FreeBSD Cope with WiFi Fuckup

41
7
2 days
(vermaden.wordpress.com)
by yarapavan

Comments

giomasce
2 days

A few years ago Linux used Windows drivers via ndiswrapper. Now BSD uses Linux drivers via virtualization. The circle of life.

drewg123
2 days

FreeBSD used Windows NDIS binary drivers as well.

The current way FreeBSD runs Linux drivers is by providing compat shims, not via any virtualization.

cperciva
2 days

Some people are running wifi via a Linux in bhyve (wifibox).

Making it easier to port Linux drivers to run in native FreeBSD (via linuxkpi) is definitely a better route though.

drewg123
2 days

Ah, I hadn't realized that (though I should have, I have passed devices through to bhyve as well).

I actually think running RHEL binary drivers (where there is a defined KBI), might be the best route.

daneel_w
2 days

OpenBSD is in the same situation, and it's particularly bad in the case of running the interface in HostAP mode (Wi-Fi access point). How I cope: a $30 Wi-Fi "range extender" whose hobbled firmware I supplanted with OpenWRT, now operating in bridged mode as an extension of my LAN.

anthk
2 days

OpenBSD's wifi support it's far better.

daneel_w
2 days

Maybe in a relative sense, but OpenBSD's Wi-Fi situation is poor. Period.

midislack
2 days

It's actually great, it just doesn't always support the newest standards.

dddddaviddddd
2 days

Personally I find that wifibox is seamless, giving me modern 802.11ac speeds on my FreeBSD laptop. Not ideal, of course, but it removes a major pain point.

edgyquant
2 days

I’ve found people are just use to their OS. None of them are seamless.

dilippkumar
2 days

Unrelated: What's the current state of FreeBSD on a laptop? What's the recommended hardware setup? Is it something I'd feel confident travelling with as my primary computing machine?

vermaden
2 days

It all depends on your needs.

I am using FreeBSD on my desktops/laptops since about 2006.

I work with Linux systems (mostly RHEL/SLES/Ubuntu) and some other UNIX systems daily and I still prefer to use FreeBSD for its features and simplicity. More about these here:

- https://vermaden.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/quare-freebsd/

You can use for example ThinkPad X1 Carbon 6th edition for some more modern hardware. I really love this old 7-row classic ThinkPad keyboard so I use ThinkPad W520 from 2011 (last one with such keyboard).

Here is a list with FreeBSD laptops with various features tested:

- https://wiki.freebsd.org/Laptops

I write and maintain my own 'FreeBSD Desktop' series here:

- https://vermaden.wordpress.com/freebsd-desktop/

... but there are plenty of other such guides - just type "FreeBSD laptop" or "FreeBSD desktop" to get more howtos.

Regards.

binkHN
2 days

Yes, fast Wi-Fi is a challenge with the BSDs. That said, the venerable OpenBSD supports 11ac for some chipsets.

yjftsjthsd-h
2 days

I wonder how hard it would be to port this to illumos. I think all the underlying technology is already there (bhyve, mostly), although I suspect the networking tools are different enough that that would require some work.

Edit: I wrote this about wifibox, although reskimming over the page a lot of the rest of the advice really does work there as well. In broad strokes, this page really does amount to a list of ways to get Wi-Fi or at least network access if your operating system doesn't natively support the Wi-Fi card actually in your laptop. Even running Linux in a virtual machine with the hardware passed through would probably work on ex. Haiku just with the details changed.

tialaramex
2 days

> would probably work on ex. Haiku just with the details changed.

Haiku doesn't have virtualization so you can't make this work.

paulcarroty
2 days

FreeBSD Cope: writing drivers is boring, just install Linuxator for everything.

toast0
2 days

Writing drivers is boring and shitty, especially when the hardware manufacturer won't give anybody actual documentation. If your choice is porting a Linux driver because it's the closest thing to documentation or just making the Linux driver run in the system with compat shims, then compat shims is the way.

jopnv
2 days
yjftsjthsd-h
2 days

What bad advice are you seeing here?

striking
2 days

Maybe GP is reacting strictly to the title and doesn't realize it's an article about coping with FreeBSD's WiFi issues.

jopnv
2 days

Anything other than “switch to another OS” is bad advice.

smoldesu
2 days

What's a suitable drop-in replacement for FreeBSD?

CoolCold
8 hours

Coming from the reverse, "what is FreeBSD suitable drop-in for". Personally I don't know the answer, may be OpenBSD?

On end user side I believe 3 other major players - Windows, Macos, Linux are better nowadays.

rnd0
2 days

For wifi? Windows.

/me takes tongue out of cheek

ThePowerOfFuet
1 day

> I can make up bad advice too. For example: forget about your wifi troubles, turn off your computer and go outside.

In fact, that's quite good advice.