Kernel Not Detecting Wifi
#1
I bought a PBP over a year ago and installed ArchLinuxARM on it. After initial install I could not make a wifi connection and was too busy to troubleshoot thoroughly. I've come back to it a few times since, but soon give up because screen is on low brightness and the adjustment keys don't work and I remain too busy to find the actual headache this produces worth going into.

Basically, no interface shows for wifi besides lo. I've tried device list in iwd, ip link, and looking direct at /sys/class/net. I've checked that the privacy switch for wifi is not blocking it, and get two blinks from the numlock light.

I thought I would just try a reinstall from scratch, but when I go into BIOS at the start (UEFI?, tow-boot?) and select USB it will not boot from the drive I have installed there. Installation instructions say any version of tow-boot should work for an install, and the version I have is the one released before the current one.

Where should I be looking for the wifi card? Instructions talk about USB or PCI, but the wiki says the adapter connects via SDIO?
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#2
This might seem irrelevant, but it mighty be worthwhile if you havea USB WiFi dongle to use that until you get the internal one working again.

By the way, I know almost nothing about arch, but most people using arch on the PBP are using Manjaru, which makes me wonder if arch by itself doesn't support the PBP very well (it kinda seems that way based on your symptoms).
:wq



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#3
I'll see if I can find time to dig through storage and come up with my USB wifi dongle. Really clumsy to have to haul that around though.

Arch doesn't support the ARM version. I'm not up on packaging logistics at all, just recall there is a separate team that takes the Manjaro ARM kernel and reverts functionality back to work like the original Arch does. Had it running on my first PBP very smoothly, although sound didn't work. It was my daily driver until the screen cracked. I've found Manjaro to be annoying and cluttered the few times I've tried it.
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#4
I use one of these cheapy "802.11N" dongles that only sticks out the side of the PBP about 3/8". I don't even notice that it's there. But that could be because I spent 2 years with a very large obnoxious one. I use it because NetBSD 9.3 does not work with the internal Wi-Fi (of course NetBSD 10RC1 might; I haven't tried it).

I have the same opinion of Manjaru; but I haven't used it much. I keep it on my wife's PBP, mostly because usually I don't have to deal with it (except when it breaks when I update it).

I did have the original PBP "Debian desktop" for a while which seemed to do everything Manjaru does, but it felt lighter. I'd say you might want to try that, but I'm not sure if that version of Debian is still relevant on the PBP. I'd still be using it if NetBSD didn't do everything I needed it to do.
:wq



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#5
Here is the unobtrusive dongle I use:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/113774031117

It doesn't have 5GHz but otherwise it just works and works well.
:wq



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#6
(12-30-2023, 08:56 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: I use one of these cheapy "802.11N" dongles that only sticks out the side of the PBP about 3/8".  I don't even notice that it's there.  But that could be because I spent 2 years with a very large obnoxious one.  I use it because NetBSD 9.3 does not work with the internal Wi-Fi (of course NetBSD 10RC1 might; I haven't tried it).

I have the same opinion of Manjaru; but I haven't used it much.  I keep it on my wife's PBP, mostly because usually I don't have to deal with it (except when it breaks when I update it).

I did have the original PBP "Debian desktop" for a while which seemed to do everything Manjaru does, but it felt lighter.  I'd say you might want to try that, but I'm not sure if that version of Debian is still relevant on the PBP.  I'd still be using it if NetBSD didn't do everything I needed it to do.
I know I have a big dongle with an antenna, but might have picked up a smaller one somewhere also. Problem is, besides just having to futz with it while traveling, is I need a trackball for web stuff as I touchpads just suck, so that only leaves one port for plugging in phones and things.

Yeah, I might go with Debian or one of a few others I'm more satisfied with from x86 experience before Manjaro, but
I guess the next step is to figure out what is wrong with my boot menu and do Arch fresh. It seems to me either something was corrupted when I tried this last install, or there are problems with some of the newer hardware elements added when the PBP went back into production last year. Or, reading up on ArchARM, it looks like there was a switch in maintainers at some point when the original guy disappeared, so might be they haven't ironed out all the problems since putting the packages back together...?
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#7
I try to use a mouse, but when I can't bring that, I just either suffer with the touchpad >spit< or go CLI only Smile
I keep thinking I need to see if someone sells an external Trackpoint.

I'm pretty sure the hardware didn't change enough for software to know. But Manjaru breaks badly in my experience if you update it after waiting too long; I wonder if plain arch does that too. And I've read that "mainline" Linux has deprecated support for some parts of the PBP. But I don't know how much that rolls downhill to arch.
:wq



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#8
I've been drooling over the MNT Reform as it has an option to replace the pad with a trackball, as well as a mechanical keyboard. It is just a ridiculous price for something with a tiny ARM processor.

ArchARM for PBP is using the Manjaro kernel as that is what gets the most attention by default recently. I haven't updated the system since installation however, since I haven't been able to connect to the net.
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#9
At a guess,, the name of the firmware is not right,
you do know, I hope, that all wifi has to load firmware to work?
You could check,,, dmesg |grep -i firmware
It is not entirely clear, I think these are correct names
/lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac43456-sdio.{bin clm.blob pine64,pinebookpro.txt}
The newer pbp have a different chip, if it is less than 1 y old?
Anyway, the name is too long, has to renamed or linked
as to sd boot failure....
If you don't care about sleep, tow-boot, the binaries are hidden within the tgz, do a normal dd
hidden within binaries/ (v5)
-rw-rw-r-- 1 d d 168816 Oct 27 2020 idbloader.img (offset 64 sectors,,, seek=64)
-rw-rw-r-- 1 d d 1388952 Oct 27 2020 spi.img --->don't use this, for spi
-rw-rw-r-- 1 d d 995736 Oct 27 2020 u-boot.itb (offset 8M,,, bs=1M seek=8)
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#10
I have the newer model, guess I didn't realise the wireless chip had changed because I never use it anyway. I wonder what the newer chip is.
:wq



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