[RFC] b43/b43legacy firmware _download_ packages

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Mon Nov 19 05:52:49 UTC 2007

On Sunday 18 November 2007, John W. Linville wrote:
>As you may know, many devices require firmware loaded onto the device
>before it will function.  This is the case with a number of wireless
>For some time now the Fedora project has been accepting firmware
>packages provided that the firmware in question is available under
>certain specific licensing terms.  This is the case with the firmware
>packages for zd1211, rt61, iwl4965, etc.
>Unfortunately there are no b43-firmware or b43legacy-firmware packages
>in Fedora.  The licenses governing that firmware have yet to have
>been deemed sufficiently clear to warrant including such packages
>in the Fedora repositories.  FWIW, Broadcom has thus far failed to
>clarify those licenses for us...
>Fortunately, that firmware is available on the Internet from a number
>of sources.  The most convenient of these is OpenWRT.org, to which I
>have directed a number of users in the past.  Using the b43-fwcutter
>package in conjunction with these images has yielded acceptable
>results for a number of users.  Still, this is bit a little painful.
>I have created packages that automate the process of downloading
>this firmware.  These include scripts to download the firmware,
>initscripts to initiate firmware download at boot time, and cron
>scripts to check periodically for firmware availability.  With these
>in place then as long as the user has a functional connection to the
>Internet (ethernet, dialup, etc) _sometimes_, then eventually they
>should get the b43 firmware downloaded without any further intervention
>(beyond that of installing the package in the first place).  Of course,
>the user can schedule an immediate download manually as well.
>Along with the scripts, the packages contain SHA1SUM files for the
>firmware images.  The scripts check the SHA1 values before attempting
>any downloads and only download if the files are missing, outdated, or
>somehow damaged.  Should new firmware become preferred in the future,
>a new package will contain the new SHA1 values and a new download will
>be triggered by cron or at the next boot.  (Obviously the download
>only occurs if there is a functional Internet connection.)
>So, I have made these packages available for comment.  They are
>available here:
>	http://fedora.tuxdriver.com/rfc/
>Please take a look at these packages and let me know what you think.
>I don't know what the appetite for such packages would be in Fedora,
>but if people like this approach then I could maintain a yum repo
>that will assist the installation and maintenance of these packages.
>I hope this helps!

Message marked important.

I'll put this on my F7 lappy as soon as I get over this cold and can really 
think John, in the meantime, thanks a whole lot.

>John W. Linville
>linville at tuxdriver.com

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
system needs to be rebooted

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