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Old 09-02-2019, 12:22 AM   #1
koshman
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Registered: Sep 2019
Distribution: Slackware, Debian
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Broadcom 4312 in 14.2 after upgrade


Hi,
I have recently installed Slackware 14.2 64bit on an old Dell E4300 laptop. The laptop has the Broadcom 4312 Wifi card.
After looking for help online I was able to make it work by downloading the broadcom-sta driver from the manufacturer's website and the build package from Slackbuilds and installing the resulting package with installpkg.
After that I used slackpkg for complete system upgrade - update, install-new, upgrade-all, clean-system from the Current64 slack mirror. As part of the upgrade the kernel was updated to the 4.19.xx.
After reboot everything seems to work fine except the br4312 wifi. I tried reinstalling the package but it already seems to be installed. I checked and the potentially conflicting drivers (b43, ssb...) are blacklisted as they should be.

lspci shows (as it did before the system upgrade):
0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Inc. and subsidiaries BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY (rev 01)

ifconfig & iwconfig shows nothing wireless just the usual eth0 and lo. Before the upgrade the wifi was showing as eth1.

Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

Just for context I'm still a relative beginner with Linux (after ~18 years of trying ) and a total noob with Slackware.
 
Old 09-02-2019, 12:26 PM   #2
USUARIONUEVO
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clean-system

removes all packages from 3rth party ... probably removed broadcom/sta package from system.

clean system ,turns in a vanilla slackware ,removing extra added things.

NO USE in a stable versions of slackware if no want remove ALL your extras.
 
Old 09-02-2019, 01:48 PM   #3
koshman
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Thanks, I will keep that in mind for the future.
Anyway as I write I reinstalled the driver package (tried multiple times) and even checked with pkgtool that it is installed.
 
Old 09-02-2019, 02:12 PM   #4
abga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koshman View Post
Hi,
After that I used slackpkg for complete system upgrade - update, install-new, upgrade-all, clean-system from the Current64 slack mirror. As part of the upgrade the kernel was updated to the 4.19.xx.
After reboot everything seems to work fine except the br4312 wifi. I tried reinstalling the package but it already seems to be installed. I checked and the potentially conflicting drivers (b43, ssb...) are blacklisted as they should be.
If you update your kernel you'll need to rebuild the Broadcom driver against the new kernel and that'll be required on every single kernel update.
Using clean-system is not necessary in your case, just removepkg the Broadcom package you built, re-build it against the new kernel source tree and install it back with installpkg.
 
Old 09-02-2019, 11:43 PM   #5
koshman
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Thanks a lot, this helped of course!
I'm so stupid - the package even contains the kernel version it was built against in the name so it should be clear it's kernel specific
 
Old 09-04-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
abga
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You're welcome, happy to hear that you got it working.
No, you're not stupid, you just didn't know and asked for help. Stupidity is pathological AFAIK and it cannot be self-diagnosed

Due to the ABI compatibility requirements, modules (drivers), even the out-of-tree ones like in your case, are dependent on the kernel source tree (header files) against which they were built. This is why the exact kernel version matters for the module and why you need to re-build it on every kernel update.
In the old days, when the kernel development changes between versions were not that abundant like today and before the utterly dumb module versioning checking system was developed and implemented, you could have lived with a module built against an older kernel, loading and using it successfully under a new kernel. Not the optimal/recommended way, re-building the module on a kernel update was always the best approach.
Your Broadcom module could have worked even under the new kernel if it wasn't for the module versioning checking system rejecting it - the error message should have been found in your kernel log - dmesg, but I guess you didn't look / overlooked it.
I consider this module versioning checking system dumb, because of the way it is designed. If you recompile the kernel&modules, a file containing the modules symbols is created on every occasion (Module.symvers) and even if you built a module (your Broadcom driver for example) against the same kernel tree but before the kernel recompilation, this module versioning mechanism will reject it because of the symbols differences.
This mechanism can be disabled in case you plan to recompile the kernel and play with external modules:
- check if it's enabled in the kernel .config file (it should - everyone is blindly enabling it) - disable it - delete the y
CONFIG_MODVERSIONS=y
- some info - Chapter 6. Module Versioning
https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documenta...ld/modules.txt
- hope that the module versioning checking will die soon / substituted
https://lwn.net/Articles/707520/
 
Old 09-06-2019, 02:25 AM   #7
koshman
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Thanks, abga. Interesting topic and reads for sure.
 
  


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