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Re: non-free firmware not found despite unofficial CD

On Sun, 8 Oct 2017, tomas@tuxteam.de wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On Sun, Oct 08, 2017 at 05:17:44AM -0400, bw wrote:
> [...]
> > Yes, that isn't included.  The firmware must be extracted from the 
> > proprietary (windows?) driver from Broadcom.  It's possibly a legal hurdle 
> > set up by the manufacturer?
> Yeah. If anyone asks again why "free as in beer" isn't good, there you
> have it.

I've been using the LP-PHY version for a few years now, and it works well 
with the firmware.  The firmware-installer package depends on an 
extraction tool b43-fwcutter, and the docs indicate that it might be able 
to do the extraction offline if the right file was available.

I may be wrong about needing the windows driver. The man page shows an 
example bcmwl5.sys file to be 'cut' but seems like it only supports wl_*.o 
files now.

> $ b43-fwcutter -l
> b43-fwcutter version 019

> Extracting firmware is possible from these binary driver files.
> Please read http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware

> <driver>        <filename>              <microcode>     <MD5 checksum>

> b43legacy       wl_apsta.o
> <etc...>

It's all very mysterious, especially when people assume hardware should 
'just work' with very little input or setup.

I can imagine a copyright line that says something like, "...you may 
redistribute this software only in whole, and may not distribute only the 
portion required to make the device work the way you want."

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