I've a MacBook Air 6.2 with a BCM4360 wireless chip with PCI-ID 14e4:43a0 (rev 03) running Debian Jessie. I installed the wl driver from Broadcom to make the wifi card work, but it crashes occasionally on some wifi networks.

According to this wonderful answer I'd want to install bcmwl-kernel-source if I was running Ubuntu. In Debian, there are three similar seeming packages :

  1. broadcom-sta-dkms - I installed this to obtain the wl driver. Crashes occasionally.
  2. broadcom-sta-source - Are there any possible advantages to installing this? It'd be surprising if my crashes were linked to how the wl driver was built since these are all Debian packages. As an aside, this removes the broadcom-sta-dkms package and queues the dkms package for autoremove.
  3. broadcom-sta-common - Installs broadcom-sta-source, so not common files between the above two. Very strange?

Anyways I'm curious if there is any reason to expect and real difference between the dkms and source packages. In my case, I'll just try it out when I'm back on a wifi that my current driver does not like, but I'd like to know for future reference when to expect such issues.

Here is the crash dump from dmesg :

[  920.173407] ------------[ cut here ]------------
[  920.173453] WARNING: CPU: 1 PID: 468 at /build/linux-QZaPpC/linux-3.16.7-ckt11/net/wireless/sme.c:791 wl_notify_roaming_status+0xbb/0x140 [wl]()
[  920.173456] Modules linked in: asix usbnet libphy mii binfmt_misc bnep nfsd auth_rpcgss oid_registry nfs_acl nfs lockd fscache sunrpc xt_tcpudp nf_conntrack_ipv4 nf_defrag_ipv4 xt_conntrack nf_conntrack iptable_filter ip_tables x_tables snd_hda_codec_hdmi iTCO_wdt iTCO_vendor_support ecb btusb bluetooth 6lowpan_iphc nls_utf8 nls_cp437 vfat fat efi_pstore wl(PO) joydev applesmc input_polldev x86_pkg_temp_thermal intel_powerclamp intel_rapl coretemp bcm5974 kvm_intel kvm evdev pcspkr cfg80211 efivars snd_hda_codec_cirrus snd_hda_codec_generic lpc_ich mfd_core rfkill i2c_i801 mei_me i915 mei shpchp snd_hda_intel snd_hda_controller snd_hda_codec sbs snd_hwdep drm_kms_helper battery drm snd_pcm sbshc snd_timer i2c_algo_bit i2c_core snd ac soundcore video apple_bl button processor thermal_sys fuse ecryptfs
[  920.173538]  parport_pc ppdev lp parport autofs4 ext4 crc16 mbcache jbd2 algif_skcipher af_alg hid_generic hid_apple usbhid hid dm_crypt dm_mod sg sd_mod crc_t10dif crct10dif_generic usb_storage crct10dif_pclmul crct10dif_common crc32_pclmul crc32c_intel ghash_clmulni_intel aesni_intel aes_x86_64 lrw gf128mul glue_helper ablk_helper cryptd ahci libahci libata scsi_mod xhci_hcd usbcore usb_common
[  920.173585] CPU: 1 PID: 468 Comm: wl_event_handle Tainted: P        W  O  3.16.0-4-amd64 #1 Debian 3.16.7-ckt11-1
[  920.173589] Hardware name: Apple Inc. MacBookAir6,2/Mac-7DF21CB3ED6977E5, BIOS MBA61.88Z.0099.B18.1501071032 01/07/2015
[  920.173592]  0000000000000009 ffffffff8150b405 0000000000000000 ffffffff81067797
[  920.173597]  ffff880262031680 ffff880264d21054 ffff880262031e9a ffff880263016000
[  920.173602]  ffff880262031a78 ffffffffa0966e1b 0000000000000012 00000000000000d0
[  920.173607] Call Trace:
[  920.173621]  [<ffffffff8150b405>] ? dump_stack+0x41/0x51
[  920.173630]  [<ffffffff81067797>] ? warn_slowpath_common+0x77/0x90
[  920.173651]  [<ffffffffa0966e1b>] ? wl_notify_roaming_status+0xbb/0x140 [wl]
[  920.173671]  [<ffffffffa09650b2>] ? wl_event_handler+0x62/0x1e0 [wl]
[  920.173691]  [<ffffffffa0965050>] ? wl_free_wdev.isra.24+0x70/0x70 [wl]
[  920.173700]  [<ffffffff81087fad>] ? kthread+0xbd/0xe0
[  920.173706]  [<ffffffff81087ef0>] ? kthread_create_on_node+0x180/0x180
[  920.173714]  [<ffffffff81511518>] ? ret_from_fork+0x58/0x90
[  920.173719]  [<ffffffff81087ef0>] ? kthread_create_on_node+0x180/0x180
[  920.173723] ---[ end trace 7edb0c1309e3610b ]---

After that, this error repeats around 20 times :

ERROR @wl_cfg80211_get_station : Wrong Mac address, mac = 00:1a:1e:a5:93:41   profile =00:1a:1e:a5:77:c9
  • It wanted the commands apt-get install firmware-brcm80211, module-assistant prepare broadcom-sta, module-assistant auto-install broadcom-sta too, but maybe working now. I'll find out after a while. – Jeff Burdges Jun 15 '15 at 15:51
  • Zero improvement but at least now it's built from source so maybe I can diagnose it better. – Jeff Burdges Jun 15 '15 at 16:41
  • There are comments about options like disabling the nardware crypto here : comments.gmane.org/gmane.linux.drivers.bcm54xx.devel/10730 Although those options are for the b43 driver, I'll try them because this only happens on my work wifi which uses stronger crypto. – Jeff Burdges Jun 15 '15 at 17:39
  • 1
    On Ubuntu 15.04, I got the same stack trace. I find it in my log sooner after I installed it. But lately, it is more often, and causing problem like, no traffic, freeze, kernel panic. I don't know what cuased that new behavior. Still loooking... – solsTiCe Jul 15 '15 at 10:38
  • It's linked to the wifi type being used. I stick with only wired Internet at work now, so no roaming around with the laptop, but that fixes the problem. At home, cafes, etc. the old lower security wifi protocols work fine. – Jeff Burdges Oct 31 '15 at 0:02

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