[Community] Thinfirm WLAN firmware

Lukas Märdian luk at slyon.de
Tue Feb 5 17:50:56 CET 2013

Am 05.02.2013 17:14, schrieb Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller:
>> So I figured I should finally get around to getting a GTA04 board,
>> and plan to put my name down for the preorder shortly. Too long has
>> my GTA02 sat unloved in a drawer.
>> Reading through the documentation, I was wondering whether anybody
>> had tried using the Thinfirm firmware for the WLAN device? It's
> I do not remember that anyone tried, but maybe another reader does.

At least two people I know of have tinkered around with it in the past.

For example take a look at this kernel 3.2 which has everything needed
to get it working (except the firmware):

>> mentioned on the FAQ as something that might work[1], and the linked
>> to webpage from the OLPC project[2] implies that the firmware is stable
>> and working well, at least for them.
>> I'd be interested to hear if anyone has, or if there are likely
>> difficulties or things which would need to be done to get it to
>> work. As it's the only piece of nonfree software that's needed for
>> operation (arguably it's rather more important for most people than
>> the 3D driver), it'd be great if the free one could be made to work.
> I tried to follow the links you provided to find sources (i.e. a free&open
> firmware) but did find binary blobs only.
> So I think it is just another binary blob from Marvell that can be loaded
> by a different (free & open) kernel driver into the 8686 chip.
> I.e. the current libertas works with the binaries found on Debian
> non-free - so there appears to be no reason to switch.
> Or am I wrong?

No. Thinfirm was a cooperation between Marvell and OLPC. They created
just another binary blob. This blob leaves most of the work for the CPU
tough and does very few in the firmware. And it has some extra
capabilities like AP-mode.


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