Internal WiFi status?
(12-20-2023, 11:10 AM)u974615 Wrote: This process of developing a working WiFi driver/kernel module seems a bit strange to me.  Should it be more in collaboration with the Linux project and with a plain main board, not in a final form factor?

Wouldn't it be easier for someone to convince the original source code (  Bestechnic?, BES? ) to work with The Linux Foundation and get the code distributed with the Linux kernel releases.  Or work with Software Freedom Conservancy and release it fully under the GPL v2, which Segfaults's GitLab repo seemed to be working toward:  And figure out the proper channels and format to package and distribute the kernel module.

The problem is twofold:
1. All the code must be GPLv2
2. The code quality needs to be to the Linux kernel level

ad 1) The files that are under a proprietary license must be re-licensed under GPLv2 or we can't use them. This can only be done by Bestechnic
ad 2) The LF or SFC have no role to play in this. Any person, with the right skill set, can do that. Bestechnic can help, which would likely be beneficial, but that's not a requirement. 
Once the code is of sufficient quality, then it can be send to an appropriate kernel subsystem maintainer (normally via a mailing list), where it will be evaluated whether it indeed meets the requirements. It's common that this results in several iterations where each new version/iteration addresses the issues that have been brought up during the review. If all goes well, the subsystem maintainer accepts it and then it gets on its way to Linus' (git) repo. And from there it'll end up in various distribution's kernel. I guess this part would be the 'collaboration with the Linux project' part. (But 'official' organizations play no role in this)

AFAIK, Segfault isn't working on the code. I 'heard rumors' that someone else maybe is (in collaboration with Bestechnic), but I have no idea whether that is indeed true, where it's taking place or what the status of it is.

Quote:I gather another issue is the WiFi chipset really doesn't support the latest WiFi protocols... AC?

That's unfortunate for users, but not important for whether it can be included in the upstream Linux repo.

Does pine64 realize that lack of internal WIFI is a major showstopper for this product success?
(01-09-2024, 05:28 AM)polrus Wrote: Does pine64 realize that lack of internal WIFI is a major showstopper for this product success?

Of course, they realize that, the question is: Does they want, that their product is successful ?

They could build a mega cool open source ARM device. It would be much, much more expensive than the price of the PT2.
I would buy PT2 for 500,- EUR but with faster CPU, NVME Support and working ax WiFi.

But their strategy is to offer cheap devices, so that anybody who is interested in ARM and Open Source could buy one, just to try. So they took a lot of compromises.
They could not get the same greate Realtek BT/WiFi Combo they got for PineTab V, so they choose a shit chip, without working driver.

It would be much better IMHO to produce PineTab 2 with Realtek WiFi and PineTab V (which is highly experimental) with the bes2600 WiFi.

But it is, like it is. As long as some good guy will not sit down and rewrite a proper driver for bes2600 - we wouldn't get proper wifi support...

Maybe PineTab 3 will be better Smile
per tllim someone at BES is helping to get the driver working, and per this mastodon post, notable progress is already being seen
(01-09-2024, 02:38 PM)tophneal Wrote: per tllim someone at BES is helping to get the driver working, and per this mastodon post, notable progress is already being seen

Well, this brings some hope back...
Per the official Discord chat, both wifi and Bluetooth are working with the new driver and testing appears to be going well so far.
To good to be true Smile But lets see..
As I have written in
(01-08-2024, 11:57 PM)Kevin Kofler Wrote: If you want the driver right now, you can get the patches from the SailfishOS repo:
but you will have to compile this stuff yourself.

The matching firmware is here:

But it should just be a matter of time for this to enter DanctNIX, given that it's Danct's work that SailfishOS is shipping there.

Unfortunately, Bestechnic still has not fixed the licensing on txrx_opt.[ch]. With the current licensing on those files, there is no way this can go into the upstream Linux kernel.
Wifi and bluetooth are now available for testing in the default Arch distro as of kernel 6.6.13-danctnix1-1-pinetab2. Here's how to enable them (if you're running an alternate distro, please check your distro's documentation instead):

First, check to see if you are running the latest version via
uname -a
. If not, update with
sudo pacman -Syu
and reboot. You will need to use a wifi dongle or tether a phone to do this initial update: see the documentation page for details.


Enable wifi for a single session with
sudo modprobe bes2600
. This will persist until you reboot your device.

To enable wifi at each boot:

sudo -i
echo bes2600 | sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/bes2600.conf

Note: Wifi is still being tested and as of this post causes issues with suspend and may cause the device to hang on shutdown.


Enter these commands in order:

sudo pacman -S bluez-deprecated-tools
sudo -i
echo ifname:bt cmd:BT_ON > /dev/bes2600
rfkill unblock bluetooth
hciattach -s 1500000 /dev/ttyS1 any 1500000 flow nosleep
hciconfig hci0 up
sudo systemctl enable bluetooth
Finally! I just stowed the PineTab 2 away two weeks ago, not expecting anything to happen. But now it seems that some progress is being made. Well...
Maybe of intererst: the network manager does not seem to behave nicely as a quite lengthy stop job is being executed before rebooting.

Edit: I almost forgot to give a big thank you to the relevant developers. You did an amazing job!

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