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Related branches

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

In case it is not obvious to the reader, a fix/workaround is:
sudo echo "blacklist brcm80211" > /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcrm80211.conf

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

And here is a patch that fixes this bug.

Robert Hooker (sarvatt) on 2011-04-13
tags: added: patch
Changed in bcmwl (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
milestone: none → ubuntu-11.04
status: New → Triaged
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

This is a smaller (and more correct) patch. The old version contained erroneous interaction with b44 (ethernet), which is irrelevant to the fix.

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

Uploaded, thank you!

Changed in bcmwl (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package bcmwl -

bcmwl ( natty; urgency=low

  * debian/bcmwl-kernel-source.postinst: Also blacklist brcm80211, to ensure
    it actually is getting used. Thanks to Daniel van Vugt for the patch!
    (LP: #747002)
 -- Martin Pitt <email address hidden> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 12:14:43 +0200

Changed in bcmwl (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

While this fix works perfectly for clean natty installations, it's still broken for upgrades because of bug 776165.

Andy (andyroop) wrote :

This patch stopped my hardware switch (Fn + F2) working. Prior to the patch I had to hit these keys every time I restarted or woke up my computer. After the patch I cannot connect at all. Is there a solution for this?

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Andy, if you're experiencing a change in behaviour it probably means you have successfully switched wireless drivers from brcm80211 to wl (bcmwl) (i.e. this bug fix works).

I have read in other bugs people say their hardware switches don't work with bcmwl. If yours did work before then I suggest simply uninstalling the bcmwl-kernel-source package. That will take you back to the brcm80211 driver which it sounds worked better for you.

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