absurd: network connection required to obtain a network driver

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at ubuntu.com
Thu Jul 3 18:26:46 UTC 2008

Przemysław Kulczycki [2008-07-03 20:14 +0200]:
> Owners of Broadcom 43xx cards are in a very unpleasant situation when  
> they want to install Ubuntu on their laptops/PCs because Ubuntu requires  
> a network connection to fetch the firmware for the b43/bcm43xx driver.
> If you don't have another network interface then you're stuck and have  
> to use another computer or another operating system.

b43-fwcutter also allows you to extract it from a MacOS CD or a
windows driver (I only tested this on an old Mac OS 10.1 CD ages ago,

> The b43-fwcutter downloads 2 files from openwrt.org:
> http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-
> and http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/wl_apsta-
> Maybe the guys from openwrt.org could be asked if redistribution of  
> these files is possible? 

The problem is that these files are not really legally
redistributable. openwrt cannot give us permission to redistribute
something they don't own.

> If not, then maybe Canonical could ask Broadcom  for permission to
> redistribute these files?

That already happened many times, but fell on deaf ears unfortunately.

We are well aware of the mess, but unfortunately there is very little
we can do about it. :/


Martin Pitt                        | http://www.piware.de
Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com)  | Debian Developer  (www.debian.org)
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