Sunday, March 18, 2012

One size fits all? compat-wireless fits many

The ELRepo Project received a request to package compat-wireless as "This is a must have for ELREPO!".

The kmod-compat-wireless has been built and was made available from the el6 testing repository. It includes a large number (106) of kernel modules as listed in note #1806 of the RFE. They are mostly drivers for wireless devices (surprise! :-) ) but some are for wired.

We are now looking for testers. You can check to see if your device is supported. Download this file containing device aliases:

Find your vendorID:deviceID pairing by running:

lspci -nn | grep -i net

Suppose your ID pair is  14e4:4727, run this command:

grep -i 14e4 aliases-wireless.txt | grep -i 4727

If it returns a line like:

alias:          pci:v000014E4d00004727sv*sd*bc*sc*i*

then the kmod includes the driver.

The kmod-compat-wireless package can be found in .

x86_64 (64-bit): kmod-compat-wireless-3.3-0.2.rc6.1.el6.elrepo.x86_64.rpm

x86 (32-bit): kmod-compat-wireless-3.3-0.2.rc6.1.el6.elrepo.i686.rpm

[Update on 2012-04-08]  The package has been updated to a newer version (  kmod-compat-wireless-3.3-2.n.el6.elrepo ) and is now available from the main repository.

[More update on 2012-08-28] If you are running RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux 6.3, please try installing the latest version in the elrepo-testing repo:

x86_64 (64-bit):
x86 (32-bit): 


  1. Hello, In my hp 6720s

    10:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 02)

    I have still after installation information device not ready(firmware missing). I restarted laptop and still nothing.

  2. additional info about hp6720s I am ussing 32 bit CentOS

  3. Will you please go to the ELRepo Project's bug tracker [1] and open a report against the kmod-compat-wireless package.


  4. Incompatible with broadcom-wl from elrepo or with a compiled version of wl.ko due to symbol conflicts with lib80211 / lib80211_crypt_tkip. Makes sense if kmod-compat-wireless is trying to load something. However, bcm43224 (14e4:4353) does not appear to be initialized by any driver in the package.
    Forcing b43 or b44 does no good.

    Removing kmod-compat-wireless lets wl.ko load correctly.

    Which module is kmod-compat-wireless supposed to be loading for
    bcm43224 (14e4:4353)?
    It seems to bind to bcma but I thought that was Bluetooth?

    # grep -i 14e4 aliases-wireless.txt | grep -i 4353
    alias: pci:v000014E4d00004353sv*sd*bc*sc*i*

    CentOS 6.2, 32-bit

    Name : kmod-compat-wireless
    Arch : i686
    Version : 3.3
    Release : 2.n.el6.elrepo
    Size : 2.3 M
    Repo : elrepo
    Summary : compat-wireless kernel module(s)
    URL :
    License : GPLv2
    Description : This package provides the compat-wireless kernel module(s) built
    : for the Linux kernel using the i686 family of processors.

    Linux 2.6.32-220.13.1.el6.i686 #1 SMP Tue Apr 17 22:09:08 BST 2012 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux


    1. Hi Dave,

      Whilst we genuinely welcome comments/feedback, this isn't the best forum for support. If you want support please use the elrepo mailing lists or if it's a bug then file an issue at the bug tracker with sufficient evidence to allow us to fix it.


      That said, as the title of the posting suggests, compat-wireless is a one size fits all solution and is not compatible with other wireless drivers offered by elrepo or indeed those native to the RHEL kernel. I'm happy to explain in more detail why this is the case on the elrepo mailing lists.

  5. Understood Phil.

    I'll move the "feedback" over to the email list when I get a few minutes.