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Re: When to expect support for 3945 Wireless in Rawhide

John W. Linville wrote:
On Sat, Mar 10, 2007 at 02:58:31PM -0500, Paul Michael Reilly wrote:
I ran your kernel and the chip was detected on my HP nw9440 laptop so I considered that one hurdle overcome. But I forgot to download the firmware. Now why is that a separate process? How is this going to

Is this an honest inquiry into why some devices have separate
firmware files?  Or is it a veiled complaint about something which
I really cannot control?  In case it is the former, reasons include
releasing the firmware under a different license than the kernel and
being able to change the firmware without having to rebuild the kernel.

I am simply taking the viewpoint that using a device in a modern OS should be a seamless operation from the User perspective, assuming for Fedora that the device has freely available firmware (when relevant) and drivers. In this case my understanding is that Fedora is choosing to support the 3945 wireless chip via direct kernel support rather than via an ipw3945 (or some such) rpm package. And since the kernel appears to look for the firmware in a particular location (it complains when it cannot find it) the natural question, "how should the firmware file get put in place?" occurred. And it seems to me that the answer should be that the firmware was put in place by the distro, as part of an install process. So I am trying to understand how Fedora 7 is going to resolve this issue and I asked you hoping you would know.

work with F7? Surely the firmware will be included in some rpm. Correct? If so can you supply both that rpm and the kernel rpm and I will perform a more realistic test.

I have no such RPM.  The firmware is downloadable from the iwlwifi
project site:


I believe there is an effort to get freely redistributable firmware
packaged and available in the main Fedora repositories.  But, that
work is being done primarily by someone other than me.  You may want
to look here:


This is helpful. It says to me that anaconda or kudzu (whichever one is responsible for dealing with hardware setup) should check for the existence of a chip which requires the firmware and then should install the file via the rpm so that the kernel will find it on reboot. Is this what you would expect?



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