bcmwl fails to blacklist brcm80211 so is never used

Bug #747002 reported by Daniel van Vugt
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
bcmwl (Ubuntu)
Fix Released

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

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :
Revision history for this message
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

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

And here is a patch that fixes this bug.

Robert Hooker (sarvatt)
tags: added: patch
Changed in bcmwl (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
milestone: none → ubuntu-11.04
status: New → Triaged
Revision history for this message
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.

Revision history for this message
Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

Uploaded, thank you!

Changed in bcmwl (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Revision history for this message
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
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

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

Revision history for this message
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?

Revision history for this message
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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