Broadcom hybrid_wl driver

Jarod Wilson jarod at
Sun Oct 26 19:49:26 CET 2008

On Sun, 2008-10-26 at 10:12 +0000, Chris Nolan wrote:
> Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> > On 26.10.2008 05:02, Jarod Wilson wrote:
> >> Anyone working on a kmod package for the semi-open-source Broadcom
> >> driver?
> >
> > See the following mails that are just a few days old ;-)
> >
> > 
> >
> > 
> >
> >
> > Chris CCed.

D'oh. I saw those mails, but must admit to not reading particularly
close, thus I missed the part about the broadcom driver... :\

> >>
> >>
> >> Advice and/or news of someone already working on this welcomed...
> >
> Hey Jarod, you stole my thunder! ;)
> Looks like you've done a nice job with this package - do you care to 
> maintain it or would you mind being joint maintainers? I'm really keen 
> to get into packaging and this was to be my little project but looks 
> like you beat me to it!

Heh, sorry 'bout that... Although to be honest, I dunno that I'd suggest
a kmod as a first package for *anyone*, since they consist of so much
black magic... :)

However, I'd be perfectly happy if you wanted to take this on as its
primary maintainer, with me as a co-maintainer.

> One thing missing from the package seems to be the patch to fix the 
> vlanmode issue.

Wasn't aware there was such a patch, by all means, feel free to wedge it
into the srpm.

Nb: performance with this driver is *miserable* with my particular
setup, for reasons I don't yet know... I bought a Dell Studio Hybrid
refurb w/a discount special applied atop it, and in it was this BCM4321
card... The Dell is set up in a wired location, so I yanked the card
out, and transplanted it into my Mac Mini (which the Dell replaced as my
primary mythtv frontend, and is now going upstairs as a secondary
frontend, but needs n wifi to stream hdtv to it).

Now, note that the Mini only has a single antenna wire in it... The card
that was in there (some Ath5k chip) had two antenna posts, but was using
only the one, so I figured I'd give it a go w/the BCM4321, which also
has two posts. Mac OS X happily transfers data at roughly 4.3MB/s with
the BCM4321 using a single antenna, which is more than enough for HDTV

Okay, so back to the Linux side and the hybrid_wl driver... I get no
better than ~350KB/s. I presume the driver isn't handling the
single-antenna very well or something, but a buddy of mine who also got
a Dell w/the same card said hybrid_wl performed pretty badly for him too
(the Dell has two antenna internally), but was having stability issues
with ndiswrapper. I've used ndiswrapper w/the BCM432<something> chip in
my AppleTV with excellent results though, so I'm off to try that next...


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