Generic WiFi failures

Questions about WIFI networks and devices
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spikerobinson
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Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:13 pm

I'm reading here of multiple WiFi failures in the last week.

From my side I've done various patches in the last week. I'm running Mint 18.2 64bit, kernel 4.13.0-26

A while after reboot I got "Cinnamon crashed" and it came up in recovery mode. Since then, recovery mode or not, I have no WiFi device. If I open Driver Manager to try to re-add a WiFi device, Driver Manager refuses to do anything because it's not connected to the internet.

This needs to be fixed. If Driver Manager can't see the internet, it needs to realise that fixing that is a high priority. It should allow a filesystem browse for drivers and that should default to opening the location of the generic drivers or whatever are the safest drivers.

Guess what, I don't have an ethernet cable to recover with, I probably haven't used one this century. Kinda got used to WiFi "just working".

I am now going to try stepping back through my previous kernels until I find one that can get online. Then what? Upgrade to Mint 18.3 has been suggested in some of the similar recent issues.

By the way my video card is a Radeon and my CPU is AMD (lucky me!) on HP hardware.
Last edited by spikerobinson on Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pjotr
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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by Pjotr » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:23 pm

a. Please generate an overview of your system like this:
- Launch a terminal window (this is how to launch a terminal window);
- make the terminal window full screen, to avoid chopped lines;
- Copy/paste this command into the terminal:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
(if you type: the letter F is a capital letter)

Press Enter.

Copy/paste the output in your next message.

b. Do the same with the following four commands:

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rfkill list all
and:

Code: Select all

iwconfig
and:

Code: Select all

inxi -Nn
and:

Code: Select all

lsusb
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spikerobinson
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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:29 pm

Ok but... how am I going to be able to post that output when the whole point is, the impacted system is offline, unable to connect to the internet?

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by Pjotr » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:32 pm

Apparently you now have a machine that does connect to the internet. Find a way to transfer the requested information to that machine.
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spikerobinson
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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:42 pm

I have a mobile phone connected to the internet.

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:44 pm

Reverting to 4.10.0-42 kernel gets me the WiFi driver back.

Thanks for the assistance.

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by JeremyB » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:49 pm

I would at least try the newest 4.4.0 kernel so that you will have security updates that are in the kernel

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by Pjotr » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:14 pm

JeremyB wrote:I would at least try the newest 4.4.0 kernel so that you will have security updates that are in the kernel
I second that, but first we would have to know the hardware characteristics that I asked for in my first message in this thread.... His system might be too new for the 4.4 kernel. :)
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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:05 pm

As I said above I recovered to the 4.10 kernel so why would I need the 4.4?

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by Pjotr » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:16 pm

spikerobinson wrote:As I said above I recovered to the 4.10 kernel so why would I need the 4.4?
Because that's your only option to be protected against Meltdown.
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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:22 pm

What, only the 4.4 kernel is patched against Meltdown? Hopefully that has changed since this last post.

Anyway, continuing the post. I have a Broadcom BCM43142 Wifi card in my HP laptop. I have installed the 4.11, 4.13, and 4.8 kernels in the latest versions. The 4.10 kernel works with the wifi card, as do all lower versions of the kernel. All higher versions of the kernel fail. I guess this makes the 4.11 kernel a 'breaking change'. Is that expected?

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by JeremyB » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:25 pm

The newest 4.4 and 4.13 kernels have the patches but the code in bcmwl-kernel-source is not yet patched to work with the 4.13 in the Ubuntu Xenial repos. The 4.4 kernel is the only long term support kernel for Linux Mint 18

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:26 pm

Just for fun, here's my inxi output

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$ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: HP15 Kernel: 4.10.0-42-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.4.6 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3)
           Distro: Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya
Machine:   System: Hewlett-Packard product: HP 15 Notebook PC v: 0973120000405F00001620180
           Mobo: Hewlett-Packard model: 21F7 v: 52.3B
           Bios: Insyde v: F.34 date: 02/05/2015
CPU:       Quad core AMD A6-5200 APU with Radeon HD Graphics (-MCP-) cache: 8192 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 sse4a ssse3 svm) bmips: 15968
           clock speeds: max: 2000 MHz 1: 1000 MHz 2: 1200 MHz 3: 2000 MHz
           4: 1000 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Kabini [Radeon HD 8400 / R3 Series]
           bus-ID: 00:01.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1366x768@60.02hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on AMD KABINI (DRM 2.49.0, LLVM 3.8.0)
           GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 11.2.0 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] FCH Azalia Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2
           Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Kabini HDMI/DP Audio
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:01.1
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.10.0-42-generic
Network:   Card-1: Broadcom BCM43142 802.11b/g/n driver: wl bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: wlo1 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Realtek RTL8101/2/6E PCI Express Fast/Gigabit Ethernet controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: 2000 bus-ID: 04:00.0
           IF: enp4s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 1000.2GB (4.2% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST1000LM024_HN size: 1000.2GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 367G used: 31G (9%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda7
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 8.91GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/dm-0
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 53.0C mobo: 20.0C gpu: 55.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 224 Uptime: 19 min Memory: 1377.2/3399.0MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.481) inxi: 2.2.35 

spikerobinson
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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:45 pm

I am wondering if it's actually the Intel microcode fixes for Meltdown/Spectre that are causing the problem on some classes of wifi cards.
I am using the generic 'wl' driver (I think), hence the title of my post.

Still that would be unfortunate, if I have to choose either to have Meltdown/Spectre protection or working wifi. :(

spikerobinson
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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:48 pm

JeremyB wrote:The newest 4.4 and 4.13 kernels have the patches but the code in bcmwl-kernel-source is not yet patched to work with the 4.13 in the Ubuntu Xenial repos. The 4.4 kernel is the only long term support kernel for Linux Mint 18
Thank you, super informative and helpful!
As 4.4 - 4.10 are working for me for now I will stick with those until 4.13 is patched. And rollback to 4.4 I suppose for Meltdown and Spectre protection.

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Re: Generic WiFi failures

Post by spikerobinson » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:02 pm

spikerobinson wrote: I am using the generic 'wl' driver (I think), hence the title of my post.
Nope, I am using the mcmwl-kernel-source (recommended) driver.

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