blob: e1c0af2c36dfb2ffdcaacb8524f06bb85422dd81 [file] [log] [blame]
Linux Wireless compatibility package
This is a Linux wireless compatibility package which provides the latest
Linux wireless subsystem enhancements for kernels 2.6.22 and above. We provide
compatibility support since 2.6.22 as that is when mac80211 was introduced
onto the stock kernel. This adds mac80211, mac80211 drivers, and any new
full MAC driver which has had fairly recent updates worth getting such as
libertas, ipw2100 and ipw2200.
If you'd like to keep the wireless-testing git repository local as well,
please read out git-guide which explains how to achieve this:
With a local git repository you can update the compatibility package yourself.
For more information on how to do this please refer the Developers section below.
This package is also documented online and probably has more-up-to date
information online than on this README file.
Where to get the latest
This package lets you build your own 'latest', all you need is a local git repository
checkout of wireless-testing.git. However since not many users are expected to keep
a local git repository of wireless-testing we provide daily snapshots of this
package + the wireless subsystem code. You can find the latest snapshot at:
Building, and installing
Build: build the latest linux wireless subsystem
We use the updates/ directory so your distribution's drivers are left intact.
sudo make install
This nukes our changes to updates/ so you can go back to using your
distribution's supported drivers.
sudo make uninstall
If you know what module you need you can simply load the module using modprobe.
Note that if you are loading a mac80211 driver you must unload your current
mac80211 drivers as you have a new one to replace it with. Note also that
broadcom, zydas, and atheros devices have old legacy drivers which
you need to be sure are removed first. We provide a mechanism to unload all
old drivers and also load all new drivers if you are not sure what you are
So, if you simply are not sure you can use:
sudo make load
This unloads your old wireless subsystem drivers and loads the new
shiny ones. For example if ipw3945 and its proprietary daemon are found
it'll be stopped and the module unloaded and then iwl3945 will be loaded.
If you are simply upgrading a mac80211 driver this will unload
the old one and the old mac80211 drivers and load the new ones.
This is the list of drivers this package provides. It adds
all new drivers or drivers which keep being updated which you might
be interested in.
libertas_cs (Libertas)
ub8xxx (Libertas)
rt2400pci (rt2x00)
rt2500pci (rt2x00)
rt2500usb (rt2x00)
rt61pci (rt2x00)
rt73usb (rt2x00)
rtl8180 (Realtek)
rtl8187 (Realtek)
Known issues
* Strange wireless device names:
On Ubuntu and Fedora you may end up with strange network device names,
for example, wlan0_rename. This is a known issue and will be worked on.
* nl80211:
Kernels <= 2.6.22 now get nl80211 support, however, genl_multicast_group
won't work. This compatibility cannot be extended to older
kernels as the struct genl_family was extended on 2.6.23 to add
the struct list_head mcast_groups.
* b43:
b43 and b43legacy now loads. Since there was an old softmac broadcom driver
we provide a load script for this driver. To load the new generation
drivers (b43 and b43legacy) you can run:
sudo b43load b43
To revert back to bcm43xx you can run:
sudo b43load bcm43xx
* MadWifi:
If MadWifi is present the build system will detect this and disable it. It
does this by simply renaming ath_pci.ko to ath_pci.ko.ignore. This lets us
disable the MadWifi driver without blacklisting it which could cause issues
with users later. If you would like to enable MadWifi at a later time and
disable ath5k you can run:
sudo athload madwifi
To revert back to ath5k you can run:
sudo athload ath5k
* prism54, p54pci, p54usb?
We don't provide prism54 in this package because distributions already provide
it. p54 is its replacement. prism54 works only with full MAC cards. p54 works
with both full MAC and soft MAC cards. p54 just doesn't yet support ad-hoc,
and AP mode. Should prism54 get any new updates we'll start packaging it here.
* What about net/ieee80211/softmac/ and their drivers?
Documentation/feature-removal-schedule.txt is being updated to
mark this for removal. Here is the relevant text:
What: iee80211 softmac wireless networking component
When: 2.6.26 (or after removal of bcm43xx and port of zd1211rw to mac80211)
Files: net/ieee80211/softmac
Why: No in-kernel drivers will depend on it any longer.
Who: John W. Linville <>
* Firmware:
If your driver needs firmware please be sure to check the driver page
for that driver here:
For users or developers stuck on older kernels that want to help test or
patch wireless work. Additionally if you're on a recent kernel this lets
you get the latest and greatest wireless-testing git work without much effort.
This may mean new drivers for some users. Last but not least we hope this
will encourage vendors and developers to post patches upstream first
rather than forking or maintaining their own mac80211 releases with
their own patches for their own drivers.
How about compatibility work for kernels < 2.6.22 ?
Sure, feel free to send patches. The main work was designed to support
kernels >= 2.6.22 as that was when mac80211 was introduced.
Building for external kernels
If you have a kernel you do not have installed but yet want to build the
compat-wireless-2.6 drivers for it you can use this syntax:
make KLIB=/home/mcgrof/kernels/linux- KLIB_BUILD=/home/mcgrof/kernels/linux-
If you've found a bug please report it to our linux-wireless mailing list:
Report the bug because you are working with the latest and greatest.
If your bug is compatibility-related then we should still try to fix
it within the compat.[ch] work.
Here you see the list of changes to all wireless drivers, the wireless core and mac80211.;a=log;
This views all the changes on the 'everything' branch of wireless-testing.git.
This work is a subset of the Linux kernel as such we keep the kernel's
Copyright practice. Some files have their own copyright and in those
cases the license is mentioned in the file. All additional work made
to building this package is licensed under the GPLv2.
Compatibility work goes into compat/compat.[ch]. If using those files do
not suffice additional actual code changes can go into compat/compat.diff.
If you have your own wireless-testing git tree, before running
be sure to set your GIT_TREE variable. For example:
export GIT_TREE=/home/mcgrof/wireless-testing/
scripts/ - Cleans the compat-wireless-2.6 tree
scripts/ - Updates compat-wireless-2.6 with your git tree
scripts/ - Does the above two
* Compatibilty work for 2.6.18 --> 2.6.21
* Dialog (make menuconfig) option for this package
Patches for compatibility work
Please send patches against:
To: Luis R. Rodriguez <>
Subject: [PATCH] compat-2.6: add driver foo
Patches for drivers
If you'd like to send patches for a driver though you can send it using our
Submitting Patches guideline: