How-To: Fix Kernel Panics with the Open-FWWF firmware

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 11/18/2009

I have been using the OpenFWWF firmware that comes with Trisquel since I
installed it. The *only* complaint I have had of Trisquel so far has been
experiencing kernel panics with high bandwidth usage. Therefore, I wanted to
find a way to get rid of these panics, and be able to take full advantage of
my bandwidth without having to worry about my computer freezing up. I
decided to try downloading the OpenFWWF source, and compiling it myself.
This however, also requires a later kernel version than the one that
Trisquel comes with, so I had to install a new kernel as well. Luckily,
there's a *great* guide on how to do this that Leo Rockway has put together
for gNewSense, which worked great in Trisquel:

It's a very simple copy/paste walk-through that will get your wireless going
again. There are however, a couple things I wanted to make note of.

1) I installed the package 'build-essential' before attempting this
walk-through. I'm not sure if it's required - it is in Ubuntu, but not in
gNewSense. I would recommend playing it safe and installing it just to be
sudo apt-get install build-essential

2) The kernel you will be downloading is 100% Free, so it will go well with
the aim and goals of Trisquel. There is also a newer version available than
what the guide uses. Instead of using the 2.6.30 kernel, I used the
kernel. You can use either one, but if you want to use the newer one, just
substitute it in where the guide calls for it, like such:
sudo dpkg -i linux-image-

3) After going through this guide, and *BEFORE* rebooting, you will need to
remove the 'openfwwf' package that is installed by default so your drivers
won't conflict with one-another. You can do this in Synaptic, or via command
line with:
sudo apt-get remove openfwwf

4) When you remove the openfwwf package, it will remove the meta-packages
'trisquel' and 'trisquel-base'. This is fine. These are simply meta-packages
and shouldn't affect your computer in any way. If you upgrade to Trisquel
3.0 when it comes out, you may have to reinstall them, but for now, you
should be good to go.

That's all there is to it! If you are encountering kernel panics from
OpenFWWF, give this a try and see how it works for you. Enjoy!

Joined: 11/18/2009

Sorry, what I meant in 4) was if you wanted to upgrade to a newer version of Trisquel when it's released you may have to install the meta-packages again.

Trisquel 3.0 has been out for some time :P

Joined: 06/01/2009

Thanks for sharing this how-to. I had the same problem. After following these instructions, my computer works fine with the b43 wireless card.

However, I had to copy the firmware to /lib/firmware/b43
instead of /lib/firmware/b43-open